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Financial News

News on the move

Financial News

As a global leader in newswire communications, Dow Jones have a vast array of distribution mechanisms.

From the Wall Street Journal to their multi-disciplined offerings in research and intelligence, they have established themselves as an organisation of integrity and innovation with qualities most media corporations benchmark themselves against. We were approached to be involved in a pitch process to design their latest channel offering, the eFinancial News iPad application. Utilising an existing data source of subscriber managed news content, we presented Dow Jones with UI and UX studies culminating in a set of designs that would go on to form the basis of the eFinancial News iPad app solution.

Whilst demoMedia provided the lead on design and integration, the build of the application was subsequently managed in-house by Dow Jones. This was an effective and well executed iterative process which was managed fluidly by project coordinators both sides.

The end result was a unique offering for the same content. We tried to avoid replicating web or print principles by capitalising on iPad touch gestures and navigation components unique to the iPad, giving their existing user base added value by expanding on the eFinancial News experience.

 

The Client
The Client

Financial News are recognised as a leading provider of city news publications, including Wall Street Journal. As their leading London focused publication, Financial News has a loyal subscriber base who enjoy desktop and print versions of the newspaper and the need to accommodate the flexible behavioural patterns of tablet users became a strong requirement to ensure their readership were given opportunities to expand on their experience.

The Challenge
The Challenge

How do you respond to the challenge of ever increasing dominance of aggregators such as Flipboard and Zite? As consumers are further being pushed into realms of streamlining, consolidation and simplification, so we were witnessing patterns where consumers were actually cutting out delivery networks and tuning in, instead, to aggregators.

eFinancial News knew they needed an iPad application to compliment their existing offerings that were spread from a print newspaper to digital content. What they didn't know is how to best provide the experience to their loyal subscriber base, and ensure uptake for new customers.

We were considering their core target audience. City professionals working predominantly in banking with a strict working schedule that meant the iPad was purely a complementary device.

This was familiar territory. Having worked within city finance and legal organisations for almost a decade we were well placed to demonstrate our experience in this industry. We had implicit understanding from the off of the brand, the content and ultimately the audience. 

The iPad had already lent itself to a design explosion as everyone attempted to solve the perfect interface design with its touch based gestures.

With an offline mode, the subscriber has the ability to check a number of news articles that can be downloaded in advance, taking advantage of the application so that it may be used when there is no data connection available.

Although the newspaper provided a portable copy of the news, it was of course out of date the moment it was printed. By providing offline mode, we could take advantage of downtime that the users may have - from being on the tube, to up in the air, we were able to deliver news content through the application.

Of course, viewing items either on the iPad or the desktop synchronises the history accordingly on any alternative device. In addition to the ‘continuous’ use of the service itself, a key attribute when building mobile versions of existing applications is to ensure you take advantage of any key features that are present on the device - in this instance, gesture based input and navigation. We are of course intimately familiar now with using browsable content on our mobile devices, so ensuring we capitalise on the unique input gestures is crucial. Aside from natural input measures such as scrolling, swiping etc. We also reward inquisition through curiosity.

The Solution
The Solution

Financial News is tailored around an audience. We wanted to tailor the experience specifically to the user so this came with all the customisation one would expect from such an experience. First and foremost is the custom ability to fine tune the specific content that is delivered to the subscriber.

Implementing tag based categorisation was also an industry first. Financial News already had a comprehensive tagging solution in the back end so we made sure to take full advantage of this. The full extent of the proposition surrounding tag based browsing wasn’t fully realised in the final product however, but there was some very interesting concept work put around the suggested articles section which would aggregate financial news articles and cross reference them against frequently used words on a selection of social networking sites to provide people with real world indices on thoughts for the day - We called this the DNA cloud.

Finally, we made the app intelligent. The in depth use of tags and trending meant we were able to fetch and recommend articles based on their reading habits which in turn gave users a fluid reading experience. Rather than depend on the user to search for relevant articles that suited their business needs or indeed their own career, by automating the delivery of intelligently sourced articles the user.

By providing a continuous product experience, we have been able to fill readership gaps that were up until eFinancial News app, unreachable. The subscriber base have now an uninterrupted delivery of user centric content based on their preferences, behaviour, reading habits and userflow.

From the Client

“We were impressed by how well they understood our target market and their needs and expectations, and by how switched on they were in terms of visual design trends.”

Natalie Malevsky, Head of Product
Financial News

WHAT WE LEARNED
WHAT WE LEARNED

Iain C Reid, Creative lead

“My biggest challenge was to ensure the design was invisible enough to allow the content to be with clarity, whilst vocal enough to allow the application to shine.”