Max Rudberg

Posts tagged ipad

Jul 8

Nov 18

The Feed - Ocean’s first iPad app!

The Feed iPad app icon

Short version:
We’ve made a Free RSS Reader for the iPad! Check it out!

The longer version: how we did it!

During one of the creative days at Ocean, a FedEx day, me and my colleague Sebastian Evans decided to try and come up wih a design for an RSS reader for iPad. 

We are both heavy Google Reader users, so this was familar ground for us. At the time, the iPad I bought off of ebay arrived just a few weeks earlier. The iPad already felt like the ideal device for consuming content, but the RSS readers were less then optimal for the new format.

What we set out to do was a as direct an RSS reader as possible. Immediate acces to your content, no navigating through narrow lists that forces you to focus on only a fraction of the screen.

The basic idea is similar in layout to Google Reader, as we both like it. You have your news items in a long scrollable canvas. A set of arrow buttons let you quickly jump from one article to the next. Articles are marked as read as you scroll past them. 

The Feed reading view

To give you a better overview we later decided that a zoomed out mode was a good idea. It gives each item a fixed size, letting you more easily glance all the posts in a category. It can be accessed by a zoom button or the pinch gesture. 

In addition to the standard Google Reader functions such as star, we also have a pin function. This function will keep the pinned item unread, until you unpin it. It will also put that item in a folder so you can easily collect articles that seem interesting in one place. This works as a compliment to the star function, but letting you use the star for articles that you have actually read and like.

The Feed Zoomed out view

Selecting which feed to read from is a little tucked away in our RSS app, as we felt the content should take center stage. But it’s only a tap away. In the lower left you have the feed button. It brings up the filter. Depending on how you have your Google Reader account set up (yes, you have to manage it separately on the computer) you will see your folders and feeds in a horizontal layout. Tapping a feed opens that feed in the reading canvas, tapping a folder expands the filter with an other row.

Folders and feeds change their appearance depending on the number of items they contain. A folder with feeds in it has a paper sticking out, an empty folder does not. A news feed with many items has a large pile of papers, it will then be reduced as you read more and eventually it will become empty. We felt this is a more natural and hopefully less stressful way of finding your news.

As it is based around consuming content, there is a witty eating theme to the app. The Feed will give read items a chew mark and the delicous looking icon will hopefully keep you coming back for more!

The graphical style is tuned to make your reading experience as enjoyable as possible, with a subtle graphite gray as the base. A vibrant red will make any selections you make clearly visible. 

The Feed filter view

The Feed is free, and it is made for ourselved as an endavour to create something that is entirely ours. We have done everything from initial ideas to concepts, mockups, coding, branding and marketing of this app. I hope that you will enjoy using it as much as I’ve enjoyed being part of making it.

I would like to give a big “thanks!” to: Christoffer Ahlbin who coded the app, he just kept going and going! The sweet Jenny Sundén who was the interaction designer in the project, also responsible for sanity check and planning of the effort. And everyone else at Ocean Observations for making it come true!

And do be understanding, as it is our first app, there might be some bugs. But we are dedicated to ironing them out and are eager to hear your feedback and improve The Feed even further. If you do find anything, please shoot us an email to thefeed@oceanobservations.com

So what are you waiting for? Go Download The Feed!


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