Despite having a vast population with access to the internet, and therefore to a wealth of information, India’s demographics pose a problem for conveying and digesting information. Therefore, the content I have created on the simply, yet aptly named “Indian News Service” and the format I have presented it in is conscious of India’s lack of education, topics of importance to Indian culture. It places enough confidence in the journalistic integrity of this resource to place sharing front and center of each article. Combining these two elements, and to help this website serve as a true public service, its homepage presents one unified source for contact information and hyper-local news tip sharing, as to grow the platform through increasing public confidence and ensuring safety in this patriarchal and often socially-conservative society.
First of all, it should be established that the resolution I created these images on is based on the resolution of the iPhone 5, a phone with a 4-inch screen, which appears to be representative of phones on the Indian market.
The homepage does not bombard with denseness, confusing minimalism and misleading touch targets, or with headlines designed to bamboozle or provoke. It simply provides five pictographs, one per category of news (a newspaper that represents local news, a globe that represents world news, a movie reel for Bollywood news, and a suitcase for local business news), which are laid onto easily-visible grey buttons. These logos are public domain images, as well. Ideally, these logos would pulsate to represent touch targets. There is one other button on the page, which is red, and redirects to local emergency lines or a tip line. Therefore, this news site becomes correlated with a public good, transparency, and health, and will be shared and utilized.
Once one of these categories is selected, it redirects to a set of buttons representing the most relevant articles, presented as simple (6 words or less) headlines, which are laid out on the same style of button.
While I have established a basic set of interface guidelines at this point, the presentation of the storyboard is equally important. The format of these illustrations, pencil in appearance, are colloquial and bring an element of familiarity to reporting. Of course, the story I chose to illustrate was of local importance, how a female politician, of the Gandhi name, is seeking to save her party through a campaign of outreach, as the party went from 206 to 44 seats in the 503-seat congress. I the storyboard, I have illustrated simply this story sufficiently. The panels also center on a generic share button, which can be easily replaced by a Facebook “friends” logo, as Facebook is an incredibly popular service in India, being implemented even on “dumbphones.” As this button always is in the center of the field of view and accessible at a potential resting position for your thumb, this interface becomes incredibly easy to use. This is the only button on the page-other gestures (such as going back or scrolling) are gesture-based, as touchscreen phones tend to be.
This website takes the project and its parameters and adapts them for a new market. It advances safety and integrity, crucial in this day and age, while also being incredibly simple to use, and universal in language. It uses minimal screen real estate efficiently, and the interface is simple enough to be second nature, elevating the content.