As part of the public service broadcasting group in Sweden UR (Utbildningsradion) produces and broadcasts educational and knowledge programmes. UR wanted to evolve their existing play service into an inspirational place for young adults.
Research and planning
Our assignment was to conceptually explore how streaming services and UR might evolve in the future. In order to do this we needed insights to act on. So we conducted research and interviews with stakeholders, editors and users. Both those familiar with the service and prospective users.
We wanted to explore the relationship between social sharing, editorial selection and interactivity. These co-creation sessions resulted in a number of ideas and insights. Patterns started to emerge from this initial research stage and we arrived at three potential directions for the service.
Proof of concept
Based on the directions and insights that came out of the previous planning project we moved on to define the directions into concepts. We now had was three hypothesises that we needed to validate on real users. We moved forward by prototyping out these hypotheses. Each was built into a light-weight prototype that could be tested, allowing us to better understand which direction we should explore further.
While all directions performed well on the users we tried them on, this concept project forced us and the client to prioritise between the directions and the functions they contained.
What were the key user scenarios that we had to solve? What should be included in an initial release? Some functions were received very well overall and made it in the MVP release, while the rest were listed in a product road map. Spotlight and Find were two functions that made the cut, see them below.
The function on the right was part of our initial prototypes but was so well received it was included in the foundation. It’s an accessible way to instantly be exposed to a mosaic of curated tags on interesting topics.
Branding and Design system
Now that we had a clear direction and scope for what we should develop first, we needed a strong visual style for the new platform. Put that alongside a flexible design system that functions as a strong foundation. Something that could be built upon in future iterations.
Our team of designers created the brand guideline for the service along with a new logotype, updated colours, typeface and a gradient between blue and red that we built the brand around. Based on that we built a design system for the interface elements that was needed.
The product was to be built in-house so before the developers could get to work we had to specify the MVP release with detailed visual and user experience design. The initial scope was for a responsive website but in the end the scope grew to include design for Apple tv as well as mobile apps, both Android and iPhone.
With the foundation in place, we could specify exactly what elements, modules and animations that were to be built in the first release. The target user for this project are developers, giving them everything they need to start production with most questions already answered.
The final screen we designed for the play service was the big screen. Based on the newly released Apple HIG for TV screens we quickly mocked up wireframes and then designed with real content. While being true to the baseline of Apple TV interface layout we still wanted something that stood out in the crowd. One function never seen before. That resulted in a switcher on the start screen, letting the user choose between Kids or Adult content.