Reinventing the Smart TV User Interface
During the Master course at the University of Technology of Delft (Holland) in Design for Interaction I had the chance to collaborate with Philips for a 6 months project followe at the Philips headquarter in Eindhoven, Holland. The project was about the redesign of the Philips Smart TV User Interface. This project has been led following the User Centered Design process.
What we built
The Philips need was the redesign of the user interface currently implemented on the Smart TV 9000 series with a focus on Dashboard, channel list and applications manager. We had to modernize the UI and the user experience without involving the remote control in our solution.
Being a project aimed to increase the user experience during the use of the smart tv, I defined some personas before interviewing the users involved in the process. This exercise allowed me to better select the users for the usability tests. Moreover this process step helps the designer to imagine the users of reference and, hopefully, to obtain better results in order to understand why and how they use the product.
For the Smart TV we decided to select users aged between 20 and 30 years old because this kind of connected products are mainly used by young people. They are always looking for new technologies, connected products and new entertainment ways.
What I have done
Tests e Data analysis
During the focus group sessions we interviewed people paired in couples. We asked them to accomplish small tasks using the Philips smart tv. The aim was to highlight the weak points of the current UI to take into consideration for the next redesign. During this process we asked them to speak with us, interviewers, using the “Thinking aloud”technique. All the users were recorded through the use of cameras hidden behind one-way mirrors. In this way we were sure to take note of all the hints we could not notice during the interviews, as soon as the recorded sessions were analyzed and reviewed afterwards.
User flow e Wireframes
Thanks to the several interview sessions we were able to elaborate a first report analyzing the pros and cons of the smart TV User Interface. On the basis of the obtained feedbacks we sketched and designed the user flows helpful to understand which was the best solution to adopt for the new UI navigation when customers interact with it using their remote control. As soon as Philips approved the user flow, I had to design the wireframes to show the creative ideas to the client.
The following images are a selection of the numerous wireframes developed during the entire project. The documentation was designed with the aim to cover the entire smart TV navigation and sections.
Visual design – prototype
As final project result the team developed a working prototype of the user interface using tools like Adobe Flash and Adobe Illustrator. The aim was to lead a second interview session using the working prototype in order to highlight the weak and strong points of the proposed solution. These feedbacks were then reported into a final project report.
With a focus on information architecture and user centred design we worked together with Philips for the content reorganization and the redesign of the user interface of the smart tv in order to shows a new, easier and more intuitive solution.
The following image shows some screenshots details and solutions adopted for the final UI version.
All the people involved during the final presentation were pleasantly stunned by our intuitive and smart solution.
Philips offered us a 6 months internship opportunity as reward for the good job done during this interesting collaboration.