Reimagining The TV User Experience

Today’s Pay TV providers are hyper focused on defining and owning the TV user experience (UX). Success in owning the UX requires more than a compelling user interface (UI) design. It requires relooking at the UX in a whole new way based on the newest technologies available in the market.

Via The Donohue Report

Today’s Pay TV providers are hyper focused on defining and owning the TV user experience (UX). Success in owning the UX requires more than a compelling user interface (UI) design. It requires relooking at the UX in a whole new way based on the newest technologies available in the market.

In particular, HTML5 and Reference Design Kit (RDK) are two critical developments that open the door for operators to take control and redefine the user experience. These standardization efforts help to improve the overall look and feel, but most importantly, the combination of HTML5 and RDK offer break-through performance, infinite design flexibility and support for endless new use cases to wow and delight consumers. Specifically, there are four key design cornerstones that operators should consider as they plan their UX roadmap:  dynamism, blended experiences, responsiveness and personalized content.

Make it Dynamic with HTML5
First and foremost, next generation user experience must be able to rapidly introduce new features and adapt older ones. This is where the use of standards like HTLM5, cloud-based user interfaces and RDK come into play. Leveraging these technologies ensures that operators can quickly develop, deploy and introduce updates to guides rather than wait months or years between refreshes. This dramatically shortens time to launch and allows the UX to remain nimble and resilient to changes.

Blending Makes it Better
This new generation of interfaces must also offer blended experiences that seamlessly combine multiple content sources, which can be implemented by leveraging HTML5 technology.  TV viewers today want to be able to access prime Web video apps like YouTube and Netflix on their TVs without barriers. This allows operators to act as content aggregators, giving the consumer uninterrupted access to their content through a single portal from a single access point. Great user experiences also support new social media applications which allow viewers to share, comment and connect while watching their favorite programs.

Go Fast or Go Home
The speed or responsiveness of a guide is what consumers are struck by first and foremost. This first impression influences how subscribers will view the rest of the overall experience. Unfortunately, some UIs load up on features and functionality without considering performance from the ground up. The good news is that are tools and technologies available which optimize for efficient and rapid UI performance. Intelligent HTML5 video integration includes solid algorithms for buffering, video management and media player integration design to achieve the quickest time to play.  Incorporating fast data loading and metadata management can reduce the time it takes to retrieve and manage metadata. These tools significantly impact the performance of key applications like the guide, VOD, and DVR etc. and allow for fast performance to cinch that key first impression

Remember: It’s Personal Now
Consumers expect to personalize the TV experience the same as other devices and services such as mobile devices, tablets and OTT services. This means that the UX needs to support personalized services such as content recommendations, apps based on the shows being watched and previewing in EPG, VOD or other video applications. Along with ease of personal customization, users expect a sleek and attractive display. Thanks to HTML5’s rich and powerful rendering capabilities, 3D graphics are increasing in prevalence and are proving popular with audiences who turn to TV for the sharpest and clearest video viewing experience.

Getting the TV user experience ‘right’ is vitally important to the future growth and success of pay-TV services.  Thanks to new standards and technologies, including HTML5 and RDK, pay TV providers have the tools to deliver high impact UXs that can unify content services with agility and speed.  By incorporating responsiveness, dynamism, blended services and personalization techniques on top of these foundation technologies, operators can regain control of their UX strategy and reinvent TV business models, taking TV user experience to new levels and delighting and satisfying viewers for years to come.
 Kirk Edwardson is head of marketing at Espial