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Sky News for iPad

BSkyB / 2011

BSkyB launched Sky News for iPad in the first quarter of 2011. The app was revolutionary for the time mainly due to the non-linear user interface which allowed for a completely new way of experiencing breaking news and live video - rather than a stream of stories, which is how most other news services delivered news back then.

Primary selling points included:

  • An immersive timeline view: Follow the day’s news live as it unfolded. Users were able to unravel key moments from the last 24 hours by 'jumping' through to key events as they broke, before serendipitously pivoting to related stories.
  • Top Stories: Users could keep track of the day’s biggest stories, prioritised and curated by importance.
  • Live TV: Users could watch Sky News TV streaming live - in full screen. The importance of 'second-screening' was also recognised and a floatable live streaming window was also designed to compliment this specific user requirement. 

I was primarily responsible for the ideation around how these journeys could visually manifest through the creation of user journeys, key state/screen storyboards and UI wireframes.

App user process flow - including very low fidelity initial wireframes

App user process flow - including very low fidelity initial wireframes

Many of the screens, states, components and their interactions were mimicked using Keynote and other prototyping software so we could receive rapid feedback from end-users and stakeholders - thus allowing us to quickly iterate and finesse the design direction.

Additional tasks included devising initial visual scamps for the basic concepts and models to be used within the app, as well as final artwork designs.

War room walls

War room walls

A war room environment was set up. I plastered all of the IA; journeys, wires, interaction storyboards and initial concepts up on the walls for daily, constructive review sessions - as well as ad-hoc get-togethers.

Many decisions were made by the group simply discussing the print outs. it made the whole design process feel very collaborative, tactile and progressive.

Hand-drawn wires preluded higher-fidelity wire generation

Hand-drawn wires preluded higher-fidelity wire generation

War room walls with high-fidelity wires

War room walls with high-fidelity wires

Perhaps the war room could have done with a window or two...

Perhaps the war room could have done with a window or two...

I also had a hand in the final post-wireframe designs 

I also had a hand in the final post-wireframe designs 

Sky News for iPad (http://devices.news.sky.com/) topped the iTunes iPad app chart in Spring 2011 upon release.

The app was also highly praised by bloggers and critics for, at it's time, it's innovative navigation and immersive user interface. 

Sky News for iPad on it's release in the App Store 


Sky News for iPad on it's release in the App Store 

The app topped the App Store charts for free iPad apps


The app topped the App Store charts for free iPad apps

Sky News for iPad won a number of awards throughout the industry

Sky News for iPad won a number of awards throughout the industry