News UKMaking Digital Puzzles Accessible to Millions
Since 2014, as News UK's preferred supplier of digital puzzles, Digital Marmalade has been working on creating a puzzle platform that serves digital puzzles to all the group's publications. News UK is a giant of the UK publishing sector with newspaper titles such as The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun under its umbrella. This relationship extends around the globe to other subsidiaries such as Dow Jones in the United States and News Corp Australia.
The Times Puzzle Development
Digital Marmalade was initially approached to build an application that would generate, manage and publish the world famous Times Crossword daily puzzles, across all digital platforms.
The project proved to be a huge global success and we were subsequently commissioned to build and integrate a further thirteen puzzles onto the platform.
The puzzles form a large part of The Times subscription package and as such needed to be seamlessly integrated within The Times tablet application.
The new digital puzzles section features 'Number' and 'Word' categories where uses can easily access both 'Featured' and 'Popular' daily puzzles. There is also an archive of previous puzzles so avid players are now able to catch-up on anything they might have missed.
The Sun Puzzles
It was only a matter of time before The Sun came onto the puzzle platform. The Sun's smartphone team were looking to include some exciting new additions to their product and they knew that puzzles would be just the ticket.
From the outset the puzzle platform was built with a integrated branding engine and this flexibility ensured that the rollout of crosswords and thirteen other puzzles into the Sun app was a quick and smooth process.
In this phase we also developed two new puzzle additions to the platform – Word Search and Two-Speed Crosswords.
As well as adding news puzzles and brands onto the platform we also focussed on streamlining the puzzle generation and publishing processes.
We have provided an option for each puzzle to be auto generated by 'pulling' puzzle configuration data directly from JSON feeds from the setters. Automated publishing settings for each puzzle are also available.
It's a nifty solution that reduces staff overhead, whilst maintaining Editorial control over the process. For The Sun in particular, these features mean that puzzles are delivered directly to their customers, on a daily basis, without any need for human involvement! Puzzles data can still be manually created, reviewed, edited and published as may be required