The Guardian iPad payments

Provide bundled digital and print subscriptions for the first Guardian iPad App

The Guardian iPad app was due to launch in ten weeks with a complex subscription model involving four partners, but design and development work hadn’t started.

Commercial requirements beyond a digital subscription included limited access to free editions, paying for one-off downloads, and bundling digital editions free for people who had subscribed to the newspaper.

We provided combined skills across user research, needs analysis, technology product assessment, systems design, and industry knowledge of payments, using these to rapidly understand the product design requirements and constraints.

Difficulties emerged with a combination of highly constrained Apple subscription requirements (this being Apple’s first App Store version of subscriptions), the commercial needs of partners, and limited capabilities of suppliers. We made strategic product design recommendations and then moved to quickly contract services, and agree commercials with partners and suppliers. This included using a US-based supplier to manage Apple transaction receipting.

We rapidly designed and delivered a new subscription platform, incorporating 3rd party services where efficient, using a loosely coupled architecture to future proof the design and investment. The app was successfully launched on the target date.

We were delighted to be able to successfully help deliver a high quality, production ready solution for the target launch date. The App went on to win several awards following launch.