Garcia Media | Digital First Media
Design expert Mario Garcia has high praise for the new iPad app launched by Digital First Media’s Denver Post. “It advances how news apps should look like, it does not pretend to look like a newspaper … Bravo. … a news app appearing today does not need to remind us of the iconic newspaper look,” Garcia writes.
While that’s true, the app does carry over at least one old tradition from print — the comics.
“Comics have actually been a feature of our iPad platform since August 2011, and it’s consistently one of our top five sections,” Allen Klosowski, Digital First’s senior director of social media and mobile, told me by email. “We did have to clear separate licensing and integration hurdles, but it’s been worth it. We get a tremendous amount of positive feedback.”
The app design is highly image-driven. Photo thumbnails form the background of each story tile, drawing more attention than the headlines even, and there are full-screen galleries that really let the photojournalists’ best work shine.
“We find that photos are also consistently in our top five sections on the apps, and that was part of the data that we used when guiding the design for this new platform,” Klosowski said.
The latest version is a great achievement, but it’s not the end of the road. “Video is a big part of our upcoming roadmap,” Klosowski said, as are “location aware interactive events listing with mapping ability, a fully integrated commenting system that syncs with website articles and other smartphone applications, interactive weather and traffic, as well as in-app polling for deeper user engagement. Stay tuned.”
All content in the app is available for free, except for access to the print replica edition, which requires a subscription.
Related: Huffington iPad mag stops charging, renewing concern about readers’ willingness to pay (Poynter)