The Olympic Games are watched by millions of people and with this year’s mobile apps it is even more fun and handy to track your favorite sports and athletes, get the latest updates and see the calendar and results.
In this post I will try to compare and contrast the versions of the Olympics app, for each of the mobile smartphones: iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.
The Olympic Games brand
The brand for the 2012 Olympic Games was launched on 4 June 2007. The core idea revolves around energy and inspiration and every element, from the logo, font, motto, colors and background art are reflecting these ideas.
The logo is a bold, geometric and has a dynamic shape that is based on the number 2012 – the year of these Games. It also includes the Olympic Rings and the city name ‘London’ which is proud to reflect the idea of ‘diversity’. The spirit of the Olympic Games is “energetic, spirited, bright and youthful” and the four colors chosen pink, blue, green and orange are inspired by fashion and media.
The Emblem was also designed to allow a wide range of usages: it can fit photography and illustrations with different colors to allow partnerships and collaborations. “The lines represent our invitation to the world to join together and be inspired by the energy of the athletes” competing as the motto also suggests “Inspire a generation”.
Here is a link with more information about the brand.
The mobile apps
Each of the mobile apps was created with respect to the design and interaction guidelines offered by each OS manufacturer (I will come back to present these 3 guidelines in a future post). The design and UX is native to each device but also manages to fit the ‘energetic’ identity of the 2012 Games.
The main color of all the apps is purple and geometric backgrounds and shapes are found in all three versions. Because of this, my first impression is that this app’s design fits better the Windows Phone and Android (ICS) guidelines which have more straight, sharp-cornered and edgy styles, rather than the round-cornered, 3D style of iPhone general app design.
Each app has six main sections:
- Schedule & Results
- My Games
The top-level menu is classic to each device:
- Tab Bar navigation for iPhone
- Grid List with icons for Android
- Panorama Control for Windows Phone
Windows Phone brings a bit more information to the surface, by adding Live (sub-section of Schedule & Results) and Favourites (favourite sport events, sub-section of My Games) to the main navigation views.
The first view that appears after launch is very different for each device. The iPhone has the Schedule tab active, with the Live sub section, Windows Phone has also the Live section, but integrated in the main Panorama, while Android starts with the main menu.Windows Phone also has the menu items in the last view of the Panorama.
Going down the hierarchy of views, we can find other content pages. Each has it’s own sub-menu implemented again with native-style components:
- Segmented Control for iPhone
- Tabs for Android
- Pivot Control for Windows Phone
Schedule & Results
This section has two main sub-sections: Live and Calendar
Schedule & Results – Live
Schedule & Results – Calendar
Choosing the date is done by horizontal scrolling in iPhone, a typical Calendar view in Windows Phone, and a pop-up in Android.
Sports – Athletics
The Athletes section has 3 sub-sections: Featured, By Country and By Sport
Athletes – Sandra Izbasa
Medals can be sorted by different criteria and also have an info section.
Medals by medallists
My Games / Favourites
My Games section can track your favorite country, athletes or display news and reminders.
Each app has a consistent use of colors as you can observe from the photos and also a consistent hierarchy of pages and views. The main differences are the navigation system which is proper for every device and of course the look and feel of the native controls that have the same functionality, but with a slightly different aspect on each device.
A special section is the settings section, for setting the timezone, country, push notifications and other options.
Each app is unique in the design and user experience it offers, but manages to bring the desired and relevant information to it’s users.
Enjoy the smartphone apps and the Olympic Games!