BBC News Mobile

BBC News Mobile 3.1 Beta

While on the sofa today, I started having a play around with some GUI improvements in the app.

It’s still a fair way from release but I wanted to release a version to get opinions on on the changes.

I’d also like to open the floor for feature requests for the next release, so if there is something you want (that isn’t video’s) put it in the comments and I’ll try and get it into the next beta!

Get the latest XAP here 


5 thoughts on “BBC News Mobile 3.1 Beta

  1. Ro says:

    I know this is a fair way from release, but here’s my criticism (which is hopefully not TOO critical).

    The System Tray addition is a welcome one – especially for such a heavy data reliant application. However, with the BBC News header, it can be difficult to view certain parts of the System Tray.

    The panorama is slow to animate in. I guess this is because the panorama control is poor when any background image is used, but also because of the loading which is going on at the same time.

    The ‘home’ screen layout is slightly inconsistent – the image shown is correctly positioned, but the adjacent text box’s left padding needs increasing.

    The most read tile spacing perhaps needs a rethink. Feel free to try and justify your decision here, but why is there more spacing below each tile than there is to the right? It’s not consistent with the Metro UI.

    I know this is a feature of the current live release, but I really like the full width image in the news story view.

    When on the ‘feeds’ panorama item, the ‘Latest’ tile has a tendency to scroll through all the items in quick succession. I think this is when it can’t load new data, but I’m not sure exactly.

    In the feed view (as in after you’ve navigated from the main panorama into ‘Home’ or ‘World’ etc), why is the width of the main body of the pivot control reduced by a few pixels on either side? Also in the feed view, when swiping from one pivot item to the next, there is a UI lag and it seems as though data is refreshed on each swipe regardless of when the data was last fetched.

    I think that’s all for now! You’re doing a great job. I hope your MACH scheme is going well!

    • Thanks for the great feedback, appreciate you taking the time to go into detail, as you can tell I’m not a ux designer by trade! Had a look through it this weekend and the only point that I would contest is the margin spacing on the feedspage, as this is in line with the design guidelines for margins in metro. The rest of the spacing an alignment issues are all great spots and need fixing, I’m going to aim to fix them for the next release.

      The gui lag issues are something that I’m working on, unfortunately, neither has a simple fix. The data loading issue is due to the feed items being loading into isostorage when not on screen as if the user were to have 7~10 feeds all loaded it creates issues, due to the large number of items. I’ve minimized this by caching to the iso storage when off screen and loading from that, then updating in the background while the feed is in view. However, this is not as flawless as I had hoped. I’ve tried several different approaches but haven’t managed to strike a balance I’m happy with yet.

      With the loading of the panorama it’s hard to fully pin down the issues, the dataload is done asynchronously on a background thread so the ui thread isn’t blocked but still the load seems to freeze for a .2sec during the initial scroll storyboard. It’s only a one off but I agree it does impact the ui experience so it’s on the list.

      Hopefully get a couple of these fixes rolled into the next bugfix release, keep the feedback coming – always great to get and glad you like the new pagelayout.

  2. Ro says:

    I think we’re misunderstanding each other about the margins. Take a look at this screenshot for what I mean:

    I’ve recently been learning that the WP7 panorama implementation on non-native apps is terrible! But then you get the occasional app where the panoramas are totally smooth and I’m left wondering how they did it. Vimeo is a great example.

    I look forward to future releases of BBC News Mobile anyway 🙂

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