To go beyond the typical on-demand experience of most television networks and create a Pandora-esque experience for video.
We knew we needed both an on demand and a Pandora like experience so we had to figure out how to meld the two together. We settled on the bold idea to make the decision for the user and land them on the Pandora like experience and allow access to the on demand area. We called the Pandora like experience The Mix and started designing from there.
We took a room that was not used very often and filled it with post-it notes of features, personas, and early sketches/wireframes of ideas. We then had daily and weekly meetings with various stakeholders to discuss specific features and areas of the app.
UX and Design worked very closely on this project. We spent time wireframing and doing design exploration of the various areas and features of the app. We would review those various stakeholders to get sign off.
Once we got a good portion of the design in we brought in the outside vendor who was going to develop the app. Ideally, I like to work with a developer from the very beginning of a project but we had to wait until we could bring the outside vendor in as early as they could manage and still maintain our budget.
We had discussions with our developers about how feasible our ideas were. Sometimes we had to make compromises with our designs and sometimes we had to push the developer to try some new and unorthodox techniques to accomplish a design.
Our internal design, UX, and production teams worked very closely with the developer to accomplish what we set out to create.
Other areas of the network had been brought in at various stages to provide insight into how this app would affect their worlds. Once we got close to completion of development we really began to evangelize the app and what we created across the network. Buy in was fantastic and other departments began to rethink how they would work in the future to support the success of the app.
The app launched on July 3rd and was a huge success. We increased video plays and time spent in the app by significant margins. The success has continued to be much larger than it was with the previous iteration of our flagship app. We continue to work on updates and improvements to roll out to enhance our users' experiences with the app.
We've continued to make improvements to the app. These improvements are mostly based around enhancing the user experience and increasing the ability to personalize and tailor the app to each user's individual needs and desires. There have been some revenue enhancing improvements as well. Those are always balanced out with the experience so as not to push users away. We've even reduced the amount of ads shown to users based on early feedback.
We have many improvements currently in the pipeline and we're very excited about some much larger user-facing improvements that are set to launch in the next year or two.