Redesign of the NPROne Podcast App

In this project we gave the existing NPR One App for iOS a fresh redesign focusing on enhancing overall usability and appearance, based on a four-step iterative process.

Research First

I love Reddit!

That’s why I decided it would be good idea to just ask the Reddit community what they are thinking about the current app.

To find out about that we found many frequend NPR One users via reddit and facebook and had them asked many questions to help us find the main issue from a users perspective.

What App is it going to be?

In order to not just add new features to the existing app, but rather keep it simple and usefull we boiled the app description down to a

OneSentence ™:

Die neue NPRone ist eine Podcast-App mit der sich Radiohörer über sämtliche NPR-Podcasts informieren und diese anhören können, indem explorativ oder kontext-relevante Podcasts angeboten werden.

… including the issue we wanted to improve on.

Wireframing the key screens

Looking at the anatomy of the existing NPR One app, one instantly notices the two single words “listen” and “explore” located in the top row, the active one simply being undelined.
These were the two key screens for us to start off our redesign.

This existing visual simplicity we found to be great and decided to keep.
Our main focus was on how to better display i.e. present individual podcasts episodes as well as podcast series within the explore section.

Soon in the process we decided to move the “user settings” to the iOS app settings and get rid of the “search” icon to keep the app simple and remove rarely used functinalities, making space for a third main section: the “catch up” section.
Here we wanted to give an overview on followed shows, NPR-news and other user-specific content.

Since the existing app didn’t quite stick to its 2 level scroll down navigation, we decided to implement a strict drill-down navigation with modal-views (overlays) to display detailed information on a selected episode or podcast series.

The redesigned App now makes it easier to better distinguish between podcast series, shows and single episodes. We accomplished an overall cleaner look and a more user centered control.

There is still a lot to do. But for now we know where to start to make the app a better experience for every user.