The New York Times calls itself a “user-first company.” This strategy is bolstered by the job title of Rachel Derkits-Gelman, user experience research lead at the company.

“The fact that there is a team of folks like us who really try to understand user needs is indicative of where the Times’ priorities are,” Derkits-Gelman said at the INMA Mobile Strategies Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Derkits-Gelman and her team focus on design thinking as applied to new products.

Her advice on the new product process?

“Start with your hunches. Acknowledge them, but keep an open mind and make sure to connect with the folks whom you are hoping will use or read your product to learn from them and [learn] whether you’re speaking directly to their needs.”