NYT Now iOS App first time experience

The good bits:

  • The NYT app provides a free sample of its content in the form of a limited-functionality trial. Any user can read up to 10 articles a month for free, before receiving a trigger to subscribe. 
  • In fact, the app doesn’t even prompt for log in during the initial product tour. It only prompts for log in when the user either maxes out their article limit, or tries to save content.
  • With the one exception of the sign-in prompt, any instructional pieces (such as the article limit note or the “Our Picks” tooltip) are modeless and don’t get in the way of exploration. These are also used extremely sparingly.

To be improved:

  • The intro tour could possibly be removed. The initial state of the app’s home screen already presents nice introductory content, and could be leveraged to communicate some of the main points from the tour. 
  • It is not clear why push notifications are necessary. It would have been nice if the app provided an explanation for the use of notifications as nicely as it explained the use of a person’s location.
  • While I appreciate the free sample approach, I imagine that someone will go through MANY more than 10 articles simply by tapping to capture a few more sentences beyond the initial teaser. The average person may not consider this “reading” and may get frustrated with the limit. Perhaps the time limit could be shortened to make it seem more reasonable (for example, 3 articles a day), or the limit could be triggered if the user scrolled past a certain point in the story.
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