Almost exactly two months after our release of Zite 2.0 for iOS, we’re excited to announce that we’re releasing Zite 2.1 today. This release contains a host of new features (including history), many user experience changes requested by our users (swipe to change sections on your iPhone), lots of bug fixes, and an icon change.
Success of Zite 2.0
First, we’d like to share some numbers that speak to the success of Zite 2.0 as an improvement over Zite 1.0.
- Article views per user, one of our primary metrics of how well we’re doing, increased by 11%.
- Topic Tags on articles are a huge success. 13% of section views now come from users clicking on Topic Tags.
- Users giving feedback through thumbing articles up and down doubled, thanks in large part to users being able to thumb articles directly from the section view.
- Before Zite 2.0, usage was split 71% on iPad, 29% on iPhone; after Zite 2.0, we’ve seen usage of 60% iPad, 40% iPhone
The first thing you’ll notice about Zite is that we’ve brought back “Zite” as our icon, with a new typeface and a refreshed look. When we rebranded to the owl (affectionately known as “Hibou” internally), we were hoping to personify the complex artificial intelligence that powers Zite in an approachable icon. You, our beloved users, were vocal about what you thought of our new icon: you didn’t think Hibou’s playfulness was representative of the powerful app underlying the icon. Rather than try to do something fancy, we’ve returned to a simple word mark, which we hope you’ll love.
One of the goals of Zite 2.0 was to make sure we could release features more quickly to our users.
- History for articles and topics – now you can see all of the topics you’ve liked and the articles you’ve read and shared. You can access your history through your profile in your Quicklist.
- Swipe to change topics on the iPhone – back by popular demand from our users, you can now swipe left to go to the next topic in your Quicklist.
- Swipe to close an article on the iPad – instead of having to click on the “X,” just swipe to the right to close an article on your iPad.
- LinkedIn and Google+ sharing are back – ’nuff said.
- Improved Evernote sharing – you can now pick your notebook, add tags, and the article will be saved instead of just the URL.
User Experience Tweaks
Based on usability testing, feedback e-mails, and monitoring Twitter, we identified a number of user experience improvements that we could make to enhance the Zite experience.
- Errant thumbs up/down reduced – you’ll notice that you’re much less likely to activate by mistake.
- Readability improvements – we’ve adjusted the font size, font color, background color, and spacing to improve text readability and help differentiate among stories.
- Topic Tags will have a heart if you’ve liked them – if a Topic Tag appears on an article and you’ve liked it, then you’ll see a heart next to the tag.
- Article titles are more rarely truncated – so you’ll know exactly what you’re clicking into.
- Overall performance improvements – articles will appear in web mode and images will load much faster.
- General app stability – we’ve fixed numerous bugs that cause blank screens, app crashes and weird behavior.
This is just the beginning. We’ve got another release in the works with more features, so keep the feedback coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re listening and eager to make Zite a better way for you to discover interesting content.