This app is a complete departure from the its previous design, and parallels the iPad experience in a 4" form.
Users arrive to the homescreen with featured curated editorial content. At the top, a carousel of the latest and featured tech stories provides the user with the most up to date tech news. Users can swipe left to right in the carousel or swipe up and down to see the list view of more content. Users can pull down to refresh to get the newest content or continuously scroll down the list to see older items. Items are organized in time/date order with "newest first" at top.
If users tap the categories button in the top left corner of the homescreen the main navigation of the app slides open. With CNET's huge amount of content, this navigational paradigm keep things simple in finding desired content. Once a user taps on what they want, the navigation slides closed and the content view is refreshed.
In this example, this user has tapped "Digital Cameras." This view is now populated with all the latest news, reviews, photos, and videos about digital cameras. Should the user want specific content, a filter button in the top right allows them to find more more specific information about digital cameras.
Filtering a category allows users to separate specific content they want - news, reviews, videos, or photos. Once selected, the user is returned to the content view with the list refreshed.
Example of an article page. Videos, photo galleries, charts etc. can all be seen in these individual articles. If desired, users can tap the top right to share the article in Facebook, Twitter or email.
If users do not want to discover content, but rather search for specific items, they can do so in the top of the categories list. An auto-complete feature aids the user in finding their desired content. Once the user taps "Go" or the suggested keyword, results are brought back with a set of tabs to further narrow down their choices.
A scan feature is also located in the search area. Upon tapping the "Scan an item" feature, the iPhone's camera is activated allowing the user to scan a barcode of a particular product. Should the lighting conditions be less than ideal, a light button is available (for capable devices) to help scan the item. A CNET review is brought back in hopes of helping the user with a purchasing decision or just a general inquiry.
Example of a CNET review page. This page serves a quick overview of the product providing "at a glance" details regarding the product. CNET editor's ratings and user ratings are followed by a "good, bad, and bottom line" summary of the product. A large carousel containing photos and/or video of the product is prominent at the top of the page allowing users to see the detail of the product. Kissing the carousel is a series of buttons which activate "panels" providing the user more information about the product. Users can also share this page in the same way they share an article page.
In this instance, the user has clicked the "CNET Review" button on the iPhone 4S review page. A collapsible panel slides in from the bottom of the screen to top providing the user with more detailed information written from a CNET editor. This panel provides more in-depth information the user maybe seeking. Users can open panels for user reviews, specs, and buying information. Each of these panels provides the user with deeper information they maybe seeking about the product.
Example of a photo gallery. Photos are juxtaposed on a dark background to allow the photos show their fullest contrast. Users swipe left and right to navigate the photos. Tapping a photo brings the photo into "fullscreen mode" maximizing the photo the dimensions of the iPhone screen and allowing the user to see the photo in larger detail. Though the app is locked in portrait mode, when viewing a photo fullscreen, users can turn their phone horizontal and even swipe left and right to see other photos in the given gallery.
CNET iPhone Application
CNET is one of the largest and respected tech news and tech reviews companies in the world. The beauty (and beast) of CNET is that it provides an abundant amount of premiere content to its users. Therefore, one of the most challenging aspects of this project was to create an app with a simplistic user experience all the while providing users with the detailed in-depth knowledge that defines CNET.
The concept behind this first version of the app is discovery with aggregation and consume with utility or access to a deeper experience. This is strengthened by a navigational system that allows users to distill what content they specifically want, or to simply discover the latest content. As builds progress, this app will become more of a utility as features are added that extend beyond content consumption. Check it out in the iTunes store and let me know what you think.