Media Magazine

The iPad Design Lab: Taking a Look at O Globo’s New App

Posted on the 10 May 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: The leading Brazilian daily, O Globo, has launched a new app edition.  We take a look in this segment of The iPad Design Lab

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The Brazilian newspaper O Globo has launched an iPad app.  Called O Globo a Mais (or O Globo Plus), this app is curated, appears in the afternoon and includes highlights of the newspaper’s printed version, plus exclusive digital material.

I have now downloaded the O Globo + app, after reading the statements from O Globo’s online editor, Pedro Doria, in an interview with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

It caught my attention that the O Globo + app is published in the afternoon—a desired time slot based on what we know about the behavior of tablet users. Doria stated that the tablet uses a similar edition of the printed version, but with online tools, such as audio, and video. The difference between the three formats is in the time of day in which they are used and how the reader interacts with each of these formats.

It is worth mentioning that O Globo is one of Latin America’s most respected newspapers, a leader of Brazilian journalism and one the most prominent print publications in the Marinho family’s Brazilian media conglomerate.

About the app

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In those first ten seconds when we look at the landing page of the O Globo + app, we get a feeling of a classy, elegant and authoritative publication.  The app is read in vertical mode exclusively, with most of the gesturing involving horizontal swipes, with scrolls for texts within a story only.

The navigation is both vertical and horizontal, quite visual and easy to follow.

Typographically, this is an elegant and clean app.  There are some videos in the edition I have downloaded, but not a large number of pop ups or animated graphics.  Perhaps this will come later.

In terms of advertising, there appears to be one company sponsoring the edition I downloaded.  The advertising presented is rather flat, and not much different of how the ad would have appeared in print.

Overall, a pleasant, easy to navigate app. There is nothing here that can be described as breaking new ground, but the app does reflect the DNA of the print edition, and it has all the potential to grow and to become more interactive.

I am tempted to say that my disappointment with the O Globo+ app is that, in spite of its elegance and visual attractiveness, it has not advanced newspaper apps to the next level.  However, as a person involved with the creation of news apps right this moment, I know the challenges that O Globo’s team may have faced, principal among which , if my experience is correct, are:

1. The difficulty of making print editors join the app effort with passion.
2. The difficulty of hiring extra people to develop the app to its full potential—-as in more pop up moments.
3. The continued confusion about how quickly a newspaper app can become a revenue producing part of the operation.

O Globo + has gotten out of the gate with all the potential to be a winner. It will be fascinating to follow it in the months ahead.

Of interest today

- USA: $3M in Subscription Revenues For, But Site Still Struggling to Convert

- USA: $5.8M for Dallas Morning News in Digital Subscriptions

- Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps – The future of media on mobile devices isn’t with applications but with the Web.

- The changing role of the homepage and why your website is not a newspaper

The iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet

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Video walkthrough of the iPad prototype of iPad Design Lab

TheMarioBlog post # 1014

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