Mobile Streaming VOD & Cable UI
I was contracted as a Senior User Experience Designer on a small team UXD team at Arris Group. In the time I spent with Arris, the bulk of it was working on the design and implementation of Arris’ Mobile and set top box UI over multiple build cycles. I spent 9 months documenting design solutions, use cases, and engineering constraints to work with our offshore team in Sweden and engineering teams in multiple Arris offices nationwide.
What if you could re-think the cable industry and design for how people really consume content?
We are no longer limited to a single TV in each home. Today – users are accessing media content everywhere. At Arris we have been asking our customers many questions about their needs, where they feel their current cable operator or existing UI is missing the mark. What we have come up with have been interesting challenges and exciting solutions.
Building the dream – Unity 2.0
I was tasked to redesign, rethink, and re-engineer Unity to introduce a cleaner, faster mobile UI with next a next generation cable user and cable experience in mind.
Core UX Principles to keep in mind
Our mobile experience should feel to a user, like a companion when I’m watching TV. And a stand-in for my cable box when I’m not at home. It should help me find something to watch, and make it easy to either hit record, manage my stuff or even play it on my TV, instead of on my device.
- Touch points and text sizes should be large enough and easy enough to hit for everyone…even those with large fingers.
- As a mobile companion, we want to inject some personality, and fun, still keeping within the guidelines. We want to inject playful motion, sound- when appropriate, and features that show a little more personality in order to appeal to our mobile users.
- We want to utilize features that are core to the use of touch devices…including touch gestures, voice input (in search), and any other relevant pieces of technology available to us.
So about that Dream, what did we come up with?
Introducing user profiles
User profiles come standard in most streaming apps. Lets introduce these in cable.
Have fun with Filters
Select multiple choices for romantic drama and musicals. This might bring up a list similar to the recommendations shown in this example. If the user has not selected anything the list would be populated based on recent selections or recommendations based on your history. Favorites, wish list items, or saved programs could also populate here.
Simple Menu integration
At first glance, the menu appears quite simple, mirroring what we have in Unity – with the addition of giving the user the ability to log out.
Apply Unity styling to mobile app. Keeping changes minimal. Tiles are re-designed to work for touch inputs. After a quick tap, the tile flips over and offers various actions for the user. Play, favorite, lock or get more info on a program asset.
Slide-out info page style
The quick info page slides out from the side, allowing the user to still access the categories trays of content underneath the slide out. Slide out mini info would appear from left or right based on user selection and screen target area on “hit”
Opportunity for fun, playful animations with the slider
Selecting a program – slides out info panel. Info panels are scrollable. Timeline scrubber makes it easy to zoom to a much later time or even the next day.
Full screen Grid guide with pull-down filter menu
Filter sticky menu is expanded here. The guide is also expanded to show full screen view for easier readability and scrolling interaction.
Search Using Filters
Search utilizing filters to sort through TV Series, TV Shows, and free to watch or subscription based programming. Additional filters could be added here as future features are added to Unity.
Let’s add to parental controls
Parental controls are intimidating to users. Let’s give them more data to understand what controls they need for their kids.
Control what your child watches, lock down programming by rating, category, or allot an allowance usage per day. This allowance usage could be a time block or could set to shut off at a certain time. For instance, bed time.
Recommend shows based on what I’m watching
They don’t have to be on now, they could even be VOD shows… allow me to schedule a recording in advance or rent the show for later that night.
Utilize some new tech
If I find something I want to watch, and I’m home… Let me throw it to my TV and play it on the big screen.
Use Your Mobile Phone companion app to control your TV experience
Use your phone to control your TV. Think of SWYPE technology on your phone. All of the mobile remote controls I have downloaded have mirrored a remote control. What if we were smarter with our remote control technology. What if gestures could control our onscreen interactions? The simplicity of this feature could be landmark in cable and VOD!