Neil’s favourite hobby is binge-watching movies and TV shows on his new Bose surround sound system. Neil needs a way to connect with his friends and family because feelings of isolation are really impacting his mental health.
Streaming app users struggle to sort through a plethora of movie and TV show options due to unreliable review systems currently in place.
Viewers spend a lot of time watching TV as they are unable to collaborate their experience with other viewers due to distance and scheduling restrictions,.
During our user interviews we found that many users struggle to find shows and movies that they would enjoy without spending hours searching through a plethora of options and not having access to relatable review systems.
How might We
How might we bring back the sense of community during the movie/show watching experience, help users quickly find what to watch, based on preferences, and an adequate review system?
DEFINE & IDEATE
Once the persona was created, and the specific needs of the user was defined, the next step was to focus on the pain points and the solutions to alleviate it. The Point of view of the user was summarized in order to develop the user insight and the problem statement and subsequently "How might we" statements. This helped in developing features that would eventually help solve the user problems.
Social isolation increasing due to the user's busy work life.
Inability to co-ordinate time with friends because of the social distancing
Deciding what to watch is an issue due to poor review systems
Lack of time and patience to surf through so many options leaves user frustrated about not finding what they like.
Used a party watch App
Do you Binge Watch?
Favourite streaming service
It's nice to leave an opinion, even if it's unpopular
Just like I emotionally eat, I emotionally watch
Watching with a friend is more about their reaction
A survey for more customized recommendations
After going through the interview transcripts and identifying behaviour and need patterns, the inputs and data were synthesized into a set of deliverables. This helped in prioritizing what was most important to the user. To understand the needs and requirements of the end user better user persona, empathy map, and user journey map was created.
To explore the deeper needs of the persona that emerged from the data an empathy map was created made up of observations and statements from the user interviews and to dive deeper into their mindset. With this a possibility emerged, to project exactly the emotional state of the user.
In the post pandemic world, where it’s difficult for people to meet, Binge Buddy is the alternative to stay connected and have fun all at the same time. If you can’t go to out to the movies, bring the movie theatre home and watch with friends
A total of 8 people were Interviewed
Attempts were made to discover what encourages users to try virtual movie watching experience.
Survey monkey was used to provide a quantitative element to the research.
Guerilla testing was used to provide a quantitative element to the research, and based on findings the results were further used to deduce who the ideal person of our system would be.
The research was focussed mainly on how to make the TV watching experience more pleasant for the everyday user. The solution and design was ultimately based on results from interviewing the ideal target group.
Uncover the different platforms or technology used by people currently to watch a movie or TV Series or choose a show.
The current benefits they derive and what would be needed to make the experience more pleasant.
How would a user go about choosing what shows to watch
The effects a review system has on the choices they make
Determine how external elements such as reviews and virtual 'party', influence users to make a decision.
Understand what incentives influence a users into being part of a review system and community.
In an ideal future, pandemic or not, Binge buddy could be the go-to app, where you plan, decide and watch a movie or TV show with friends and chat, comment or react while you watch the show.
Binge buddy is not just a user-centric product, it’s a human centric product. Our goal is to find the solution for the problem that people are experiencing currently. We are inspired by the need to make people’s lives better and happier. We want to build something within the existing stretch of feasibility, and eliminate the impacts of social isolation and the consequences attached to it. It’s simply built to keep people connected and happily engrossed.
We as designers want to indulge ourselves in minimizing the problem our community of users are facing, while being safe and respecting any governing laws, and at a later time, in a world that's been rid of COVID, Binge buddy would just be the simplest way to watch a movie with a friend sitting a 1000 miles away.
SO LETS BINGE...
User research, Paper and digital wireframe, Hi-Fi Prototype, User testing
Streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime are quite popular, but not everyone is aware of how party watch apps work. Hence, it was good idea to conduct a detailed analysis of apps that currently exist in the market and take a stock of their pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses and gather statistical data on what makes some of them more successful than the other.
To further understand how to position Binge Buddies in the market, a competitive analysis was conducted on three other services commonly used to for party watch: Bingworthy, Bingeit and TV live.
The persona created was Neil Morgan. Neil represents the large portion of people who frequently use streaming services, who like to binge-watch and also people who are busy and short on time without always a possibility to catch up with friends to watch TV or movies, but those who love to do so to enjoy and relax, and most importantly share their feelings and opinions on what they watched with friends.
User Journey Map
Using the User Persona, User Insight, Problem Statement and HMV statement as the guiding principles throughout the design process it was now time to convert the App into a more human centric product. The User journey map gave absolute clarity on what the user would feel at every stage of the process, thus help to make the necessary modifications and changes.
Next the task flow was charted out to solidify the steps that would be involved in helping the user get to the end stage and to help them achieve their goal.
The task flow was divided into two main sections. Login and creation of profile stage and the second stage when the user is able to selected as movie or TV Show of their choice, watch it with their friends, and have a great interaction just like one would face to face.
The next step in the process was to create midfi prototype based on the user flow as well as the paper prototypes. The wireframes represented all the key pages the user will encounter while attempting to complete the desired task. While this was being constructed, it was easy to see clearly some additional pages a user may require in order to experience a seamless interaction between pages. For example, it was necessary to have a separate action to create a club as well as user profile page that stored necessary information, for the app to proactively make suggestions as well as create customized homepages for each user. These pages were further added into the final design and prototypes
The Process of wire framing started off with sketching with a pen and paper. This was it was easy to transfer the thoughts into the digital wireframe should look like. The basic layout of each screen was just sketched out to understand the total number of screens that would be required
Neil and friends love to binge-watch TV and talk endlessly about the series they have watched. They used to be constantly on the look-out for something new to watch and get together every weekend to binge-watch, into the day and night
Soon things were changing due to Neil’s responsibilities at work and COVID. Neil was depressed about having to watch TV all alone, and surfing aimlessly only to find nothing that he liked. He was isolated, depressed and bored.
