Times of India – India’s main English daily – wanted to create an app for their iPad users. It was to be one of the first English language Indian news apps. The competitors at the time were the NDTV news app.
In this project my role encompassed understanding stakeholder and user requirements, and designing the overall information architecture of the app, supervising the visual design and handling usability validations.
The persona for the app was primarily the NRI reader of Times of India’s website, who now used iPads. Their biggest connection after the home page was the local news from their hometown.
Through exhaustive whiteboard sessions and boardroom sessions, I designed numerous iterations of the home page in both portrait and landscape orientations until we reached the final version shown below. One of the challenges was to get stakeholders articulate their thoughts, as well as get them aligned.
The rationale for differentiating the iPad app from the website, and understanding the visibility of the different news divisions within the experience were some real challenges I had to overcome.
It ran successfully until it was finally redesigned in 2017.
“The Times of India app for the iPad is a good beginning. Although, India is still at a nascent stage when it comes to tablets, news junkies are increasingly embracing them for the sheer usability they offer.”
Another review from 2011: The Gadget Fan:
“Times of India (TOI)’s iPad app is crowded but neatly done with no excessive use of colors. It’s like your newspaper with interactive features built in. There’s news, speed news, a way to browse through Videos and Photos and a big ad at the footer. TOI app has used the screen real estate very well. If IBN Live has used colors to stand out, TOI took the contrarian approach of using just black and white.
There’s a Cricket ticker which gets your attention immediately. It’s a ticker with white fonts on a black background. You can browse through various sections through the Sections tap placed prominently at the top left corner. TOI iPad app renders well in both portrait and landscape modes. TOI iPad app is highly recommended for your daily news fix. (iTunes link)”
Date of Project: Sept 2010-Dec 2010, released 2011-2016
My Role: Principal Designer, Information Architect, Usability Specialist
Collaborated with: Pradeep Gairola (SVP, TIL) and Nigel Eccleston (Content).