Today, more people spend time watching over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime than they do driving a car, or talking to friends and family. The average user accesses content on 3 different devices (OpenX)
Our overall goal was to design an app that streamlined the search process for a favorite new show across all of the separate OTT streaming services.
To zone in on more efficient ways for OTT viewers to find new TV shows, we needed to learn more about their viewing habits, their current approaches for finding new shows, and any pain points they encounter during the process as a whole.
The interview process was intended to gain deep insight into a participants search process, including the resources used, level of effectiveness and emotions tied to each phase.
With limited time and so much content (old and new) people struggle to find that next best choice. They take the search process seriously wanting to find a show that they will truly enjoy but find the search process too time-consuming.
Interviewees discussed using multiple resources during their search process, which commonly included: Google searches for review sites, friend/family recommendations, online reviews, and social media.
It was discussed by three of the interviewees how challenging it was to judge the quality of a show on pilot alone. It was also felt to be time consuming (required a few episodes)
to determine if they wanted to continue watching a series.
For the survey, we widened our age group to include 35-45 year-olds, the next highest tier of active OTT subscribers. The survey allowed us to see larger consistencies in resources used to find shows, OTT features utilized and general search process patterns.
Choose shows based
upon a family/friend
Have stopped watching
a show early into viewing
because they didn’t like it.
Found genre categories
within OTT platforms
As the volume of content offered across all of the separate OTT streaming services continues to grow, our schedules continue to fill, and our heightened expectations for truly great content become "off the charts”, the need for TV viewers to find their next favorite show accurately and efficiently is more desired than ever.
How might we streamline the process for TV viewers, so they can access relevant
recommendations tailored to their unique viewing habits for all OTT streaming
services in which they subscribe?
Through a features comparison of similar apps currently on the market, we zoned in on the 4 key features below that aligned with needs conveyed by our research participants. Competitor apps had some of these features. Mestow will include all of them.
Mestow will provide show recommendations tailored to a user’s unique viewing preferences by having them complete a new user rating of 20 shows upon sign-up and specify preferred OTT platforms. Within the app, users can save shows to a watchlist, follow friends and family to view their watchlists, and read online reviews that are exclusively written by Mestow’s user community. The app is designed for the discerning TV viewer who wants to filter through to the shows of their specific taste, in the most efficient manner possible.
From the research gathered, we envisioned a target user for Mestow to fit this general profile.
Creating an ideal balance between work, time for his art and music, quality time with the kids, then whatever time is leftover, vegetation time.
Although he loves spending quality time with this wife and kids, some of his favorite viewing preferences are ones his wife doesn’t care for and aren’t appropriate for the kids. He would welcome some more “me-time” to enjoy his own interests.
Adam loves how much quality programming exists today compared to even 5 years ago. He just wishes there was a more efficient way to find shows that match his specific preferences.
Mestow’s user flow was designed to gather necessary data from users at initial sign-up to provide accurate show recommendations. Shows can then be filtered by OTT streaming within the specific genres of their choice and specific to the OTT streaming services in which they subscribe. Users can then save the show to their Watch List to view at a later date.
We then created a low fidelity prototype to map out the features as a team and zone in on any areas of improvement before moving to a more finished design.
From fine-tuning the New User Show Evolution to look less “form-like” to creating a social sharing feature for seamless dialogue with family and friends on shows they’re watching, the high fidelity phase of design took a huge leap forward in the experience journey.
Ensuring that new users will be provided with accurate show recommendations once they have completed the new user steps.
Providing users with a variety of recommendation types to choose from, whether it be the app itself, their network of followers or the user reviews.
Giving users a central space to keep track of future shows to watch and shows they are currently watching.
Allowing users to view their followers’ show selections, and if they choose, dialogue with them using the chat feature.
With so many viewing options out there and a growing selection of OTT streaming services to subscribe to, the demand for ease of TV searching will only continue increasing. Mestow provides makes this process more accurate and efficient.
Interested in discussing ways that we could collaborate? I’m always looking for new endeavors. Contact me and we can begin the conversation!
- Liz Sacks