Listen up. Three of Denmark’s largest newspapers have been catapulted to a new digital era; one of readership mobility, news interaction and paid content. The result consists of three well-crafted iPhone applications ready to seize Danish smartphones.
Some projects you dream about getting. Their innovative nature, the chance of redefining your client and solving a problem on a larger scale, the possibe impact to an industry, a market and the consumers. This is one of those projects.
Initial contact was made two years ago, when Spoiled Milk approached the Danish newspaper Politiken with the idea to conquer the mobile applications platform and start out with the most sexy of them all, Apple’s iTunes App Store. Naturally, the news organisation was hesitant to enter this seemingly immature – yet rapidly growing – market. Contacts were however made and later on Spoiled Milk were contracted for designing and developing the ‘Turen Går Til’ travel iPhone applications for Politiken’s publishing house.
The parent firm, JP/Politikens Hus A/S, Denmark’s largest media corporation covering three national newspapers, a number of free newspapers, a range of publishing houses, print and distribution activities as well as online websites, then approached us this spring with the project of bringing all their three well-established, daily newspapers – Ekstra Bladet, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken – collectively printed in 1.1 million daily copies on to the mobile platform, first and foremost the iPhone.
As we kicked off the project, ambitions were tremendous on both client and agency sides, and one request was particularly notable: The news applications should be based on paid subscriptions.
Three different newspapers, one digital agency, one project – these circumstances meant a large project head count with a great deal of ideas and inputs as we progressed.
Despite our devotion to iterative processes, our mobile projects go through a series of major phases along the way. First, we started out in the conceptual wireframing of each screen and each interaction. Second, each newspaper delivered designs, which went back and forth in a number of feedback rounds. Third, feeds were handed over to Spoiled Milk for the sensitive parsing task. Fourth, the software development took the stage: Major framework, each and every more or less complex feature, UI for all screens, etc. Fifth, we enabled the application with a server-side for managing subscriptions. And of course, testing, fixing, revising, rethinking, improving.
Functionalities of the solution includes: Customisable categories for news browsing, photo galleries, TV viewing, database search, offline saving of articles, ability to share via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and text messages, option of sending tips to the newspaper, and more.
Today, the three mobile apps for Ekstra Bladet, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken are hitting the streets and we’re dead proud of the outcome. Not only do all three apps uphold an aesthetic quality fitting to the brands of each newspaper; they are strong in performance, are blessed with an intuitive and easy-to-grasp interface, and maintain focus on what’s important: News.