After settling on our users and their primary goals, I mapped out the possible paths and the features through the app. With a solid understanding of who we were designing for, and the problems we were trying to solve for our users, we began ideating on possible solutions.
To help users quickly distinguish between movies and TV shows, I chose to use landscape images for TV (matching the aspect ratio of TV screens), and portrait images for movies since they looked like movie posters. (Positive response from users validated this assumption, and the idea would carry over into all future iterations.)
There were two primary directions we explored. The first was a magazine-like approach, sort of like a traditional TV guide, which displayed most of the relevant information up front.
The other was a less conventional approach, showing less information, but a lot more content options.
I made high-fidelity mockups of the two directions to put in front of test subjects to which they responded to best.
Early tests showed us that users preferred to see more content options than content information, so we shelved the magazine concept and dove into the tiled view concept.
In this "tile" view, users could see quite a few options for shows they could “watch now.”
The content initially shown to the users was defined by a combination of user preferences and availability. Users would see what is on now (or about to air), what’s new to streaming, and what their friends are watching or interacting with. Categories could be accessed by swiping left or right, or directly through the menu. Users could add or remove categories based on genre or even custom interests.
We did a few iterations in an effort to know just how much visual information users needed to see up front, and how much was too much. The rest of the information that users might want to explore was placed on content cards that could be accessed by tapping on a show tile.
An additional feature would allow a user to save their search keyword as an alert and/or a custom category. For example, if a user searched for the keyword “chuck norris,”, the user could get an alert whenever shows or movies featuring Chuck Norris. They could also jump to that custom category, or “interest.”
One of the final stories we addressed was the social features integrations, and designed the Social Pane. This allowed users to see which of their friends from their preferred social network were in the app, so they could connect to discover something good to watch.