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

As a Consultant with Interaction One, we were to translate the TV experience to mobile with the launch of the Times Now app — one of the first Indian news apps available at the time.
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 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 occupied 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 could create their own thumbnails with the headline/subhead and colours flattened on to the image. This would mean that while the app itself was structured, there was some level of unpredictability and autonomy given to the Times Now team which would result in imagery taking priority for a visually-rich experience, mimicking the TV experience.
Below is the standard version of the app, without any customised thumbnails.
In the menu, The Newshour was highlighted as well as any 'trending topics' that Times Now is famous for. Their topic-related hashtags would often trend on social media and current hashtags were highlighted in the Top Stories section. They could be edited and/or switched off in the back end.
The Newshour was one of the most important sections of the app. It needed to be highly 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) with the relevant hashtag pre-populated. We also included an Archive section of Newshour debates sorted by date. To further bring focus to The Newshour, the app pushed notifications for the day’s debate topic and reminders when the debate was about to begin. 
News article layouts were clean and easily legible (with variable size options and visibility options in the Settings page) and with a focus on sharing the story on social media. Another interesting idea we implemented (uncommon at the time) was to have a button to hide/show the image/video so that the story could occupy the entire screen which would make for a better experience. 
Breaking news appeared as push notifications which lead to a Notifications screen. There were easy options to share each story on social media and the headlines linked to articles when applicable.
livestream of the Times Now TV channel was easily accessible and available 24/7.
The app was created for iOS, Android and Windows. 
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