NBC Politics

Engaging a broad audience with political news

In an effort to provide extensive coverage on the global political landscape and deliver a superior political news experience under one digital umbrella, NBC News and msnbc.com launched NBC Politics in late 2011. The 2012 elections cycle was the perfect opportunity to grow the brand by launching an iOS application that would provide an engaging and immersive experience for political coverage that catered to a wide audience.

Method and NBC Politics partnered to design and develop iPad and iPhone applications that have been hailed by media as a top app for political news. The apps have helped NBC Politics to successfully deliver content to a broad audience, from the casual news consumer to the political enthusiast.

Download from the App Store.

Challenge

Focusing on launching for the US 2012 campaign trail, Method partnered with NBC Politics to create a mobile experience that informs and engages around election activity. With political news, particularly during the elections, serving such a wide audience—from the devoted to casual follower—the NBC Politics iOS app had to provide utility to various types of users.

The goal was to engage and enhance the political news experience for every user by giving people consumption options while integrating interactive, social, and gaming components.

By allowing users to craft a personalized experience, we were able to design and build an app that allows people to actively participate in political dialogue in real-time, all while providing access to news and custom analytics tools on mobile.

In addition to designing and developing an immersive news experience, we worked closely with the NBC News and msnbc.com teams to get the apps in the App Store in anticipation of the start of the 2012 Elections cycle.

Approach

In designing the NBC Politics app, Method identified and designed for various requirements and challenges. The app had to be deep enough for the avid political expert as well as intuitive and easily accessible for the new political follower looking to quickly gain knowledge around the current political climate.

Method used sport analysis mechanisms as an inspiration for components of the NBC Politics app.

There are many analogous characteristics between the way people interact with political information and sports coverage. With that perspective, Method crafted a user experience for the NBC Politics app that is informative, addictive, and fun.

In order to engage with an audience with varying levels of knowledge and interest, we created guided feature sets that provide basic information on the Presidential campaigns—from candidate profiles to a professional analysis of the daily roundup of the day’s most important headlines—as well as a comprehensive catalogue of tools and access to the programs and news stories developed by the NBC reporting team.

The app also had to offer an experience beyond the traditional news resource. Method designed a suite of features that would allow users to view and analyze the campaign from multiple perspectives, including video and news broadcasts, a daily tip sheet of the day’s headlines, live election results, Presidential candidate profiles and headlines, social sharing, and an interactive battleground map.

The integration of the battleground map gives users an interactive tool with which to test potential electoral vote outcomes and scenarios and view historical electoral results.

It also provided an opportunity for users to interact directly with NBC News, as they could simultaneously play alongside the battleground section of Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press segment as well as create personalized predictions to share with friends and directly with NBC. To add an extra level of engagement, battleground predictions sent to NBC would be selected by Chuck Todd to analyze on his show.

The app also hosts several social functionalities, giving users the opportunity to comment on articles, share their customized battleground maps with their social networks, and reach out directly to the NBC reporting team to offer their perspective on the election campaign.

Outcome

The NBC Politics app was designed to be the go-to app for anyone interested in the 2012 Presidential election cycle, while also scaling and extending post-election. It gives users the opportunity to go inside the Presidential election like never before, with up-to-the-minute news updates and interactive tools. It creates an insightful and enjoyable experience for the political fan and allows users to create a deeper understanding of NBC News content while empowering them with political knowledge.

The NBC Politics app was named one of the best election apps by VentureBeat, one of the top 5 iOS apps for news by Six Times An Hour, and featured by Mashable, Fast Company, Lost Remote, and Dexigner.

Every political news consumer—from the beltway insider to the average voter—will find something useful in this app. We’re excited to offer this powerful tool for the 2012 election and beyond.
Paige West
Creative Director, msnbc.com

If you’re a political news junkie, the NBC Politics app for iOS and iPad is one of the best places to get the latest on the campaigns. The app is slick and well-designed, with photos, news, and analysis of the conventions and anything else that becomes part of the news cycle.
VentureBeat
NBC Politics is a new iOS app designed by Method that filters the day’s news through a “does this matter for the election” lens. It hands you the same content you’ll read at MSNBC.com, but it limits the scope of the news to the politics section while offering some eye-pleasing typography to makes real-time news feel a bit more like stylized print.
Fast Company Design
For you political geography geeks out there, [NBC Politics] has two different sets of maps: one that shows real-time results from primaries and, eventually, the general election, and another that’s a game-based election simulator.
Mashable
One of the biggest trends in social TV these days is the integration of gaming in TV apps. NBC and msnbc.com launched the NBC Politics iPad and iPhone app today, and while it features political news and video, an interactive game lets users take on the pundits and play their own election scenarios. On election night, users can watch the results come in live, changing the map from projection to reality. The app was developed by Method.
Lost Remote