How to Create a Solution Like the Quartz App, Bringing a Distinct UX

Updated 13 Oct 2022

6 Min




Quartz application is something new to our world where information is considered to be a priceless resource. Since the ways of getting it have changed, nowadays more and more people prefer getting news from screens rather than from newspaper pages. That's the reason why all the world-known magazines like The Times or Forbes have already taken care of their own mobile development services.

Users require new approaches to material presentations. That's why we have decided to tell you about how to create a Quartz news app.

What's special about Quartz news app?

Niche: News & Magazines

Downloads: over 50k

The majority of people prefer using browsers or social networks for searching news. Having mixed that fact with a variety of other apps from world-known magazines, we get an extremely high competition. That's why to gain users, you need to provide them with a new unique experience like Quartz technology did.

The point is that you do not have to scroll the newsfeed. Instead, you talk with it! The Quartz chatbot proposes you one title at a time in it's chat-like main tab. So, users may interact with the app by skipping some news or asking for more information. Also, to gain even more attention, Quartz app dilutes their headlines with appropriate GIF images.

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If users are interested in a separate headline, they may tap on a message to open up a full article in a browser and read it in detail.

Why has Quartz company chosen this way of presenting news information? That's because statistics show that the majority of people are looking through their newsfeed either in the morning before work, or in the evening after it. So, they have a lack of time and a brief summary is the most obvious way out. Besides, a headline is the main thing a reader focuses their attention on.

Quartz app interface

Quartz design

Features of the Quartz app

As you can see, the Quartz UI is similar to a chatbot. The app itself works with an API and refers to a server in order to get some fresh information for users. All the content displayed there is written by staffers while the interaction between the app and users is under the bots' control.

There are some minimal sets of settings required to customize content in accordance with users' preferences. So, they may choose the field they are really interested in, not to miss any related news by means of push notification.

iOS Quartz app was released first. However, over time it migrated to Android as well.

Customization of the Quartz app

Quartz Android app customization settings

The Quartz app is definitely an unusual product that proposes a new way of written content consumption.

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So, let's consider some core features of the app. They will give you a reference point in case you decided to create your own Quartz mobile app.

  • Does not require any authorization
  • Customization settings
  • Push notification settings
  • Opportunity to view the full article in a browser
  • Absence of any search
  • Integration of images, GIFs, smiles in a message
  • Advertising inside of a dialogue
  • Customized Quartz bot
  • Support of Apple Watch 

The best way to create an app like Quartz for Android and iOS

In the case of development for Android and iOS simultaneously, it is worth using an API in order to achieve instant updating capabilities. For the implementation of chat-like messaging features, your developers can use such technologies as ERLANG, XMPP, Mnesia DB, Cassandra, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

If you want your iOS or Android Quartz app to have an opportunity for voice and video messaging but do not want to overpay for back-end development - a Sinch platform can be applied. However, everything depends what kind of project you have and the developers' preferences. Sometimes it is much faster to let your developers use technology that they already know, rather than learning a new one from scratch.

Concerning chatbots on the Quartz platform, there are a variety of services that are focused on helping your developers and making their work more efficient in some cases. Thus, using Pandorabots' service, it becomes easier to create a customized chatbot by means of any programming language. After a chatbot is created, it could be integrated into an app with the help of AIaaS API.

Apps like Quartz: components

Components of solutions similar to the Quartz app

Monetization methods

The selection of a monetization model depends on numerous factors. For example, for an app that is only starting to gain popularity and a user base, such kinds of monetization models as advertising (e.g. banners) or subscription are inefficient.

Although the subscription model is popular among media apps, users are not likely to pay for such a specific way of getting information. It takes some time till the app's specificity will not confuse it's new customers.

Are you still doubting about what monetization model to choose? Solve this question by reading our article How to Monetize Your App

Talking about an advertising model for Quartz content, it is also hard to reach a stable revenue having a relatively small client base. Moreover, some users may be irritated by banners.

So, what is an efficient way of monetization for apps like the Quartz news app? It's creators have chosen a quite unusual way of monetization. The app advertises it's partners while 'chatting'. This native advertising is integrated into the mobile app design in a way that makes it seem like it's a part of the content.

Quartz business model

The target audience of the Quartz app is generally people who are interested in business. As it was mentioned before, the competition in a media niche is pretty high and it is difficult for a newborn app to compete with big players.

Having conducted through research, the company has found out that modern users practically do not notice advertising in the form of banners, while messaging is the most used feature in smartphones. This way, they decided to create a news app that would look like a messenger.

In the process of Quartz design, it was decided to deprive the app of all unnecessary components, putting an emphasis on the news only. The core philosophy of Quartz mobile app is that ordinary users will barely waste much time reading long articles. Catchy and informative headlines are enough for them.

Initially, Quartz was a news website. This fact implies the presence of specialized employees such as journalist and editors. They do not only write content for a website but create Quartz app content. To be exact, they select some interesting news for the app as well.

So, in the case of the Quartz news Android app as well as with the Quartz iOS app, they have expenses for the core website, the app itself, and professionals who are responsible for the content's creation as well as the selection. The competitiveness of the app lies in the original idea and it's presentation. The guys from Quartz have managed to modernize the view concerning things that already exist.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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