Comedy Central - 

UX/Interaction Design

UX DESIGNER, ISOBAR (MAR 2012 - NOV 2013)

During my employment at Isobar (a digital marketing agency), I worked on various projects. My favorite one by far was making the iPad and iPhone app for Comedy Central.

Users

Young men and women between the ages of 20 and 40.

Team at Isobar

The team comprised of a UX Director, UX Designer (me), Project Manager and 2 Visual Designers.

Process

UX and Interaction design was done using Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. The process took about 4 months and the deliverables were passed to the visual designers. We worked within an Agile process using 2 week sprints to iterate. At the end of 2 weeks, we presented to the leadership at Comedy Central for approval.

Requirements

  • iPad and iPhone app for the purpose of browsing Comedy Central content.

  • The app would contain some free content and some paid content.

  • New and returning users should be able to discover new content on the app.

  • The app should look fresh and exciting on each visit.

  • Drive users to connect with cable provider to watch paid content.

  • Integrate ways to enable social sharing of content from the app.

  • Remember user preferences for returning users.

User Research

Competitive Analysis

We started the user research by looking at competing apps that provided video watching via personal devices like tables and phones. Some apps we looked at were HBO Go, Netflix, Get Glue, Adult Swim, etc. We liked how Netflix customizes content to your preferences. We liked the social components of Get Glue. None of the apps did exactly what we wanted for Comedy Central. This was great news. We wanted to keep Comedy Central true to its personality - exciting, funny and social.

Brainstorming

We brainstormed with the full team together to get as many ideas flowing as we could. We made white board sketches and documented the ideas that we would like to move forward with. We also talked to in-house developers to understand the feasibility of each concept.

Iterating

We presented to the clients every week initially to get approvals on the concepts. The presentations contained click through prototypes made using Just In Mind, Proto IO and Keynote. We iterated for close to 3 months before we narrowed down to the concept we moved forward with.

River

One of the main requirements for the app was to keep the homepage exciting and fresh with each visit. We did this by creating a “River” of content on the homepage. The "river" comprised of a mixture of content that included links to newly released episodes, show CTA, tweets from Comedy Central and other such social content and easter eggs.

Ad Space

This space is reserved for any promotional content like new shows or newly released episodes. Clicking this space opens a slide out drawer (from left) that contains promotional content.

Personal Content

This section displays links to any videos you haven’t completed watching. This space also contains your watch history.

Navigation

The navigation takes you to video content categorized by Shows and StandUp. Other navigational elements are Catch Up (shows personalized content for returning users), Home, Search and Settings.

Categories

All the category pages are architected similarly. The shows are displayed on a “Clothes line” (concept drawn from hanging clothes on a clothes line). Swiping left will show more content and the tiles grow in size when they come in view. Scrolling downwards takes you to a different category of content.

Show Pages

The show pages displays episodes and other social content organized on a “timeline”. A lock symbol on the videos indicates that it is paid content. Scrolling down to the end of the timeline opens up a drawer with other shows so you never run out of content for browsing.

Video player

The player (locked in the horizontal view) features a social sharing scrubber. The videos are split into smaller chunks that are shareable. For example, if Jon Stewart did a funny skit on The Daily Show, a CTA bubble pops up when the video is playing to let you know that you can share this clip on social media with just one click.

Suggestions

When a video comes to an end, the player minimizes and shows recommended content to play next. The suggestions include episodes from your favorite show in addition to other episodes from the same show you were watching.

Settings

The settings area displays a simple progress indicator showing you how to connect via your cable provider to get access to watching paid content.

This has been one of the most exciting projects I have been a part of. The project took 8 months to design. The deliverables were approved by the leadership Comedy Central and Viacom and sent to development in 2012.

The Comedy Central app is now on iTunes