PinkNews relaunches News App
In November 2022, we re-launched our mobile apps alongside our website with the aim of our digital experience being more inclusive and accessible. This relaunch allowed us to reimagine our app experience and user capability, putting our app users at the heart of the redesign. The new apps (available for both Android and iPhone) allow our users to not only read and engage with our content that elevates marginalised voices and highlights the diversity of the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum but also allows them to personalise their experience.
Our tech team over the course of six months, embarked on a huge project to help improve the accessibility, inclusivity and reach of our LGBTQ+ content to ensure it could be accessed by as many people as possible. The team rebuilt our app from scratch following WCAG guidelines to make them as inclusive and accessible as possible and implemented new features which are a digital-first in the digital publishing space.
Key new features of the PinkNews News app are:
By adhering to the global W3C process and its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) we’re hoping to make the new PinkNews website as inclusive and as accessible as possible. We’ve incorporated the following improvements:
- New design and layout, using a component library that easily scales to suit multiple devices
- Colours used have passed accessibility tests for visually impaired people
- Correct image labelling to ensure the best experience for people using screen readers
- Enabled text-to-speech functionality on articles, so our audience will be able to listen to stories
- Choosing a font that is easy to read
- Incorporated elastic-search to make it quicker and easier for readers to find what they are looking for
- We’ve rolled out AI powered text-to-speech across all of our articles and will soon be launching a video tool to let our readers watch the words read to you, this creates a more immersive and easy-to-follow speech experience.
Uplifting News Filter
The uplifting news filter is a digital-first and will enable the PinkNews audience to only see good news stories in a world filled with increasingly negative news. A Reuters 2021 study showed that 46% of people in the US actively avoid the news, this was up 22% from the year before due to reasons including a lack of diversity, news making them feel depressed and that they did not think or feel that they had any control over the stories being covered.
The PinkNews global audience is highly engaged and ranges from gen Z to the post-war generation from across the LGBTQ+ community; each is looking to experience PinkNews in a different way that suits them. Within the new PinkNews apps, each person will be able to create a personalised news feed based on their personal preferences, allowing them to get a digital brand experience that suits and serves them best.
The PinkNews global audience is highly engaged and ranges from Gen Z to the post-war generation from across the LGBTQ+ community; each is looking to experience PinkNews in a different way that suits them. Within the new PinkNews apps, each person can create a personalised news feed based on their personal preferences, allowing them to get a digital brand experience that suits and serves them best. The PinkNews digital experience via the app offers its audience an accessible and inclusive environment to read exclusive news, interviews, features and opinion tackling LGBTQ+ issues from around the globe.
The PinkNews audience can set preferences, view curated content linked to their desired choices and react to articles using our bespoke emoji reaction tool. By monitoring how PinkNews’ readers respond to articles, the data can be used to curate content for the wider PinkNews audience. For example, rounding up PinkNews’ most heart-warming stories to share with newsletter subscribers or highlighting the stories that have got the PinkNews audience all fired up on the homepage.
Despite the app only relaunching in late November, the initial feedback from our audience has been extremely positive, with the uplifting news filter being a highlight for our audience who have given reviews on the app store including: “The uplifting content only feature is a fantastic addition for helping people with mental health issues — well done for adding it!”.
The innovation shown by the PinkNews team in producing the “uplifting news filter” has also highlighted us as a publisher who is leading the way in a profound way in press articles, including an interview with PinkNews Chief Product Officer Sarah Watson in Press Gazette. Since the re-launch of the app, our app retention rate is 30% (10% above average) with 50% of app users using it more than once a week.