Mobile applications for large Indian television news channel & media house

Summary

A highly successful Indian television news channel asked DigitalSkunks to develop and implement its mobile strategy. The mobile strategy included developing Android and iOS applications that would support localization and native Indian languages, besides English.

The solution would not only personalize news as per reader’s preference but would render content according to the type of mobile network available viz. 2G or 3G. Given that the client was primarily a television news channel, the large amount of videos had to be delivered in a fast and responsive manner. The mobile applications had to be integrated with the existing news website.

DigitalSkunks developed iOS and Android mobile applications over a period of 18 months. The mobile applications have more than 5 million in monthly average visitors. The applications are rated 4.5/5 by users, suggesting a very satisfied user base.

Background and Challenges

  • ✓   The client is a prominent and successful Indian television news channel and media house with a monthly viewership of 5million+.
  • ✓   As part of its Mobile Strategy, DigitalSkunks was asked to design and develop mobile applications on Android and iOS to deliver latest news stories to the diverse user base of the client. The mobile applications had to be built and integrated with the web application of the client.
  • ✓   The mobile applications were required to support localization and render news in native Indian languages , besides Hindi and English.
  • ✓   Given the large amount of video and textual content the mobile applications were required to be fast and responsive, as well as have an user-friendly design to display news and other information in real time.
  • ✓   Successful development and deployment led to a stronger relationship with an ongoing maintenance relationship post deployment.

Technical Solution

  • ✓   The application architecture was designed to support both Hindi and English languages taking into the consideration both user diversity and application requirements
  • ✓   Agile scrum methodology was used for developing the applications with an iterative and incremental approach for building on various modules. The project was divided into 3 sprints; wherein each sprint was planned with an elapse duration of 60 days each.
  • ✓   Both iOS and Android mobile applications were developed ground-up completely from scratch. Design and the workflow of the mobile application was approved by the client in the form of design layouts and mind maps.
  • ✓   APIs for the mobile applications were developed in parallel with the iOS application development. Android development followed iOS by a period of 2 weeks. This wasto ensure features were completely tested and approved by the client for iOS version, before being implemented for Android version. This enabled effective and efficient resource utilization for testing and deployment including change management.
  • ✓   There was a need for extensive coordination with the client’s technical team for API development, and integrating with client’s backend web application to pull content posted by their media channel. This introduced some delays in feedback by the client, but other features were strategically placed to introduce parallel development against these delays.
  • ✓   Multiple UI enhancements like swipe gestures, application deep linking and indexing were included in the applications. Integration was done with client’s finance focussed news portal. Pinch gesture was integrated on the article viewing screen to change the size of the font.
  • ✓   A major enhancement was done to the mobile applications to render content according to the mobile network availability to the end-user (2G, 3G). This included shrinking the size of images and content when using the application with a slow data connection.
  • ✓   Personalized news feed was created for user where news was pushed based on the preferences set by the users.
  • ✓   The system was tested extensively, to ensure the applications worked fine under load. Test automation softwares were used to simulate 5000 concurrent users of the application.

Outcome: DigitalSkunks designed and sucessfully rolled-out highly user-rated mobile applications in iOS and Android

  • ✓   Both android and iOS applications were completely developed from scratch and serve a user base of more than 5 million every month. Performance of the application was applauded by the client and the users alike, with an average rating of 4.5.
  • ✓   The critical challenge of delays when coordinating with the clients technical team were overcome using well laid out feature plans stressing on small sprints and parallel development.
  • ✓   We have an on-going and highly successful relationship with the client post deployment providing maintenance and continuous enhancement services for the applications.
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