TAKEAWAY: We tweak, we revisit, we add templates, we discuss the “wow” effect: it is all part of finalizing Malayala Manorama’s first iPad app,which premieres officially at the end of March.
One of our “door screen” concepts: still work in progress. Capturing the spirit of the region in those first ten seconds.
Landed here today from Amsterdam via Dubai, and traded the lingering still cold winds of Europe for the heat of the tropics in scenic Kerala, in the southermost west coast of India.
Anyone contemplating a color palette of just gradations of green needs to come here and take a look at the lush tropical scenery. The roads are hilly and curve at every turn, from time to time a bus painted in a million bright colors appears in the distance, always with a name like the one, Sangeeta, that almost touched us as my driver maneuvered one of those curves while I took a deep breath in the back seat.
I am making another visit to Malayala Manorama, that much respected daily of the region, where we at Garcia Media worked years ago on the print edition redesign. Right now, it is all about Malayala Manoram’s iPad app, which should be ready to roll in late March. Apple has already approved it, and the icon is existing in the iTunes store, but we are here to do the final tweaking. The newspaper’s headquarters is in Kottayam, a two and a a half hour drive from the Kochi airport, where I landed.
It is not a hotel stay for me here. Instead, the more personalized “guest house” that Malayala Manorama keeps for its guests, complete with a team of ready-to-help chef/butler that would be the envy of anyone staying at the Ritz or the Savoy. Outside my window, coconut trees that invite themselves in through the window, lizards planted on the glass of the window looking in, banana trees, real tropical greenery, but, more importantly, a sense of serenity and peace that is a welcome relief for me in the midst of this 12-country, six week tour across continents.
Kerala iinspires contemplation, meditation, and it is no wonder that people come here to do tourism and nobody leaves without seeing the backwaters and getting Ayurvedic treatments—-incredibly effective and relaxing massages, sometimes performed by two therapists one of each side of your body, with oils that mix from 7 to 10 different types of herbal medicine, all based on the traditional Ayurvedic native to India.
An iPad for Malayala Manorama
This is the backdrop that surrounds me as I work with a young, energetic team that includes editors, designers and technical types, under the project leadership of Mariam Mathew. We are now in the final stages of tweaking the app. It is almost there.
Today we did that wonderful exercise that I call the “skip and hop” through the app.
Now that the design is there, the technical aspects almost in place (are they ever totally in place?) , then it is time to navigate thru the app, asking questions realted to skipping and hopping from one section to the other.
That is when you discover that sometimes you cannot get there from here. Time for a tweak. Time to add another line to that pop up navigator window.
By the end of today, we had skipped and hopped enough to know that, at least for version 1.0 that rolls out soon, one is likely to get to his destination without major problems.
Tomorrow: a workshop devoted to the creation of a few wow screens, as in pop ups or areas where content that is great in the printed edition can be stretched at the touch of a finger.
Until then, I go for a walk to admire the surroundings, get some inspiration and anticipate that chicken tikka that the chef is preparing.
TheMarioBlog post #731