TVNZ Multi-Platform - Mnet Group
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Sales and Marketing Director
Kristy Manson - Sales & Marketing Lui Iuliano - CTO
‘Pixel perfect’ rendering of news, sport and weather on all mobile devices in NZ, plus an innovative iPad app. The task was to deliver the nation’s news and video in real time and multi-channel, within clean and attractive interfaces. Quality and technical leadership were assured for this national broadcaster through bespoke development of new form for the iPad and leverage of Mnet’s 10 years of experience in mobile web, including best of breed device detection and site optimisation.
The TVNZ iPad quickly became the No.1 free App in iTunes following launch.
As the RFP process unfolded it was clear that TVNZ had a very progressive vision for a multi-channel which was complimented by Mnet’s strategic approach and broad skill and technology base.
Every device in New Zealand should receive a pixel perfect mobile website. This was critical. The site must convey content well to all New Zealanders and without favour. News across categories as diverse as business and weather needed to be supported.
The iPad site required:
•National, world, business, sport entertainment news and opinion
•Comprehensive weather information, including regional forecasts
•Up-to-date TV guide, covering all TVNZ channels plus TV3, C4, Maori TV and Prime and other free to air channels
•Ability to browse cached content in offline mode.
User experience was key. The iPad was a new form factor and the client was courageous in wanting to build from the ground up.
Project Innovation / Need
Mnet Group was founded in 2001 and has spent 10 years developing its technology platform. This includes best of breed device detection and site optimisation. Mnet Group manually provisions popular handsets for instance and such resource and enabled us to deliver a pixel perfect experience to all users in New Zealand, from WAP 1.1 devices to the latest smartphones.
The iPad application approach was comprehensive. At that time most news applications involved layering pdf with web. This was perfectly valid strategically and made the most of publishers’ existing assets, but TVNZ wanted something more robust and mature; a bespoke interface addressing the new form factor and able to serve up a large suite of rich content and rich media advertising.
Accessibility was the priority. TVNZ is a trusted source of live news, as well as in depth reporting and television programming. The user often wants to quickly scan the lead stories and may visit the app multiple times per day to do this.
We looked at accessibility on other iPad news applications. Newspaper apps looked like newspapers with densely packed content. We felt a homepage with breathing room was needed, with progressively layered content i.e. a ‘website’ approach.
We settled on a dual columnar layout, which we deemed optimum for the form factor. In mobile, single column is the paradigm, but the iPad allows us to use 2 columns which can carry content and functionality very well. We included the ability to swipe between articles and view and choose articles by images.
For video categories we arrived at a ‘lightbox’ layout that allows preview images to be displayed 20 to a page; an attractive and visual way of browsing video. Video was inline using HTML5. The user can just touch a preview image of a video and see the video roll almost instantly in the page; a really nice user experience.
Marketing is managed by TVNZ, primarily driving users from on air and online. The iPad app quickly became the most popular free app in NZ.