CinemaNow® Newsletter Editor



The redesign of the Best Buy® CinemaNow® newsletter involved 60+ pieces of unique content to be filled in on a weekly basis. While this provided the customer with a large variety of content to choose from, it made the weekly process of creating, QAing, and deploying the newsletter extremely time intensive. Since I was ahead on my other projects, I decided to come up with a solution that turned this into a manageable process for both the marketing specialists and myself.


With the approval of my manager I reached out to our in-house IT team and asked to have a PHP / MySQL box set up. Over the next few weeks, in between other projects, I started constructing the base for a simple newsletter editor. I constructed a database in MySQL, used the basic HTML from the newsletter to set up the editing screens, and tied it all together with a save, clone, and delete function.

This simple newsletter editor allowed us to update weekly newsletters without having to touch the code. This saved the team countless hours of development and QA. It was so successful that I was asked to develop editors for CinemaNow® Canada, the redesign of CinemaNow® Popcorn, Target® Ticket, and Toys'R'Us® Movies.

I knew there was still more we could do with this editor - we should be able to enter in one ID number to pull images, alt tags, and links (instead of hand keying all three.) Eventually, I got access to our internal databases housed in PatchBay which would enable this. I constructed a WAMP server for security reasons, cloned the newsletter editors over, and revised the code. This final edit cut development time by two thirds, much to the delight of senior management at the company.

UI / UX Testing

UX testing is always an important step of my process. Even though this was largely an internal only application, something may make sense to me, but may completely confuse my coworker. I worked with each individual team (CinemaNow® Canada, Target® Ticket, and Toys'R'Us® Movies) and asked them to create a newsletter. I watched them use the tool, noting down complications and difficulties. Through this experimentation I worked to revise the "New Newsletter" process, and discovered the need for a "Preview" function for screenshot and approval purposes.


  • Brainstormed to develop a time saving web application rather than just accepting a tedious task "no questions asked."
  • Developed a robust "Preview" function for internal and client approvals, saving the marketing specialists time.
  • Structured the code so that template edits and updates were easy to accomplish and backwards compatible with previous newsletters (for cloning purposes.)

CinemaNow® Newsletter Editor - Property of Rovi®

Project Highlights

  • Initiated brainstorming sessions to conceptualize a time-saving web application, challenging the status quo of tedious tasks.
  • Created a comprehensive "Preview" feature for internal and client approvals, significantly reducing time spent by marketing specialists.
  • Architected the application's codebase to ensure easy template edits, updates, and backward compatibility with previous newsletters for efficient cloning.

CinemaNow® Newsletter Editor - Property of Rovi®
CinemaNow® Newsletter Editor - Property of Rovi®
Target® Ticket Newsletter Editor - Property of Rovi®
Target® Ticket Newsletter Editor - Property of Rovi®