Do Plug-ins for Apps Exist?
In thinking through flows of apps that I use routinely, I am thankful for how easy it has become to lounge on the couch and watch my favorite shows. A host of apps and technologies synchronously act together to make my experience as easy as picking up my iPhone. Once my TV and iPhone are on, the flow looks a little something like this:
Task Flow: Watching Netflix on TV using the Netflix app, Chromecast, and the Sonos app.
I downloaded the Chromecast app previously, so now when I open Netflix, the Chromecast icon is located in the top right corner of my Netflix app interface:
After pressing the Chromecast button, a “Connect to:” window appears, allowing me to choose which device to cast to:
This is very similar to how the Sonos app operates — I can choose which device I would like to connect to, and I can control the volume of the TV from my iPhone using the Sonos app. However, unlike Chromecast, users are unable to access Sonos on the Netflix app, which adds an extra step to the already streamlined Netflix-Chromecast experience.
To address this need for TV-watching to become even easier, I ask: What if there were a way to have plug-ins for your favorite apps, like how Chromecast integrates seamlessly with the Netflix app? If I only had to open one app to do all three functions — select a TV show, cast it to my TV, and control my Sonos’ volume from one interface — it would make this lazy person’s TV watching experience even lazier.
I have always appreciated how certain companies have paired with related companies to improve upon their user experience: Figma and Slack, for example, have robust libraries of plug-ins and widgets that integrate well with their interfaces. Chromecast has integrated seamlessly with apps including Netflix, Youtube, and Twitch. If other companies were able to follow suit, we may reach a point where we only have to open one app — a real victory in designing for the lazy.