Class project Interactive Media 1
There are already so many big companies out there in the world today and each one of them is constantly improving themselves, trying to be the best over their competition. Many new designers often find themselves working on a project for a big company that already has their own design system or style guide for which the designer should work from. The objective of this project was to pick an existing company or brand and pretend that your group was tasked to create a new digital product for them. This design would implement the companies style guide and follow their brand guidelines while taking inspiration from other services available. The overall objective will be to create a well designed IOS mobile app for a recognizable brand.
For this project my group decided to create a new feature for the streaming services Netflix. After brainstorming as a group all the different companies we could potentially design for and what type of new app we could make for these companies, we all agreed that our idea for Netflix sounded the most interesting. This idea would be a group streaming experience that we would eventually call Netflix Connect. This new feature would allow users to share their reactions with each other while watching a movie or TV show. As our press release says, “Netflix Connect will allow friends to bond with each other through movies and TV shows — no matter where they are. No more watching solo and discussing later on when you could do it all at the same time with a group of loved ones that are interested in the same content.” It will be as easy as a few clicks of a button with all of Netflix’s extensive library available to stream from.
Now that we knew that we would be creating a feature for Netflix we did research into Netflix’s Brand Guidelines. Here is some of what we learned from that research:
Once we had our project concept and understood the brand guidelines, we then dove into creating a press release for this new feature we would eventually design.
User Research Synthesis
We then as a group worked on making a user interview guide by coming up with a list of questions we would want to find out about Netflix / online streaming users. After creating these questions we were each in charge of interviewing at least one person. From these interviews we created a shared document in which we put everyone’s responses and here is what we learned:
What was our research objective?
There were four main things we wanted to learn from these research interviews. The first thing we wanted to learn was how much time people usually spend on streaming services watching movies or TV shows. As a result we found out that people usually spend at least an hour a day watching some type of content. They usually stream later in the week or on weekends later in the afternoon or evening. We also wanted to learn what people mostly talk about while watching and what type of features would they expect in a group streaming scenario. From this we learned that people talk about characters, plot, score, and more. But some users mentioned that they felt self-conscious during movies, so the reaction part of our play interface is geared towards them. Third, we wanted to see how many long distance relationships with friends and family a given user has to see if it is even feasible to do a group streaming feature. For this we learned that younger people were more likely to have relationships with strangers, but college age and older people were more likely to have family and friends in a bunch of different places. Finally, we wanted to see what types of potential challenges users thought they might encounter with group streaming. The users we interviewed worried about being able to see the movie and that chat at the same time, scheduling a time where people aren’t busy, and slow WiFi / universal pause options.
Overall, the objective was to study the usability and effectiveness of our Netflix Connect design. These interviews would help us to understand how to better connect Netflix users through chats and enhance the streaming experience globally with users friends and family.
On whom did we conduct our research?
We interviewed a total of six people all ranging in different ages from 16 to 54, and all having access to a Netflix account weather it be their own or if they shared it with other people. This gave us an idea of what different age groups would want in a group streaming experience. Even with the wide range we found that most had the same opinions and spent a good amount of time on a given week watching streaming services.
What were our insights?
- Users spend at least 7 hours a week watching movies or TV shows.
- 25 to 100 percent of that time is on streaming services.
- 6 out of 6 users share an account with at least one other person.
- Every user had at least one friend or family member residing in a different state.
- Friday and Saturday is when 5 out of 6 users stream.
- 6 out of 6 users stream between 7pm and 11pm in the evening.
- Challenges: WiFi, picking a movie that everyone agrees on, getting everyone to watch it at the same time, and challenges communicating / interacting with each other.
- Users would want to see these features: Chat or video chat, Voice communication, a rewind and pausing feature, reminders, and a streamlined design that is easy to use.
- Things people comment on while watching are soundtracks, outfits, plot holes, scenery, cast, and how they feel about what is happening on screen.
- Friendships our becoming more and more digital.
- Want an easy way to keep in touch with long distance relationships.
