revamping a service with millions of users isn’t easy
One of the most successful video products of Telefónica is a hybrid TV service - combining both IPTV and satellite. With this solution, the users can get access to all the live TV channels available with their subscription, plus an extensive catalog of VoD content.
Designing for TV is hard. The interaction paradigm it’s completely different. In this case the user is using a remote control, not her fingers for example. Furthermore, the set-top box sets certain constraints due to its lack of horsepower. We had to design an interface that was appealing yet smooth even with the technical limitations.
DESIGNING FOR TV
We have to consider every detail when we design for TV: the distance between the user and the screen, the navigation, font size, the colors, etc. That’s one of the reasons why we decided on a dark background for the service. This option improves readability in dim light, such as in a private living room. We reduced the screen text as much as possible, or increased the font size. Furthermore, we eliminated the shadows and gradients in the interface. The reasoning was twofold: a) to make the interface more clear; b) to alleviate the amount of processing the set-top box had to execute for a more fluid experience.
We also designed contextual detail pages so that the user would never lose track of the navigation path.
One of the sections that we added in this redesign was “My Content,” a place where the users could have at-hand all the content that interested them. This included upcoming episodes from their favorite TV shows, scheduled and completed personal recordings, watched content, and purchased films.
The redesign was launched in Chile and Peru after performing a user test with great results. Although, new insights did arise from the user tests. These pertained to the user’s mental model while watching live TV and the balance between live TV and VoD content, and shall be taken into account.
Cristina, David, Federico, Ibai, Jose, Josemi, Lucho, Olatz, Sergio