Published July 1st, 2020
There is much debate around the future of
TV, from both a production and consumption perspective. One thing is clear,
however, that while we mostly take the User Interface of our TV and video
services for granted, it is often a key deciding factor when the time comes to
renew our subscription(s).
In a recent interview published for International Women’s Day, hosted by Women in Streaming Media, Peggy Dau, Founder & Managing Partner, MAD Perspectives, and Yujin Joung, UI Designer at 24i, discuss the often hidden importance of UI design for TV and streaming services. The lively and informative discussion covers:
1: UI/UX is gaining a lot of attention with the increased number of OTT services. Why is UI/UX important to pay-TV and OTT Providers?
As we already know, today the market is very competitive and fast-growing. Service providers need to build their own clear strategy for UI/UX in order to retain their customers. We can help them by creating distinguished features that users love to have. We look at the market trends and see if they are relevant to our clients based on their users and their own content. For example, let’s look at autoplay. This is when the video service automatically starts playing the next episode when you are watching a TV series. There is no need to manually select the next episode. If all services don’t have this same feature, subscribers will get annoyed by the services that don’t have it. This is a good example where the UI/UX anticipates the user’s needs. This small feature improves the general perception of the product.
Why has the UI/UX design with rows of images become the “standard”
for video services?
I think the rows of images started from the experience at the movie theatre when you see posters next to each other on the wall. We wanted to provide a similar experience which was the start of a trend that has become the standard.
We are more attracted to visual images than text. Images are easy to consume because they require less cognitive effort. Big images are more eye-catching than long boring texts. I believe the same to be true for video services. TV is a visual platform, not made for reading text. Instead, TV is mostly made for consuming media. Therefore, we need to make an easier and more usable product for the content.
3: What’s new in UI/UX design?
There is a lot of focus on personalizing
the user experience. Artificial Intelligence helps to understand your profile
and what you like to watch. You see relevant content directly from the
homepage, instead of using the menu to find what you’re looking for. The
content comes to you, instead of you going to the content. The product can
understand how you use it, and adapts its interface.
One of my colleagues gave me an amazing example of this. He has a video app and uses the same channel every Monday. This app collects the data about what and when he watches. The app now shows the same channel every Monday for him. That’s really impressive. Just imagine how this will evolve in the future.
Why is UI/UX important to consumers?
I think I can explain this with my personal experience. Recently I wanted to get more fit and I was looking for a fitness app which allows me to choose any kind of gym. So, I decided to download a few of them and just compare which one I want to use.
In one app, it was hard to understand what’s what; in general, it was just too difficult to use. I tried to use the map function which would allow me to see the nearest gym, but the result was just a chaos of data and images. Also, the look and feel of the app felt old, which made me wonder if the information provided by the app would be trustworthy. The content of an app is very important, but how we present it is also crucial. UI/UX helps consumers to experience the app in the best possible way. This is why UI/UX is important.
5: What’s important as we move ahead?
Users all behave differently and experience
products in their own way. We need to keep looking for new solutions and
technologies to improve the experience.
There must be a “wow” experience when they start to use the product. We need to make the user instantly fall in love with the services we create. Beautiful graphic design, playful animations, and easy interaction are examples of ways to impress the users.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 22 July 2020 – 24i, the industry-leading, global video experience company, today announced the launch of its Video Experience Platform (VEP), a smart and cost-effective SaaS platform that, for the first time, productizes all the services required for the convergence of Pay-TV, IPTV, and OTT streaming.
VEP has been designed to accelerate time-to-market while delivering the essential flexibility and functionality required for the creation of next-generation video services.
“The launch of the 24i Video Experience Platform challenges traditional industry delivery models by maximizing flexibility and functionality to provide service providers with, for the first time, the freedom to choose their own path to delivering next-generation video experiences,” said Martijn Van Horssen, Joint-CEO 24i.
Combining significant industry experience, consumer insight, and modern microservices-led architecture, 24i has created a powerful, modular, and flexible SaaS platform that focuses on the consumer, prioritizes operational efficiency, and provides cost-effective, agile technologies to ensure flexibility, scalability, and continuous innovation.
