The Circa app (As of January 2014) is notable for the choices the designers made. And the choices they made.
- The color palette is consistent.
- The leading is consistent and generous.
- Upcoming information is faded and effectively previews content.
- The app can be used with gestures from one thumb, making it great for one thumb use.
- Just the right number of stories are presented on each day.
They made quite a few good choices.
- They chose to hide most social sharing under a button, instead of surfacing all the options directly within the app.
- They chose to invest in making good recommendations about related content.
- They chose to invest in designing an elegant right rail breadcrumb that both respects the centrality of the content, and indicates how far along somebody is.
- They chose to invest in chunking each piece of content into a thematic, coherent, summarized format.
Everything about Circa is about saving time and staying informed. It delivers on it’s brand promise.
Contrast that with all the things they could have done:
- They could have surfaced social sharing figures; how many times it was tweeted, liked, shared, reddited, digged, etc.
- They could have excluded related content links.
- They could have not included any crumbs at all.
- They could have delivered a straight up column of text.
They could have looked just like anybody else.
They chose focus instead.