FIRESIDE TV - STARTUP COMPANY
Born from the frustration of trying to find a great movie or TV show in a broken recommendation system. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime use outdated recommendation algorithms that offer little personalization.
MY ROLE: UX STRATEGIST & RESEARCHER
Based on research, I drew on insight from user habits, qualitative community, and business strategy. My ultimate goal was to leverage the habits our users already engaged with.
A Madlib style interaction that provided users with a new and fun way to discover new streaming content. It shouldn't take 30 minutes to find a 30-minute show.
We focused on the complaints from our observations, interviews, and usability tests. Through our research, we came to the conclusion that content libraries were not giving people accurate movie recommendations because of their archaic layout.
BREAKING OUT OF THE STRAIGHT EDGE
Through our research, it became clear that the traditional search layout interface used by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime were problematic.
The straightedge layout promoted very few genres. While these genres are not broken down into more accurate categories, movies and TV series are repeatedly placed in multiple genres.
We decided to change the way genres are set up by breaking the categories down. The movies and shows would then be categorized into smaller sub-genres.
SETTING THE TONE
Fireside TV needed a way to convey our specific genres. The genres were a challenge because we had created an exponential number of categories. Most importantly, the language had to be fun but it also had to be a source of trust.
To accommodate these needs, Fireside used Millennial directed humor to give recommendations. We also scoured social media sites to create "inside jokes" that our Millennial audience would understand. We ultimately hoped to create a FOMO (fear of missing out) principle that would convince users to watch our recommendations.
The number one activity that helped us understand exactly where it was that people run into difficulty finding great movie to watch was in our UX research. I was in charge of creating several personas, user journey maps, and writing out card sorts in order to see where our users had their priorities.
SKETCHING AND RAPID PROTOTYPING
Based on the conclusions from our observations, interviews, and multiple user scenarios we created an initial concept for our iPad app. These sketches were continually tested and reiterated. We then used InVision to make a prototype and continue to gather feedback.
SOLVING THE PARADOX OF CHOICE
As a result of this insight, we created a "Mad Lib" style decision quiz. Using a simple "tapping method", the quiz would ask pre-designated questions based on three categories.
- Who the viewer was with
- What activity they were involved in
- What emotion they wanted to feel
EXAMPLE OF A CURATED MADLIB USER WALK THROUGH
To account for those that did not want this level of engagement, we also created curated watch lists. These lists were based on pop culture and relevant events. Theses curated lists were designed with the intention of rapid turnover. We wanted our users to have new options at all times. Our filtering system would be a fun way to gather information and could be useful for individuals or groups. It would change when the viewer changed a single feature, the results would change accordingly. The "Mad Lib" would also be 100% more individualized than any of its competition.
Additionally, it was imperative to create an app that worked across platforms. While we did not see a realistic way to acquire all streaming services onto our platform, we could very easily send our viewers the links to Hulu, Apple TV or Netflix after they had completed our quiz. The link would conveniently come up right under the chosen movie or show description. User-tailored advertising became our way of funding the project.