Times Now – App

Times Now, arguably India's leading 24-hour English TV news channel, has changed the face of Indian journalism – in large part due to The Newshour Debate with Arnab Goswami and his brand of 'pop journalism'.

While consultant with Interaction One, we were to translate the tv experience to mobile with the launch of the Times Now app.
OVERVIEW
This was a particularly interesting and challenging project as it was apparent from the start that the TV channel had no structure/guidelines in terms of design. Graphic elements and colours were generated on the spot right before the program went live. This seemed to work for the channel’s large audience who liked that it was unpredictable, dramatic and in-your-face. 

As our app was to be a translation of the experience, we needed to tread carefully. We decided to create the app in such a way that it was flexible enough to provide the Times Now team the option to make these impromptu design calls in the back-end when uploading stories. 

Taking all of this into consideration, we created a variable grid of double and single columns where highlighted stories occupy a single column. By providing the option to hide the sub-headline of the story (as per our standard design) in the back-end, the Times Now team can create their own thumbnails with the headline/subhead and colours they want burned on to the image. This would mean that while the app itself is structured, colours and graphics can be added onto images by the Times Now team and hence imagery takes priority in the app. Icons inform the user whether the article contains a video or image gallery.
In the menu, The Newshour is highlighted as well as the trending topics that Times Now is famous for. Their topic-related hashtags very often trend on social media and current hashtags are highlighted in the Top Stories section. They can be edited and/or switched off in the back end.
As The Newshour is one of the most important sections of the app, it needed to be very interactive and easy to navigate. We included a record-comment feature (the first of it’s kind for Indian News channels) along with an opinion poll and a tweet option (from within the app itself) with the relevant hashtag pre-populated. We also included an archive section of Newshour debates sorted by date. To further lay focus on The Newshour, the app can push notifications for the day’s debate topic and remind you when the debate is about to begin. 
News article layouts are clean and easily legible (with variable size options and visibility options in the Settings page) and a focus on sharing the story on social media. Another interesting idea we implemented was to have a button to hide/show the image/video so that the story can be read on the entire screen which would make for a better experience.
Breaking news appear as push notifications which lead to a Notifications screen. There are easy options to share each story on social media and the headlines link to articles when applicable.
livestream of the Times Now TV channel is easily accessible and available 24/7.
The app was created for iOS, Android and Windows. 
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