Newsworthy

by post_author

Newsworthy preserves the best parts of a physical newspaper.

For our specific target population, many of whom are new smartphone users, there is familiarity with and trust of print newspapers. However, despite their familiarity with print news, an app can actually give them more visually appealing, easier to read news. (For example, the article being read in screen 5 above was not originally accompanied with an image as we can see from screen 3, but Newsworthy pulled an image from another story on the same topic. This wouldn’t be possible, obviously, in a print paper)

Screen 1: This is the last in a series of questions that personalize the app experience for the user. I considered other questions such as “Are you interested in Cricket?” (I noticed that Yahoo! India takes such an interest as a given) – in which case the app could include a ticker of recent scores at the bottom of the screen, as Google does, for example. The question I depicted here aimed to discern the user’s level of comfort with reading news on their phone. (It’s not perfect; reading online could, for example, mean reading on the computer; it’s unclear if that is more similar to the experience of reading on a phone or more similar to the experience of reading a print paper.) In this case, the user was more accustomed to reading print news.

Screen 2: Because this user was more comfortable reading news in print form, when possible, the app includes familiar visual language. Newspapers (which would be replaced with symbols specific to actual newspapers, or perhaps photos from top news stories) sit on a skeuomorphic shelf inspired by Apple’s now-obsolete Newsstand app. The app features a “Read now” button for reading immediately, and a “Read later” button for downloading news stories for later – which should be particularly useful in areas with little consistent cell service. I thought that “Read later” was more intuitive language than “Download”, but perhaps the first time the user uses the app, this could be explained.

Screen 3: A major advantage of an ePaper such as this The Indian Express is that it is very familiar to readers of print news, since it is simply the newspaper in PDF form. However, such ePapers are extremely hard to navigate. The reader must pinch and pan many times until a story is at a reasonable size to read. This app, instead, has clickable areas representing stories. When clicked, a far more readable version is pulled up.

Screen 4: This is the more readable version of the story. This version features large text and photos pulled from a variety of news stories on the same topic (so that the story is highly visual even when the specific story from the ePaper does not have any images.)

Image sources: Bookshelf. Newspaper. The Indian Express. Mallaya

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