I redesigned the blinkbox Smart TV application to maximise performance on low—powered TV devices.
Below is an overview of the project.
TVs are low—powered devices. This means they're slow to load and to respond to user interaction. Response rates slow even further when many images are involved or the page is content—heavy.
The blinkbox Smart TV app asset page was image heavy and made many calls for information the user didn't necessarily need to access.
The plan was to improve the performance of the TV app on its own right as well as to make the app viable for other low—powered devices.
It was also important that the asset page worked for both movies and TV shows.
In order to solve the problem we would have to design an application which doesn't use many images and doesn't load more information than it needs to.
This would free up the scarce memory resources of the device to be utilised for other features, thereby making the experience faster and adding value to the product.
The design had to work with 5 point navigation (Up, Down, Left, Right, Enter). This is generally quite easy to achieve until you have a scrolling list, which the design needed to handle as TV shows usually have many episodes.
From this point I built an HTML prototype which worked with five point navigation and could be put onto a smart TV.
This process was invaluable as even my rough prototype ran quickly when put on a TV, which was a good indicator that I was onto something.
Working with our dedicated UX researcher, we put the prototype in front of users. We asked them to perform a number of tasks both simple an complex, I then used the findings to refine the design further.
The final design utilised a number of smart design techniques to lower memory overhead on the device.
This change freed up a lot of memory which was otherwise used loading episodes which the user may not be interested in. As a result I now had memory spare which allowed me to load a slightly larger episode image and a mini synopsis for the currently visible episode.
The new design only loads a new set of information when the user asks for it by pressing OK.
Previously the app had loaded each new section as they scrolled over the button. This meant a lot of data was being loaded as a user moved from the left hand side of the screen to the right.
The results from user research were outstanding. Respondents confirmed that they found the new design far easier to navigate and much faster to use. Users also noticed improvement in finding the right information.