How iOS 7 helped us to rethink the Zite user experience

When we updated our Zite app for Android a few weeks ago we told you that we were also working on updating our iOS app in preparation for iOS 7. We’re excited to confirm that we’re releasing Zite for iOS 7 this week. In this post, we go into some detail about what’s changed and explain the philosophy behind our thinking.

We strongly believe in embracing the best features of every platform where Zite is available—whether iOS or Android, tablets or phones—while maintaining our brand consistency. You’ll therefore begin to notice our apps getting more “iOS-y” or “Android-y,” while still retaining their core Zite flavor. And, as always, our powerful personalization engine will ensure that you’re discovering amazing content across all platforms.

When we first installed iOS 7 at the office, we realized that it wasn’t just a cosmetic update or a few new features, but rather a rethinking of iOS. We could have just made Zite work on iOS 7 and changed a few icons, but we decided to use iOS 7 as inspiration. Rather than adding new features, this release is all about polishing the core user experience of Zite. With the backdrop of the flatter design philosophy of iOS 7, we focused on a few design principles beyond just consistency with iOS 7.  Wherever possible, we simplified the interface. That meant stripping away chrome, focusing on content, and creating depth through transparency instead of through 3D effects. However, simple doesn’t mean that we didn’t want to add some playfulness to the interface. We also created some transitions that make the interface come alive a bit more and hopefully is more inviting and fun for our users.

In keeping with the overall style and interaction changes you’ll notice a number of updates to the Zite app—some subtle and some quite significant:

  • Adoption of the built in iOS navigation bar, which allows the user to swipe back to go back from the device bezel.

Image 1 edge_swipe_ipad

  • Introduction of blurring and transparency to create a sense of depth, rather than using 3D effects and shadows.

Image 2 ql

  • A redesigned reader UI to better emphasize the content.

Image 3 readers

  • Updates to our “cards” – featuring bigger images, streamlined metadata and a new font with improved readability.

Image 4 sectionsWe’re excited for you to update to iOS 7 and experience how Zite has transformed itself to give you an amazing experience. Let us know what you think of the new look at feedback@zite.com.

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