Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams © 2023

The Wall Street Journal


In 2015 Thomas was appointed as a Sr. Design Director at The Wall Street Journal and in 2019 was promoted to Vice President of Design. Working across both the Newsroom and Product organizations, Thomas led a diverse team of design directors, product designers, and UX researchers.

His work covered many products and platforms at WSJ, including web (, native apps (iOS, Android), off-platform (Apple, Google, Amazon), editorial tools, and design systems. In addition to design, his role also included many leadership responsibilities, including mentorship, design and user advocacy, strategic planning, hiring and team wellbeing.

During his 6-year tenure, he was part of a significant digital transformation that occurred across the newsroom and WSJ’s digital products, which have helped shape how people around the world consume news. The following is a curated selection of projects Thomas worked on during this time.

The Wall Street Journal

Native Apps

The redesign of the native WSJ apps aimed to create a more engaging and compelling experience, as well as supporting new initiatives that enable the newsroom to personalize and surface more relevant content.
This involved a cross-functional, all-hands collaboration between design, product, engineering, and the newsroom. Commencing with discovery workshops, the team worked through an inclusive design process that included prototyping, testing, and comprehensive user feedback.

The outcome was a complete redesign of the app, including a content card system for, Apple TV, and off-platforms, which produced a 200% increase in time spent in the news feed, a 667% increase in time spent in articles, and a Webby Award for ‘Best News App’ from the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The Wall Street Journal

Apple News+

The Wall Street Journal was a launch partner (and only national news source) for Apple News+. In addition to the core news offering, WSJ. magazine was launched as a standalone publication, making it available digitally for the first time. The brief was to translate the beautiful editorial content of WSJ. into an enhanced 'best-in-class’ digital experience.

Thomas worked closely and collaboratively with the WSJ. magazine team to translate their vision and build a scalable framework that could support a diverse range of visual content including short-form, long-form, video, photo essays, and editorial shoots.

The outcome was a highly engaging editorial experience that captured the essence of WSJ. magazine and leveraged the broad capabilities of Apple’s News+ platform. It has been featured multiple times within the app store and has provided the team with a scalable digital publishing solution for future issues.

The Wall Street Journal

WSJ Video

WSJ was faced with the challenge of producing consistent video content with journalists and editors located across the world. There was a clear need for a framework and documentation that could be easily used by anyone creating WSJ video content. The brief was not only to improve consistency, but also to enable the production of high-quality video at a fast pace, keeping up with daily news cycles.

Working collaboratively with the WSJ video and brand teams, Thomas gained an in-depth understanding of the requirements and iteratively developed entirely new designs and templates that covered typography, colour, graphics, motion, and the WSJ brand.

The outcome was a bespoke design system that includes documentation, templates, style guides, and digital assets, and is hosted in a centralized cloud app called the ‘Video Blueprint’. The work has exponentially increased the quality and engagement of WSJ’s video content and has been extended to new WSJ Twitter and YouTube series, as well as featured in Joanna Stern’s recent Emmy-winning documentary.

The Wall Street Journal

Mobile Advertising

The Wall Street Journal Mobile Ad Innovation project was established to redefine and raise the quality of mobile advertising. Using and the WSJ mobile apps as our platform, we worked collaboratively with four strategic partners (Amazon, Lexus, Ralph Lauren, SAKS Fifth Avenue) that allowed us to innovate, iterate and break new ground.

The outcome is four new ad formats that provide a rich and engaging experience not found in traditional mobile advertising. By using imagery, video and touch interactions, each format provides a framework for immersive storytelling and brand experiences. Each of the units perform significantly better than their traditional counterparts and saw increases in engagement and user satisfaction.

The Wall Street Journal

WSJ Design System

Scaling design, user experience, and interfaces across multiple products and platforms is a challenge that many organizations face, and WSJ was no exception. With literally hundreds of variants of the same components (buttons, forms, etc.) and no single source of truth, it became inefficient to create new products and lacked a cohesive experience for the end-user.

Starting with a small single component (the button), the design and engineering teams set out to create an end-to-end solution, from concept to live-react component. It was a manageable amount of work for all, but when complete, the end value of a coherent design system far outweighed the labour put into building it. Sharing the work and demonstrating its benefits to key stakeholders ultimately led to alignment, prioritization, and resourcing of the WSJ Design System. Now in its second release, the design system covers an end-to-end WSJ experience including all design elements, components, copy, accessibility, patterns, and more. It is used by the WSJ design team internally, as well as external collaborators and other Dow Jones brands.


These projects represent only a fraction of the work completed over a 6-year period. A special acknowledgement is due to the talented people who worked on these projects: Adam Fisher-Cox, Adele Morgan, Barry Ainsley, Bonnie Jarvie, Che Douglas, Eunice Kim, Fernando Turch, Jason Jedlinski, Jennifer Hicks, Jillian Breitfeller, Kabir Seth, Katharine Bailey, Louise Story, Lydia Serota, Misa Alvarado, Rajiv Pant, and Sebastian Vidal.


Thomas is a design and product leader with 16 years of experience creating user-centric products for global brands such as Apple, Sonos and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many startups and small businesses.

Thomas is currently working with clients across Australia and North America. To learn more about Thomas’s work or discuss a new project, please get in touch.

Thomas Williams © 2023