Designing a mobile app to be both accessible and engaging poses a difficult challenge, because it’s really a conflated question. While we may address the accessibility issues of an illiterate population with little data access, there is no guarantee that these users will then want to use it just because they can, and it’s hard for us to restrain from universalizing our own mobile app experiences to theirs.

What I’ve tried to create in this mobile app is something that might appeal to an illiterate population in India. We know that Ketla’s potential users are young and urban, that they enjoy sports and entertainment, and that they enjoy social media sites and apps, especially WhatsApp.

In creating the home screen, I focused on making its design relevant to the user. Instead of dropping the user on a map, I dropped them into their current location, Gujarat, to remove an extra tap that they might have to use to get to the content they want to see. Below their location, I added icons for typical categories of news and entertainment that might interest them. However, the main feature of the home screen was the three strips below. The first strip was content that might be relevant to that specific user, based upon previous search results and topics of interest. The second strip was content that their friends were looking at, where each story was demarcated by the friend who had looked at that piece of content. The last strip was content that was trending based on their location.


The user could then tap on one of the stories to dig deeper into the details and arrive at a screen that visualized the who, what, where, and when of the story.


By swiping right, the user could see a brief clip (equivalent to a gif) accompanying the story. For example, here the graph would show how Netflix traffic had rapidly increased from January 6 to January 19.


Lastly, the user could swipe right again to understand why this story mattered to them, and could have the option to “watch” the story to see what happened in the future or share it with friends so they could see what he/she was reading.


Photo Sources:




4. Fox Sports

5. Economic Times

6. Yahoo! News

7. Quartz India