“The development of this exciting new platform has been informed by the deployments we’ve handled recently for customers such as BroadwayHD, Slovak Telecom, T-Mobile Czech Republic, Topic, and Youfone. Every customer is different, but they all need flexibility and a laser focus on the consumer. By launching services through VEP for all these customers with very different aims and goals demonstrates that this new platform is incredibly flexible and powerful. We look forward to our new platform continuing to help TV and video service providers to stay audience relevant by taking advantage of new business opportunities at every stage of their video evolution,” added Van Horssen.
VEP combines 24i’s Smart Apps framework, the 24i Smart Video engine, 24i Backstage, and a Smart Ecosystem of technologies and partners, to power the redefinition of the modern video experience.
The 24i Smart Apps framework supports every media company’s unique video business strategy and technology architecture with custom or white label applications, UX, and UI development. The framework simplifies the syndication and delivery of live and on-demand TV and video content to mobiles, web, Smart TV, TV, STBs, and game consoles.
24i Smart Video is a feature-rich platform that gives video providers the operational flexibility for end-to-end multiscreen video delivery. Smart Video simplifies the syndication and delivery of live and on-demand TV apps across mobile, web, smart TV, game consoles, and Set-Top-Boxes (including support for HbbTV and ATSC 3.0. The scalable cloud-based model is designed to leverage existing infrastructure and/or 3rd party technologies and provides options for on- or off-premise deployment of relevant workloads, such as service creation and video processing. The platform takes in and converts raw live or on-demand libraries to the required delivery formats for all types of devices, including encoding and transcoding of linear content to multiple bitrates and resolutions.
24i Backstage is an award-winning, real-time UX and integration manager that allows media companies to define and manage their application experiences by connecting back-end systems via a cloud-based management console. Backstage enables media companies to configure apps, define and schedule content availability or promotion, curate content, orchestrate and enrich metadata, and seamlessly integrate with ecosystem technologies.
Additionally, 24i has also announced the launch of the Smart Ecosystem, which ties together the online video value chain through a seamless combination of in-house products and premium partner integrations. This open ecosystem delivers TV and video service providers with the most effective video experience solutions based upon their unique business needs and growth strategies. Modular and flexible, the 24i Smart Ecosystem is designed to scale and expand platform architectures without the complexities and risks typically associated with a multi-vendor strategy.
Sep 11, 2020
In the last episode of our IBC On Location series, Florian Laroye, 24i's VP Design shares the journey the 24i brand is taking and the design principles that he and 24i Brand Designer, Katya Rassadina, are using to guide them along the way.
While 24i has developed enormously during its 11-year history, however, our brand has only had one update in all that time. About a year ago we decided it was time to apply the same creativity and innovation we bring to our industry to our own brand and give it a serious refresh.
To do this Katya and I have followed a few key principles:
Firstly, we removed the slash from the 24i logo to simplify it to the extreme. The numbers 24 and the letter 'i' are enough and say it all: 24i = 24 Innovation.
Secondly, we replaced our letter fonts with modern alternatives. This helps us stand out in an ecosystem where companies are mostly fairly conservative in their branding.
The third principle is the introduction of two, new, primary colors - Crimson (pink?) and Peacock. Crimson evolves us from our previous dark red color pallet, brightening up our brand and representing our passion for what we do. Peacock represents 24i's professionalism and offers a darker more stable complement to the bright and fiery Crimson color.
We have already rolled out our new branding across our social channels, marketing campaigns, and materials and we look forward to it taking centerstage in our new 24i website which is coming soon.
Sep 01, 2020
From September 8th - 15th, join us on location in Amsterdam where we are talking to customers, partners, and colleagues about how businesses and technologies have developed since IBC last year. We also share insights on how to keep connected during the pandemic and tips on how to have fun when you do get to Amsterdam next!
May 15, 2020
It is no surprise that video streaming services are experiencing exceptional growth while lockdowns around the world keep people at home where they want to be entertained. Netflix added 16 million new accounts in the first three months of the year and niche video services such as BroadwayHD, Topic and Pure Flix, have also seen a significant increase in streams and subscriptions.
In the first of our own video series In
Conversation… , Martijn van Horssen, CEO and co-founder of 24i shares insights on
why some media companies are doing better than others during the Corona crisis,
- The 'Watch Party' effect and other smart marketing tactics
- The AVOD challenge and SVOD opportunity
- Scaling services for peak demand and growth and
- How 24i is supporting customers and employees during this testing time.
Hosted by Craig Kierce and produced from home, we hope you enjoy watching this honest and open interview and we look forward to bringing you the next episode of In Conversation soon.