The Story So Far
At DIRECTV, a few years ago, my UX group was in the process of redefining their internship program. As a part of this initiative, I was selected as the mentor.
The only requirement I was given for this project was that at the end, the leadership would like to see a functioning prototype (and not a presentation deck). We paired the UX intern with an Engineering intern so that the design can be prototyped and coded.
We gave the intern a few general areas that was of her liking. The intern expressed a strong desire towards Music, and that kickstarted this effort…
To better the understand the landscape, we started off with a competitive research. This included streaming services, online radio stations, apps that recognize music, music video platforms, to name a few.
We also did a quick round of user interview to better understand the demographics.
We also asked the intern to reverse engineer the information architecture for the DIRECTV 10-foot ecosystem.
Research & Provocations
We then synthesized our findings into the following two provocations…
Social – Can we connect this experience with other applications that people use. For example, ca we pull up playlists through Spotify and access on TV, or vice versa?
General – How can DIRECTV play to its core strengths, and yet empower discovery and curation of music?
The Aha! Moment
We zeroed down on the fundamental fact that discovering music that is embedded in DIRECTV’s content (shows, movies, concert footage and sporting events) is an unmet need.
And while the users can perform this task via their smartphones, it’s a cumbersome process that involves multiple steps, and isn’t particularly a delightful or visually engaging.
We used this as our core concept and started whiteboarding an experience that could, at the press of a button, identify the music embedded within the video content.
We also drew out some user stories to see how this could fit into user’s every day life.
Information Architecture & Wireframes
We then did a light level of UX documentation (site map, flows, wireframes) with the intent of creating a working prototype and testing the usability of the entire experience.
Based on the feedback, this is how the design manifested itself...
Extending the Experience
We then extended this experience into a portal of (video-centric) musical content that is available via DIRECTV as well as by third party providers...
...and corresponding artist detail pages.
The design was well received by the DIRECTV executive leadership.
It was also the only prototype in that year’s interns’ presentation.
It was approved and received funding as a project for that fiscal year.