The Economist

The Economist’s story—how it received an App Store rating of 4.9

The Economist was founded in London in 1843 with the objective of furthering the cause of free trade. Since then, The Economist has evolved into a global media and information services organization with its presence being felt worldwide.  

The brand is well-known for providing readers with accurate information and news related to economics, geopolitics, finance, and technology.

Project introduction

The Economist’s mission is to make its content widely and easily accessible across various platforms worldwide. Initially, The Economist approached us in 2012 to develop its web application. Impressed with our work back then, they approached us again in 2014 to develop and maintain its Android, iOS, and iPad applications. Later on, the project also included an application for the Apple Watch.

The Economist wanted us to design applications to help distinguish the brand from competitors such as The New Yorker, Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. 

Challenge

App design issues

The Economist’s team wasn't convinced with the existing design since it wasn't quite user-friendly. Hence, they wanted to overhaul the app design, which would significantly impact the end product. 

The apps were required to showcase the brand’s characteristic minimalist approach across both Android and iOS devices, including the Apple Watch. 

Approach

A seamless experience to access immersive content

To start, we heavily iterated to develop a modern app design. Once the design was in place, we set out to meet The Economist’s objectives by:

  • Optimizing the applications for various Android and iOS platforms.
  • Integrating TextKit for iOS that allowed resizing of texts across iPhone 6, 6+, and the iPad. 
  • Developing an updated audio player with a streamlined user interface, which also allowed users to switch between reading and listening easily.
  • Implementing better bookmarking for users on iOS.
  • Developing an audio edition for the Apple Watch, with app-specific features including tracklists and user-configurable playlists.
  • Providing users with the feature of downloading issues and reading them without any Internet connection.
  • Elegantly and seamlessly representing news, graphs, and images from the print edition in an engaging digital format.
  • Including a subscription sampling mechanism for potential subscribers. 

"Another recognition of the great work you’ve done and are doing on the Android app today with our first ever feature on the global Google Play App portal! Well done and thank you once again for your hard work!" -
Remy Becher, Senior Director, The Economist.

Impact

The Economist app achievements

While working on The Economist’s portfolio of Android and iOS applications, we achieved several key milestones, which included:

High App Store Ratings

The Economist’s applications on both iOS and Android are highly-esteemed with ratings of 4.9 and 4.8, respectively, while being used by more than 1.5 million subscribers.

First to Market

The Economist Apple Watch app was a significant win for both the client and us since it was the first ever publication to market on the Apple Watch platform. 

Together, we build better

Every great idea needs a great team that gets it. Combine our experience of building award-winning apps with an idea that disrupts. Contact us to get started.