We have totally revisited the architecture of navigation. First of all we removed the “cubic” transition between the sides, preferring an alternative way to arrange contents that is familiar and innovative at the same time: the main content areas are indeed reachable through a tab bar, meanwhile a side menu — available in the first tab, the one related to the news feed — enlists or filters the newspaper sections, depending on whether the user chooses the classic mode or the custom mode.
New navigation flow and architecture
With the introduction of the side menu, we incorporated free contents, updated in real time, and the premium ones in a single feed. This choice not only simplifies the overall structure, but it might produce an advantage on the conversion of the users (from free user to pro user).
We have also done a more clear subdivision of the different sections (politics, business, foreign affairs, sport, technology), which the users can now navigate in a more hierarchical way, according to his needs. Also, for a more customized experience, the user can now custom his feed by choosing his favorite sections.
By analyzing the results from the initial study, we decided to implement a button for the search among the published news.
The newsfeed now presents a more simplified structure in order to enhance app navigation and content legibility. In fact, the feed is now composed only by two different formats of news: main news and related news.
La Repubblica is a well-known newspaper thanks to its authors and its up-to-date investigative reports. The premium section, named “R:”, has a daily edition and represents one of the main feature in the publishing strategy of the newspaper. This section, where the users can find articles and comments on the main stories of the day, stands out already in the original app due to a dedicated “facade” and a more refined design; what should be redesigned, instead, is the integration with all the other (free) contents.
Try to imagine a user who, pushed by his/her thirst for knowledge, stumbles into a premium article about a topic he wishes to dig deeper into, thus he could start to consider to try the free trail (and yes, this would involve the use of a paywall).
The user can select between different tabs to access the four sections of the app: feed, video content, saved elements and personal profile with all the technical info and the settings.
New reading experience
Being a news app designed to be used (mostly) when you are on the go, we think a lot about the reading experience itself. The original app shows an article view which is very static, kind of replicating the mobile version of the website. In our proposal we have instead preferred a full-screen view, using a toolbar for the main interactions; we have been driven by the desire of offering a more transparent and immediate reading experience, reducing all the distractions.Speaking about the main sources of inspirations for the new reading mode, instead of the traditional news apps we considered services like Medium and Pocket, which already offer enhanced features for improved readability such as full screen view, text size and brightness control.
In a nutshell, the following are the main features we have proposed in our solution:
- Full screen view;
- Emphasized title above the main picture;
- Box with estimated time of reading and counters for both sharing and comments;
- Comments reading and editing;
- Reading progression bar;
- Toolbar with navigation feature, bookmark, sharing and reading options.
Following the introduction, the focus of the editorial world is increasingly shifting on the digital one because this is a fertile and ever-expanding market that cannot be avoided. The applications play a key role and must not be confined to offer content that totally or in part reflect those already shows on the relative website or on the paper.
A news app must have its own identity and must be designed to put the users at the hearts. For this, our primary goal, was to redesign La Repubblica app and simplify it to give more emphasis to the contents, users needs and use.