Android TV Case Study

YouView On Sony TV

The Goal

Sony and YouView worked on creating a collaborative project that brought the front end of the YouView platform to Android TV. Working alongside a team of contracted developers we wanted to not just port the YouView UI but to create a integrated bespoke system which leverages the power of the Google back-end. This collaboration would lead to YouView being the base of UK television viewing on Sony released TVs

The Market share of Android TV was increasing so from a business stand it made sense to join forces with a manufacturer like Sony to boost our reach and to become the default experience for every customer in the UK. The target audience for our product was a younger more affluent customer than our existing products. Our personas included a more technical knowledge base due to the connection with Google and the Android platform, which is popular with a more tech heavy crowd.

We didn’t want to completely alienate our existing customer base as our name would be a selling point for the product. Instead we wanted this to be the next evolution for the existing product. Hiding the complexity of the software unless a customer wanted to explore it and enabling all users to find the content they wanted.

User Research

Research showed us that the we should be aiming for the more tech savvy sector The feasibility of this project lead to the team looking at the existing Set-top box interface and user journeys and under direction of the creative director scrutinizing the user flows to see what would need to be adjusted inside the Sony product.

Working closely with Sony we were able to see the most consistent user journeys created within their platform with a thought process to mimic users natural behaviour when they would be inside the YouView area.

We combined this with analytical research into our own users to find out pain points they had whilst using their YouView UI.

By a mixture of surveys, forum posts and customer feedback we took notice and made suggestions to senior management pointing to areas we wished to pursue to further the project.

Design Process

After searching into our own UI we worked closely with the product owners to try and condense the user feedback into manageable stories that could be delivered within our arranged time-frame.

Testing for this project would be a mixture of in-house and with Sony in Japan and they had a very strict schedule to keep to. With this in mind we couldn’t use our usual agile workflow and it was decided that we would not be focusing on minimal viable product and would be trying to release the highest quality in the first try.

We approached the project with our key issues at the forefront, splitting our time and resource across the various sections of the UI.

A big section of the work was focused on merging the Sony android home screen with YouView content, we wanted to include various promotional material from our shareholders to make the user aware of the content that they now had and to increase usage of On Demand material.

Before the YouView Sony proposition there was not a way for the user to receive all the UK Catch up content so we wished to make this clear to the user. Add image of Sony home showing players

The Setup journey was seen as a key entry point for our stakeholders and we agreed with Sony that we would take ownership of our own on-boarding process.

Initial concepts of this were shared with Sony although we were informed that Google actually owned the onboarding process design, so we had to align with the information passed over from them.

We also wanted to approach the power of our search functionality. The user feedback had informed us that navigating search journeys with the use of the remote control was tricky for some people and impractical for most.

Android Home Screen

The first access point for users when turning their TV set on was the android home screen. Through the relationship that the company had developed with Sony it was decided that we would have strong prominence on the Android TV Homepage.

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On Screen Keyboard

With this in mind we opened up to using an on screen keyboard, something that hadn’t been created before inside our UI. This was a controversial topic as there was considerable push back for this feature and only by presenting a variety of ideas and implementations did we import this.

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Concepts & Feedback

We presented our work to both senior members of our team as well as external stakeholders on a regular basis. Using a agile review process it gave the teams abroad a way to be involved in the design process and it gave the design team a set goal to accomplish. Taking feedback was a tricky process as the separate companies all had their own review process which led to a lot of time waiting for admin to pass through back into useful design feedback. A company as large as Sony has a very different process which consisted of various people and teams syncing up before answers could be given.

Subtle Design Touches

There were a few sections which required reworking and alterations due to the impact of delivery times with the project. We looked to create bespoke versions of existing patterns that our customers had become accustomed too. We create a set of design components which corresponded with the development team and the google established guidelines

Design Solution

The final finished design of the the project brought together feedback from stakeholders in the project into an approved visual and interaction design model. The final designs and documentation was then sent over to the Sony Tokyo office where it was integrated into the final packaged TV

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