The Times of India iPad App

CONTEXT

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.

TOI_medianama.jpg

DESIGN PROCESS

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.

TOI-1

TOI-2

IMPACT

It ran successfully until it was finally redesigned in 2017.

Launch day coverage from Medianama:

“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. 

IMG_0066

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)”

On Times of India’s website

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 10.31.40 PM

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).

XPath for Adobe FrameMaker 11

PROBLEM AREA

This UI component XPath Builder and Results, was a part of the larger product Adobe Framemaker 11. The idea was to include the XPath Builder with the Results pod, so that the user can continue working within the pod instead of having to focus on different areas of the screen.

It was a complex workflow taken up by proficient users, who primarily use the keyboard. They also create very complex queries and often search for multiple queries at the same time.

SOLUTION

During this milestone, multiple iterations were created, validated with stakeholders, and redesigned based on the feedback.

Wireframes:

These show the different versions as I discovered nuances of the workflow with successive iterations and validations:

Users needed a list, and queries are long:

02builder

Queries are made first, and run on different scope. Users often run multiple queries at a time. Users needed a list, and queries are long:

wireframe4

People generally work/read from top to bottom. Matching the workflow to define the IA. Queries are made first, and run on different scope. Users often run multiple queries at a time. Users needed a list, and queries are long:

 

wireframe1

Final Design:

This was the final design. I used the typical workflow to define the IA and the layout so the eye would naturally be oriented from query to results and continue using this multiple times in a single session.

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Visual specs were done keeping in mind the following:

  • Responsive on increasing and decreasing size of the pod
  • Localization of strings
  • Using elements of Gestalt to present a clutter-free UI

XPath Builder Spec_FINAL1

Date of Project: Jan 2011-June 2012

My Role: Primary Interaction Designer