App of the moment: Yahoo! News Digest
Every now and then out comes an app that delights.
Delight is like a holy grail for App Designer. As the truth goes we don’t notice 99% of the products. And the 1% we notice 99% of the times for bad reasons (slow performance, difficult interface).
And so to stumble upon an app that belongs to that 0.01% that…well…is like love – makes me want to shout about it from the rooftops
Enter Yahoo! News Digest.
Why is it so great?
1. Solves a problem…
I don’t know about you, but my world is pretty manic. I am a faithful follower of the church of Pocket as I never have time to read anything on the spot. I make tonnes of lists. I live by my calendar and reminders. I have the psychosis of never-reachable completeness as it always feels like I can do more, read more, learn more, see more. Same with news. With so much going on I am drowning in information overload and side-effect of fear of missing out.
YND sorts that right out: serves me news only two times a day – 8am and 6pm. Which I suppose by no accident perfectly coincide with my commute to and from work. I only get 9 most important stories so am not overwhelmed. But I can read more should I wish so. It’s like having a dinner waiting for you when you get home – satisfies and does it at the right time.
2. …in an extremely convenient way….
As mentioned above: number of stories is limited. They only get updated 2 times a day. I can see more if I wish so. On top of that to get them all I need is to open the app and full-screen immersive interface welcomes me. It might not be much more of a difficult start than BBC app for example, but it sure feels much more effortless. I don’t need to screen through many headlines, I don’t have to figure out if I want to read World News first or Technology News. These decisions might only take a few seconds – yet – they attribute to my cognitive load. The big picture is inviting. Funny that – by limiting my choices I am more content. But then that’s a known phenomenon.
3. …while making it fun and well-rounded.
Open the app and swipe around. Things go slightly parallax (I know, a fad, but yet subtle use of it is satisfying), transitions are fluid. At the end of a good-length article I get topic-related add-ons from Twitter and wikipedia (somehow with so many news channels plugging in a few into one article adds social legitimacy that usual news-sources lack). Once I have gone through the list I get a count (you read 5 out of 9 – hello gamification) and then a full-screen “Did you know” snippet that’s like getting a cookie at the end of the dinner – a nice end touch.
YND: whoever designed it, you guys deserve a beer!
However, if any of you takes me on for the offer I will spend half an veining convincing you to add personalisation of the news I get – let me untick the sports box (I really don’t care about cricket) and let me tick technology (more of that!). Then you shall be my perfection.