Zero Hora is a traditional newspaper from Brazil, the fifth biggest on the country. With 180.000 daily printed newspaper in 2012. The goal of this project was to develop a tablet app that can translate the same experience from the newspaper to a digital format, still improving users retention in comparison with other web competitors.
The project started in 2010, the first year of the iPad rolling out. We started focusing the first version of the app on this new platform, showing the PDF version of the printed newspaper to get the behavior of the users inside the app. With the responsability to bring the newspaper experience from the newspaper to the tablet in my hands, I’ve run a series of tests to research the readers behavior based on the first release. The goal was to heave digital news side-by-side with the printed version articles, with the same depth of the printed content without increasing the production timeframe for journalists. The main idea was to build a parser for the website, getting real-time news produced for web, interpreting the hierarchy already defined by the newsroom for this platform, saving the necessity to have a publisher thinking in the hierarchy for the tablet version too. The feature was designed after this period was called Enhanced Reading, so we managed to get the best content in this new platform using only computer power. With the highlights from the printed version, the product has a unique digital experience, blending the real-time content with the deep and rich content from the traditional printed version. The results showed that the personas defined for the project were using the app as a day-long read, not only in the morning as the traditional newspaper did. Doing quick interactions by the day, the users quickly saw if there was new contents, reading in a more constant way and being more informed during the day. The topic was yet researched for my bachelor degree, specially analyzing the impact of this product with teenagers. In a generation that was away and denying the way of consuming news from the traditional players at that time. The results were that using Zero Hora for iPad those teenagers felt better consuming news, with the pace that they were demanding. The research showed that teenagers felt way more comfortable using the app than the printed version, forecasting the changes that happened years afterwards in the news production environments.
This project was executed back in 2013