TiVo.com – What is TiVo? (2008-2010)
It's not easy being the first, and as creators of the original DVR TiVo had a Kleenex problem. As with Kleenex, TiVo name was being used as a blanket term for all DVRs and a verb for recording Live TV. Therein lies the problem. People thought they knew what TiVo was, but their answers were only partially correct. My challenge was to design a page that disambiguates the product and informs prospective customers of the value of TiVo.
Working closely with my Research partners I gained a clear understanding of customer and business requirements. I worked with copy writers to develop and refine the marketing content, and then went to work on information and visual design of the page. A handful of iterations were reviewed with stakeholders, and then tested in the usability lab with current and prospective customers.
As the DVR, its feature set, and TiVo's branding evolved, I designed countless versions of the page. Both qualitative and quantitative testing validated the improvements and drove the evolution of the page, each time increasing user confidence and understanding of what our product offered.
Rebranding of TiVo.com (2008-2010)
Translate the look and feel of the new TiVo DVR User Interface (and new brand guidelines) into a new look for tivo.com. As part of the "face lift", I challenged myself to improve the overall user experience of tivo.com and have it adhere to a new set of tried and true design principles.
Evaluating the old interface presented a list of issues that needed to be addressed:
The website looked monotone and dated
It was cluttered with too much text and too many font variations
Global navigation suffered from readability and usability issues
Imagery was uninspired and not engaging
Having taken inventory of the pages, imagery, and text, I focused my efforts on redesigning tivo.com to not only reflect the new look and feel, but to make it easier for our visitors to achieve their goals - to learn about, choose, and buy a new TiVo DVR.
Some of the improvements were:
A more sophisticated, clean, brand-compliant design
Improved contrast and access to account information in the navigation
Imagery and colors that made the pages (and our product) look more engaging and modern
Use of bulleted lists and progressive disclosure techniques to reduce the amount of text on the page
Reduction in the number of fonts and sizes to improve scanability and hierarchy of information
Pairing with our Usability team, we tested the designs with our current and prospective customers. The result was an improved usability and brand impression.
The final deliverable was a layered Photoshop document that contained all the reusable design elements. Its purpose was to support both developers and other designers on my team in their respective efforts.
TiVo Mobile Application (2010-2012)
Recreate and enhance the TiVo iPad app experience for the small screens of Apple and Android phones.
The Process / iPhone
The transition from iPad to phone required taking a shallow information architecture and making it a deep one. Careful attention was paid to the core tasks and affordances that enabled fluid, intuitive interaction and flow.
Usability tests of the design showed that people had no issues performing the most frequent tasks and were delighted to know that they will have access to this app on their phones.
I worked closely with developers to ensure successful development and release of the app into the marketplace.
The Process / Android
Adopted an Android device as my primary phone ahead of the project.
Advocated for a design tailored to take advantage of the Android operating system that would match user expectations, despite PM/Dev push to simply "port the design".
I reviewed the iOS app screen by screen and considered where and how it can be altered to better suit the Android OS.
Redesigned a number of screens, both visually and functionally, to take advantage of Android OS capabilities and design patterns.
Familiar, effective, and easy-to-use mobile apps generated a lot of excitement in the TiVo community and in the Press. People were finally able to browse entertainment options, manage their recordings, and control their TiVo using their mobile device.
TiVo Stream (2012)
TiVo Stream was created to let TiVo customers stream shows from DVRs to mobile devices in their home, and to wirelessly transfer shows to watch anywhere. The challenge involved simplifying the complex setup process, designing a video player and download queue management that would enable people to take advantage of TiVo Stream's capabilities.
Close collaboration with the hardware team to understand how to best help users setup the new device within the TiVo app
Collaborate with User Research team to define functional requirements
Sketching ideas for integrating new functionality into the original UI
Translating sketches into higher-fidelity designs
Usability testing the design
Providing developers with pixel perfect mockups and redlines
After a year of design, documentation, and collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team (as well as invaluable support from the leadership), the TiVo Stream functionality has been integrated into the iPhone/iPad app and released to the market. It has tested well in our usability lab, and received favorable reviews from Wall Street Journal and numerous tech blogs.