Next generation YouView
YouView is a TV platform blending free-to-air digital TV with On Demand services.
I am the Lead Interaction Designer working as part of a team designing the ‘Next Generation’ YouView. A complete redesign of the platform covering backend services, front end technology and user experience.
I have been working together with Product Owners and Tech Leads to not only redefine the product, but also transform how YouView develops software.
Key areas of ownership
- Navigation patterns
- Main Menu
- Programme details
- User research
Design principles and objectives
At the beginning of the project we created a set of high level design principles and objectives to guide the design process.
- More intelligent
- More visual
- More intuitive
- More scalable
- More relevant
- More viewing
- Positive user feedback
In addition to the design principles and our objectives, we used the following mindsets to guide our design decisions…
I know what I want to watch
I don't know exactly what I want, but I'll know it when I see it
I have no idea what I want to watch
Concept development and key user journeys
We created concepts that demonstrated some key aspects of the user experience. These were based on some preliminary user research, competitor analysis and also an understanding of how people were using the existing product.
Patterns, interaction design and flow diagrams
We created a set of design and interaction patterns to ensure consistency across the product and to speed up the design process.
As part of our documentation we also created interaction specifications, examples of different UI states and flow diagrams.
At the beginning of the project we conducted a lot of exploratory research and used some existing personas to help focus our design efforts. As the project progressed we needed to start creating more realistic prototypes that reflected real content. Afterall with a product like YouView, the content is the main focus.
As part of our research toolkit, I set-up a system where the research moderator could see a visualisation of the remote control key presses.
We created prototypes throughout the project for user research and also as ‘living’ documentation.
This is an example of a protoype I created in Framer for a user journey focused on finding programme information and other episodes. It was also used to help convert some of our motion design into code.
Key outcomes of the redesign
Redesigning YouView was only possible through the teamwork and collaboration, not only within the design team, but also with other teams such as the Product Team, Development and Test teams.
Here are some highlights of key outcomes for areas of the product where I led the User Experience Design.
The redesign transformed the Main Menu from a series of links into a shop window for content. It allows users to browse the latest content without disruping their TV viewing, which was crucial.
Early on in the project we identified that users want to browse while still keeing one eye on their current viewing and the Main Menu is the cornerstone of this philosophy.
Our data shows that not only does the Main Menu help users get to their favourite content quicker, it has also been successful at promoting lesser known content.
Programme information (Action Panel and Brand/Series Area)
When users want to find out more about a programme they can access a series of screens that present them with information and actions. In addition, if the programme is part of a series they can navigate through the series and episodes.
In the old design the ordering of episodes was often unclear and caused confusion. Our research has shown that users find ordering of episodes in the redesign to be much clearer and therefore they find it easier to navigate.
MyTV is the place where users can save their favourite content, either by recording live TV or by adding On Demand shows to their Watch List.
The redesign managed to create a more visual view, while also fitting more content onto the screen (the previous list view only showed 9 items per screen). While the redesign has split opinion amoung the user base, it has resulted in some unexpected feedback. Diary studies showed that children found the screen much easier to use because of the imagery and similarly we have had feedback from users with accessbility needs who also found the redesigned view easier to use.
The redesign has resulted in higher customer satisfaction levels, won several awards and created a platform for YouView to build on for the future...