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The Vision Group in Uganda has launched an online paid e-paper which you can access now as long as you have an internet connection (1) and (2) money on either your Card or mobile money. I decided to put their service to a test before I let you willingly part with your money to buy the online paper.

The Design:

I have a few issues with the landing page, whoever was hired to do this job did a very bad job. The alignments, theme and fonts are horrible. If I was to judge by the look of the landing page, I wouldn’t go ahead and part with my money just to expect a better experience after buying the e-paper.

Learn from the companies that are doing this right like The Sun. If there is one thing I have learnt from the online people, it’s that we are very picky and just a simple design issue, can stop us from buying anything.

I liked the e-paper, so it’s not all bad new. I can flip through the pages very well, the design is very simple and very clean, it even makes a sound when I flip through which I loved.

My recommendation; The landing page should be changed, show me sneak peaks into what am buying instead of filling your landing page with login details and how to pay you, these things don’t matter to me, and they sure won’t make you money.

I don’t think you need my email and password, I have already given those to Facebook, Google, Twitter, just put a provision for me to login via these channels, thank you.

The Payment:

I liked the payment part very much, this is the first time I have paid using mobile money and enjoyed the experience of another company taking my money. The system lets you input the number (step 1) and then it will initiate the transactions and you only have to approve on your phone with your PIN (step 2).  Very simple and very fast just the way I like it.

The Physical paper is Shs 2,000 and the online version plus the mobile money charges cost me about Shs 1,610 which is a bit high because am going to use my data bundle to download the paper. I think to be fair the paper should be between Shs 500 to Shs 1000 because it’s online and Vision Group is just spending on online distribution alone.

The e-paper:

As I said earlier the e-paper is simple and basically you are buying into the physical paper that someone has put together in a Flip-board format. You can zoom in and out of the paper, you can be able to share the paper with your friends but they will have to pay to access it.

I was sold yesterday’s paper so that was not good at all given that I assumed I was buying Today’s paper and because of this issue I will not buy their online paper again, however this might be a software issue and if fixed I can reconsider. The confusion can also be avoided if the paper am buying is specified on the landing page.

Mobile: 

I had issues with accessing the e-paper on my mobile phone which runs Android 4.1, despite of the fact that the FAQs suggested any Android device with 4.0 and above can access the e-paper. This has to be fixed because it’s a software issue and I believe even lower versions of Android should be able to access this e-paper to widen on the customer base.

So far, I think it’s a good step in the right direction and I can’t wait to hear the stats of how very many people are shifting from physical newspapers to paid e-papers.

I believe people go online to access information for free but let me know what you think.