App Watch: What Publishers Are Launching in the Mobile Space
The Huffington Post has always been more about breadth than depth, with reams of SEO-friendly blogs, comments and news articles drawn from a wide variety of sources. This makes for a particular challenge when designing an app for mobile devices: How could any phone or tablet replicate the experience of browsing HuffPo on a desktop?
“With HuffPost serving up an amazing amount of content across our news, politics, entertainment [and] tech sections, we wanted an experience that allowed users to personalize our editorially curated content to set their favorite sections, but also dig deeper,” says Josh Klenert, head of UX & Design at Huffington Post Media Group.
The answer was a universal iOS app incorporating design elements customized for iPhone and iPad. The new version of the Huffington Post app, released in February, allows users to personalize their experience around their particular interests, post comments and easily share content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, e-mail and SMS to join the online conversation.
“Readers can select their favorite sections and then, from the main screen, they can simply swipe right-to-left to see those sections, and then swipe down to dig deeper within a section,” Klenert says.
Customization tools also include text resizing, a nighttime reading mode, and a “compact mode” allowing iPhone users to see more articles at once on the smaller screen. Articles, which are updated real-time, can be bookmarked on iCloud or saved for reading offline.
- James Sturdivant