Design is not only about looks. It starts with understanding users, crafting solutions that solve real problems, verifying they work and then making sure they are visually appealing.
My name is Mathias Kleverud and I am the team lead for the Experience Team at Bonnier Broadcasting. The experience team consists of 4 UX designers and 4 UI designers who do everything from user research and usability testing to interaction design and visual design. We are responsible for designing both C More and TV4 Play on all platforms including the web, iOS, Android and Samsung TV.This week it is my turn to share with you how our design process works and how we know what we should build for our users.
Step 1: Defining the problem
The start of every design project is to define the problem we want to solve.
In order to do so, we must understand our users. The questions to ask are often simple when starting out. Who are they? How do they use our current apps? Is there anything we could do to make their lives – or at least their viewing experience – better? Getting the answers is however not always as simple – and that is why we need to stick with a hypothesis-driven and iterative process that assumes nothing.
Just understanding our users is usually not enough – to create a viable solution, we must also consider the needs of the business. With the strategy and goals of the business in mind, we define a problem that makes sense both for us as a company and our users.
Step 2: Designing solutions
After having conducted user research and gathered business requirements, we start drafting our solutions. The solution usually starts out as a loose concept, often as a series of sketches on a piece of paper, and is then shaped into a flow chart to map out step by step all the tasks the user should be able to perform in the app.
Step 3: Learning and iterating
As soon as we have sketched a solution, we want to see if it works. We show it to each other, the business teams and – most importantly – our users. Based on the feedback, we literally get back to the drawing board as many times as needed until we have found a solution that works and solves the problem we had defined. The sketches iteratively become designs and the designs become prototypes. By frequently interacting with users in this stage, we reduce the risk of spending time on building something that users don’t want or need.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that we are constantly interacting with developers, editors and quality assurance throughout this process. These teams are kept in the loop from day one to make sure we are aligned with what is technically feasible.
Step 4: Building and measuring
When we are fairly confident that we have come up with a good solution that meets the needs of both users and the business, we’re ready to get building. This does however not mean that we know for sure that it will work – we need to get it into hands of users, see how the product fits into their reality and get quantitative measurements to truly validate that we solved the problem and that users perform the actions we expected them to.
So, what are we working on?
During the past year TV4 Play has seen an exceptional growth. With this growth comes a shift in user expectations on what we need to be, which puts new demands on our products to satisfy these higher expectations from users.To meet these demands on iOS (iPhone and iPad), we have been working on a new version of TV4 Play for iOS within a project called “Project De Niro”, run according to the process as outlined above. We have defined problems, sketched solutions and meticulously tested them with users to shape a product we are confident in building.
The experience team is currently looking at the “CDP” (short for the content details page) where the viewer can read more about a specific program. We are experimenting with many different and exciting ways of selecting seasons and guiding the viewer to related videos or other programs, which we believe will make a positive impact on the viewer experience.In this project, the experience team, editors, program managers, analysts, iOS developers and business representatives are all working together to make sure we build something great and you will get to see the results of this work soon – stay tuned!
Let us know below if you have any comments or questions!