Ask DN: What do you want in a Designer News iOS app?

7 years ago from , Developer & Designer at Nothing Magical

I'm working on a Designer News iOS app (for both iPhone and iPad). What do you want to see in a DN app?

I'm thinking just a list of stories you can tap and read in the app (or optionally Safari or Chrome), gesture to upvote like favorite in Tweetbot, etc.

I'd love some feedback from everyone since you'll be the people using it :)


  • James Young, 7 years ago

    Out of interest, why would you build an app for a very simple news listing website? I'm sure there's some sort of internal reason but I'd love to hear why an app for only iOS users would make much sense?

    1 point
    • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, 7 years ago

      I actually use the app almost daily. When i had a crappy web view that launched safari (I use Chrome) I never wanted to read anything.

      Makes the experience way better

      0 points
      • James Young, 7 years ago

        So the website is crap, build an app?

        0 points
        • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

          Gilt has a mobile website

          EBay has a mobile website

          Google Maps has a mobile website

          Yelp has a mobile website

          Twitter has a mobile website

          Rdio has a mobile website

          Website isn't equal to App for so many types of technology companies. None of the above sites are crap, it's that the native app experience isn't achievable on a website.

          0 points
  • Ahmet YalcinkayaAhmet Yalcinkaya, 7 years ago

    Sharing with social media and saving the story to read later (Pocket or Instapaper) must be easy. I want to share the story in the main screen, I do not like to click and go to the story before I can share or save it.

    1 point
  • Parker MooreParker Moore, 7 years ago

    Great idea, Sam! I tend to agree with EJ – an easy way to see the top stories, the stories I have taken part in (via comments), and a clever way to upvote something would be killer. Key for me is to ensure that as much of the screen is content as is possible, and that I don't have to leave the app in order to share to Twitter/Instapaper or view the web page.

    It would also be awesome to see a way to favourite stories so I can keep a short list of my favourites so I can go back to them later on. Instapaper support would satisfy this for me for the most part, but it'd be nice to have a common listing of my favourites that I can show friends when they ask about what DN is and why I like it.

    Really excited to see what you come up with!

    1 point
  • EJ FoxEJ Fox, 7 years ago

    That's exciting, Sam! Look forward to seeing what you come up with (I'm a big fan of Coins and Cheddar and I'm finishing up Execute now)

    My main big request would be Push Notifications for replies to my comments.

    Might be interesting to show the MOTD on load and fling it away like you do with an image in Tweetbot, and it only shows up again when you re-activate the app and it's changed. maybe fling it up to upvote it and fling it down to downvote it

    1 point
    • Sam Soffes, 7 years ago

      Cool! Ya I'm working with the Layer Vault folks to get some sort of push going. Probably won't make it into 1.0, but definitely at some point.

      I like the MOTD flinking idea :)

      0 points
  • Brandon JacobyBrandon Jacoby, 7 years ago

    Definitely just a clean way to browse top stories, with some gesture control included. Also it would be cool to separate different post types (Show DN, AMA, Site Design, etc.) into different viewing categories. I'm also a fan of that flicking MOTD idea. :)

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    0 points
  • Marc HemeonMarc Hemeon, 7 years ago

    I was thinking about this recently and downloaded an app in the app store and was disappointed all I could do was read news -

    I really want to be able to post from the app / I read most of my news and get inspiration on my phone now a days - posting from app is huge for me.

    gesture based voting is great

    Need to be able to comment and reply (may need to reformat threaded replies)

    push notification if my post gets on the top stories

    share to twitter / fb for all stories

    0 points
    • Benjamin FritzBenjamin Fritz, almost 7 years ago

      The app you downloaded was probably MobileDN by Alisdair (https://news.layervault.com/u/201/alasdair-monk) and up until recently there was no DN API that's why it was limited in function ;)

      Sam, why build a entirely new app and don't team up? You're both nice guys as far as I can tell from Twitter, DN, etc. :)

      2 points
    • Ryan LeFevreRyan LeFevre, 7 years ago

      FYI there is no way to post a new story via the API yet, but you can now leave comments and vote on things, which would be a nice improvement.

      1 point
    • Alasdair MonkAlasdair Monk, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

      As Benjamin says, the API to do all this was only very recently released. The good news is that the next version of MobileDN supports all of this (and many other things discussed in this thread) :) – it's waiting for review (7 days now) so should be reviewed very, very soon.

      Here's a sneak peek ;)


      View larger

      12 points
      • Robert FarrellyRobert Farrelly, 7 years ago

        Really excited about this, such a great app Alasdair. Thanks for the hard work to help with my DN addiction :)

        0 points
      • Marc HemeonMarc Hemeon, 7 years ago

        great work! hopefully they update the API so we can post too ;)

        0 points