After conducting our research we discovered that we should add an audio feature so users can talk in real time rather than just through chat. We also added the emoji feature as an option for people who are not as talkative but still want to participate with their friends. After making the whole design we realised that it can become way more advanced than our original design. We could add a record feature so that users don’t have to watch at the same time but they still are able to interact with each other by recording their reactions. It could also become bigger by offering an option to stream with strangers who like the same content as you, giving you the opportunity to make new online friends with people that have the same interests as yourself. At the moment however we only made a group streaming option for you and your friends.
Before doing our research we created two Proto-persona’s of fictional potential users that would use our app. These personas would help guide our design and process. After conducting our research we then checked what we learned with our persona’s to help make our personas more well rounded and accurate to a real user. Here is the two persona’s we created for this project:
For our competitive analysis we each were in charge of researching a different competitor to Netflix, weather it be a direct competitor or indirect competitors. We then came together and shared what we each learned from our research. Afterwards we created this competitor research document stating the pros and cons of each competitor compared to Netflix and added screenshots as a visual to help understand the differences.
Direct competitors would be other streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. While indirect competitors would be services that offer a streaming / live video feature that allows groups of people to watch the same content live like Twitch, Instagram Stories, and YouTube Stories. We also looked at similar services like browser extensions that allow people to screen share and talk with one another. Here is what we created:comp-rs
User Journey Map
We then created a flowchart of the users journey through our IOS app. This would help us understand the pages we will need to create to make our Netflix Connect design come to life. It would also show us the steps a user might take when going through our app. If the design was ever to become a real feature for Netflix this map might also help the behind the scene process by showing how to program each page to each other. Here is the journey map we made:
From the journey map we also made a visual example to help us make our final design. This included sketches of each screen and transition screen associated with each part of the journey map.
Low Fidelity Designs
When we actually started designing Netflix Connect we started by sketching out three different screens that one might see in the finished product.
This helped us get our ideas for the layout created fast without wasting time trying to create what was in our minds on a design software. Once we all agreed on how it would look and all agreed that nothing in the sketches needed to be changed, we then created wire-frames based on our sketches.
This helped us see what our design would look like on an actual screen without all the details. The wire-frame really helped to see if our Layout worked before moving on to our High fidelity designs.
High Fidelity Designs
We then created our high fidelity designs based off of our wire-frames from our low fidelity designs. We started by creating those three screens then proceeded to make all the rest of the screens one would see as they went through the feature and interacted with the video. Each person was assigned with the task of creating three to five of the pages in the overall design with each design following Netflix’s Style Guide and the Apple Human Interface Guidelines to make a well designed product that felt like an actual feature from Netflix. Here are some of those pages that we created:
Here is a link to our prototype on MarvelApp where you can try our prototype yourself:
What did I find most challenging about this project?
The most challenging thing I found about this project was getting everyone on the same page as not everyone would show up to every class which made it difficult to relay the information talked about with most of the group with the one or two people who were not there. At the start of the project was when it was most challenging as the people who missed the first day also missed when we were coming up with ideas and the voting of what we were going to do for this project. Once everyone was on the same page it became a lot easier. Another challenge I found was dividing up the work evenly as I feel like even though everyone contributed to the project some did more than others. That also made it challenging to create all the necessary pages for the prototype as everyone was in charge of a different page. Everyone did a great job and finished in a timely manner but in the end their was still slight edits that were made to make everything look like it is from the same project.
What was the most valuable lesson I learned?
The most valuable lesson I learned is that you have to have a well thought out concept before you start creating the final product. Every step and research you conduct at the beginning of the design process is just as important as the final product, maybe even more important. As if you just jump into making your design there might be flaws or you might get confused on each page you are supposed to make in order to create a well rounded finished piece. I also learned how to better communicate with my group in order to be successful. That sending group text reminders helps the group stay on the same page and finish in a timely manner without all the stress. Overall, I feel like this project was a success. I learned about Netflix’s brand guidelines, Apple’s human interface guidelines, and conducted useful research that helped create a unified piece that looks like it could be a real product.