Redesigning the TechCrunch app
Over the final two years we now have been working laborious to enhance the expertise of TechCrunch merchandise for our readers. Our tiny-but-mighty product workforce launched the model new TechCrunch cell app for Android and iOS earlier this month and we couldn’t be extra excited. It has been utterly redesigned with the purpose of giving you quick access to the information you care about most, regardless of the place you might be.
TechCrunch has had an app in the market for a very long time, but it surely hadn’t been well-maintained and have become outdated, at the same time as cell consumption of reports grew over the years. Our cell app customers are amongst our most devoted readers, and reimagining the app to raised serve them represented a novel design alternative.
We realized utilization of our cell apps was dropping for a number of causes: the apps weren’t totally native, adverts have been obtrusive, there was lack of assist for sure working techniques and the person interface was outdated. My workforce and I have been excited to give you one thing distinctive and progressive that additionally may elevate the TC model. After sharing tough sketches and wireframes internally we realized we would have liked to start out easy, specializing in this query: What are we providing that’s uniquely native?
To get a greater thought of the place we have been standing, we surveyed present customers and regarded intently at app retailer critiques. These findings led us to outline the first ideas with these high-level objectives in thoughts:
- Personalized information: Almost half of our surveyed customers confirmed they wished customized information. While some care about VR, others may simply wish to get information about biotech and variety. We wanted to cater completely different worlds (with completely different content material) for all TC customers.
- Notify customers with contemporary content material: Send push notifications with content material tailor-made to person pursuits.
- Provide Crunchbase knowledge: Discovering which firms are trending, acquired funded or acquired is one thing our viewers finds very helpful.
- Offline studying: Allow customers to avoid wasting straight from the push notification on the lock display screen and sync throughout units. This is a part of a “know now, deep-dive later” thought.
These objectives gave us a transparent route for an MVP that has three top-level screens:
TechCrunch News Feed: To entry all featured and newest tales, basically your house feed of tales.
Your News: To entry a feed of customized tales, notifications and handle matter subscriptions (I’ll speak extra about this in a bit).
Saved Feed: To entry bookmarked tales offline.
Once the necessities for every function have been outlined, we created two prototypes that have been examined with customers permitting us to find some fascinating insights. We iterated primarily based on these.
Making TechCrunch yours
Your News is an area for accessing all the tales you care about; atone for missed notifications and subscribe or unsubscribe to subjects.
On the high bar, you’ll discover three tabs: For You, Notifications and Topics.
The For You feed presents all articles from subjects to which you’ve subscribed. While the For You feed maintains the dwelling feed article card parts, it’s extra visible, and articles are organized right here by class.
The Notifications display screen is the place all of your notifications will stay. Articles listed below are organized in the order the notification is obtained; tapping on the notification takes you on to the article.
And lastly, the Topics display screen is the place you may simply subscribe/unsubscribe to TechCrunch’s subjects at any time. Subscribing to completely different subjects will change the tales you get notified about and which tales seem in the For You feed.
One of the facets that stands out visually on Your News screens is the use of emojis. We realized from person testing periods that customers have been extra drawn to the prototype that had emojis integrated in the interface. They mentioned the emojis “felt familiar” to them. With that in thoughts, we determined to provide this space of the app a friendlier expertise whereas making tales extra recognizable all through the move: from getting a push notification on the lock display screen to rapidly scanning categorized For You tales.
Creating a frictionless onboarding course of
Our preliminary assumption was that making a enjoyable and interactive manner for customers to subscribe to subjects would get them to finish the course of with out a lot friction. We tried a card-swiping interplay that was novel for some customers, however in the end felt compelled. We realized there’s extra willingness to finish the course of when presenting all subjects on one view with out requiring swiping or scrolling. It was easy and extra environment friendly.
Getting Crunchbase data
Besides having the means to bookmark and share an article, you can also get Crunchbase details about the firm or particular person the article is about. The profit behind this function is to get extra context on the topic talked about in the story.
Adding texture to a uniform information feed
Observing how individuals learn information on cell units acquired us pondering fastidiously about how they scan by means of content material and the way we are able to optimize the card format to make scanning simpler for our readers. The first iterations have been centered on readability and emphasis utilizing plenty of white house. The preliminary designs used a big card remedy for all articles, with minor variations on the card parts relying on the article kind.
Ultimately, this design didn’t take a look at properly because it felt too uniform and wanted to be “texturized.” We then opted for an answer that shows card variations with completely different parts to assist create a greater sense of hierarchy, a extra condensed and fewer monotonous information feed that shows extra information with much less scrolling and, consequently, a extra environment friendly and higher expertise.
Handling the inflow of notifications
One of the nice benefits of enabling push notifications in the app is you can get information curated by TC editors every single day. For every matter you subscribe to, our editors will choose the 1-2 most essential tales to ship you as push notifications. To remedy for the concern of getting too many pushes per day — encouraging customers to disable them — we now have set 5 pushes as a tough restrict, even in the event you subscribe to all 12 subjects. Additionally, we designed a setting that provides customers the means to set a quiet time to not be disturbed for a time period.
Our strategy was to maintain studying the information easy whereas including non-traditional options corresponding to customized information feeds, matter subscriptions and push notifications. We’re enthusiastic about the subsequent options we now have in the pipeline. We hope you get pleasure from the new expertise and inform us what you suppose, as a result of, in the end, this app is for you!
You can obtain the app for iOS and Android.
Big due to Robyn, Dwight, Jedd, Saurabh, Awais, Jose, Nicole and Mischa for the superb effort.