Clocking In

content strategy, system design, branding and visual design

Clocking In is one of MIT Technology Review's newest newsletters, and it's about the future of work.

In the last few months, we launched it along with two other newsletters: Chain Letter and The Algorithm. Together with The Download, there is some excellent journalism going out to inboxes every day.

When fellow designer Jon Akland and I were brought into help design the The Algorithm and Clocking In newsletters, I realized it was past time to put some systems and constraints in place to help scale our growing branch of editorial content. Jon and I worked together to identify every component (and each variation) present in all the newsletters.

We organized the components and made decisions about overall general structure, what elements would be consistent in every newsletter, and where we could introduce variation so the editors could have some well-designed options to best tell their stories.

We presented the design system strategy to the editorial stakeholders, and worked with our developers to roll out updates to all the newsletters, bringing their components in line with the system.

Clocking In's fantastic editor Erin Winick prototyped her content in Google docs for several weeks, which I used to establish the hierarchy of content, layout, brand direction, and visual design.

Erin's list of subscribers has grown 41% since she launched, and her open rates and click rates are more than double the industry average.