But help was just a call away. Neil’s friend, Maya, came up with a great solution. She stumbled upon Binge Buddies, a new app loaded with great features, with a sole purpose of bringing together buddies who can never say no to TV.
Neil checked out the app and was astonished to see that, he and his friends could not only watch TV at the same time and same pace virtually, but they could also comment chat and instantly provide suggestions on what to watch next.
Upon logging into his go-to streaming service through the Binge Buddies app, Neil found a movie he would like to watch and invited some of his friends to join him in a watch party, and they couldn't wait to meet each other on the app
Neil and his friends watched the show as they simultaneously commented and reacted as a group. They are already planning their next binge-watch party. Binge buddy is now part of a weekly routine
Slide to read
Splash screen & onboarding
The Splash screen keeps the logo as the focal points, putting under the spotlight, giving it an illusion to mark the beginning of a show, followed by a quick and simple onboarding screen, to give a quick tour of the features and benefits of the app.
Login & Sign Up
All user directly land on the signup from the onboarding screen. An existing user can go into the Login screen to input details. Both Login and signup can also be done using social media profile
UI Kit & Visual Design
Creating a brand right from scratch was both a great experience and fun. Assembling the UI design elements was all about what resonated with the brand. In order to give the app a cinematic appeal, black for the background theme seemed to be the most obvious choice, and the design choices was to decide on a contrasting colour for the icons and buttons. After considering a number of options and running A/B tests, the most preferred colours by the majority were shades and blue and purple, which stood well against black and gave a visual perception of a party. These colours eventually were selected to be the primary colours of the logo and to represent the overall brand personality.
Watching with friends
Binge Buddies App, holds together a collection of Movies and TV shows from streaming such as Netflix, Disney, Crave, Amazon prime. The App allows the options of watching it solo and watching with friends or joining a club, allowing the user to record the reactions. Upon completion, the user can leave a review which is stored in their profile as well as available for other users to see.
It was finally time to incorporate the ideas and designs brainstormed and created so far into an actual prototype. From the very beginning, the goal for the end product was very simple - making movie watching a simple but fun social experience. The objectives that spoke louder than the other were, removing the time-consuming parts such as endlessly surfing for the next good TV show or movie to watch and when you've decided on the right one, being able to share that experience with your friends as one would do if they were all in the same place and all from the comforts of ones own home.
Presenting Binge Buddies
Watching solo involves the similar process as it does with joining a club. Using a streaming service for the very first time requires a login into the streaming services in both cases.
The profile page has three different sections, About, Details and My space, which stores information such genres and shows or movies preferred by the user, watch lists, clubs that the user is part of, favourites etc. This profile, if the user chooses to, would also be visible to friends to provide inspirations on what to watch next, or to approve request to join clubs.
Creating a club
Creating a club is to primarily ensure that invites can be sent out to people who want to join the club or those that the owner of the club wants to send out invites to both via email and text, creating a watch list for the club, shows the list of members who are part of the club, and the days of the week the members of the club would want to meet.
The genre selecting feature is available on the App, which enables the user to add their favourite genres to their profile. This helps the App make suggestions to the user on what they can watch next, and also help their friends and club members select similar selections.
There were plenty of ideas that were gathered during the brainstorming and user research phase. These ideas were converted into features that would make the life of the user easy as well set the APP apart from competition. However, the these features had to be prioritized in order to avoid scope creep. Higher value was given to those features that address the pain points of the user and ones that were mentioned more frequently in the interviews. Those ideas that were one off, or looked less important, were categorized into sections that would use these features in future or drop them completely.
This exercise helped in ascertaining not only what will make the APP unique and helped develop the MVP, but also paved the way for future developments that will prevent the APP from hitting saturation in the market.
The usability of the high-fidelity desktop prototype was tested using Figma.
The main goals were to:
Determine the usability of the Binge Buddy App and observe how easily a user can complete the three main tasks provided
Identify and note difficulties that were preventing the user from completing the task
Collect feedback from users on ease of navigating the App and use it for further iterations
Remote tests were mainly conducted on zoom and each user was assessed as per the user experience. The completed tasks received a score of 1, and partially complete or incomplete tasks received a .5 or 0 respectfully.
The prototype was tested on a total number of five participants. The task was for each user to provided feedback on the onboarding screens if they aptly conveyed the main features of the APP, Signup as a new user using all the different options of email and social media and sign-in again using the same, Lastly go through the complete process and join a party to watch a movie or TV show.
"To Join a party, I would want to see what my friends are watching"
- Michelle (Social Worker)
"I had to manually navigate backwards to restart task"
- Erin (Graphic Designer)
"I like to choose from what my friends are watching or Watched"
Dana (Software Developer)
There should be a list of friends that are online and room options
Hector (Software Developer)
Overall, users were able to navigate the APP smoothly and complete the task provided, and they felt that the App was intuitive, user-friendly, and it worked seamless across the movie watching process. Suggestions that were provided were added again to the Feature Prioritization matrix to consider for further developments.
As a group project, it truly challenged my flexibility in coming up with innovative solutions while accepting and respecting the ideas of my teammates and staying on the same page with them to build an app that address the users' needs and desires’ and also their pain points, while staying true to the brand's identity that we imagined and the business goals that we setup.
My sincere thanks to my amazing teammates, Aizhan Kenzhaliyeva, Camilla Morais and Justin Clarke for taking all the views into consideration, supporting each other throughout the project and working together to bring the app and ideas to life.