I did my graduation internship at the MediaLAB Amsterdam and was tasked to research how the future of connected TVs would look like. With an international & multidisciplinary team we researched what role TV has in our live now and how we could profit from this connected functionality in the future. I will first explain what it is we made and after explain my role and design process of our app.
After researching where we found that for the TV the biggest factor is content. You have a big screen, so you have the opportunity to show quality content. Also, we decided to focus our target group to be young people, between the ages of 8-16. Getting kids enthusiastic and TV app literate would benefit later generations as well. Looking at this target group we decided on something we see all the young kids do in the Netherlands; collecting Albert Heijn football stickers! You see them hanging around the supermarket asking everyone if they can have their stickers. Some Albert Heijns even put up fences so the kids don’t swarm the shoppers.
What we ended up creating was the next generation sticker album. With our sticker album you could scan your physical stickers to make them digital. Collecting them would unlock video’s showing you how to do neat football tricks. The reason we choose this is because we did not want to keep the kids indoors but also motivate them to go outside and play. As an extra, you can also trade the digital stickers with your friends.
We made a video explaining the concept:
We also created a pilot episode that we incorporated into our working prototype:
Designing for TV apps
My role within the group was Interaction designer. As I had never designed for TV this was a great challenge as the input for users was only done by remote. Using mobile at the time was not readily available and if it was it was highly unreliable. We ended up making a mobile app for scanning the stickers and a TV app. I started off with getting to know our target group. I will very briefly explain the steps i took to get to a final design.
1. User research
I got to know our target group by doing interviews with kids getting to know what their motivations could be to use such a collecting app. I also visited them at home to see how they use their Smart TV to give me better insight into their state of mind and methods. We also created, customer journeys & user scenarios and personas to help us empathize with our users.
I started off with paper prototyping both the mobile and TV app and testing this with users. For the kids I noticed doing this was more difficult than I thought! They to visualise things very differently than adults do, so it was a challenge to get the information I needed to interate on the design.
With the paper prototyping i had already come a long way with the wireframes so i finished them off digitally. Also, my team members that were doing front-end and back-end development needed an interface so we could start testing the scanning and trading of cards. With the wireframes i went through a radical redesign as the first visual design(as seen on the picture with the interview) did not meet TV app standards and was a lot harder to navigate with a remote due to the restrictions of just having arrow keys. It also proved hard to use during user tests, so I decided to overhaul the design even though there was not a lot of time to redo it
4. Visual design
And finally the visual design. At this point it was more about filling in colors and giving the elements a more intuitive feel in combination with the animations the front-end developers had made.
Project process infographic
For our final presentation we wanted to illustrate our process so I made an infographic to give them a global idea of how we had come to our final product.