Socializing TV: A Branding and UI Case Study

Reyna Hixson
Dec 5, 2019 · 5 min read

Congratulations! We are currently living in the golden age of television, where there’s more than enough great content to consume. Though, that also means there’s more content to overlook and not know about. And it’s more possible to never know what to watch. And it also means that it becomes easier to watch a show quickly, though usually alone.

Problem

As our lives have grown to be more and more fast-paced, our TV viewing has adapted to that. Watching bits and pieces of shows here and there, or if we watch at longer length, it is typically alone, with no one to share the experience with. As more and more great programming continues to come out on an abundance of streaming services, it is getting difficult to know what to watch and what suits you. However, what if your friends, those who know your best, could help out with this?

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Remote Opening Intro

Solution

Remote is a platform that socializes TV watching through the ability to see what your friends are watching on other platforms and their reviews as well as the option to watch a show in real-time with friends.

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The Main Features of Remote

The main features include:

  • Watch a show or film in real-time with friends (this includes a live chat between all parties invited, anyone can pause the video, etc.)
  • Invite people to a show’s page, thus ‘recommending’ them that show
  • Create lists (like ‘ my recommended shows’, ‘my favorite crime shows’, etc.)
  • Leave reviews (this platform would prioritize showing you your friends’ reviews if any, and ratings for shows or specific eps)
  • See other friends’ reviews and like/comment on them in a feed

Its name comes from:

  • referencing the act of watching tv remotely with friends, a main feature of the platform
  • has a strong association with watching tv in general
  • often used as a device to control one’s tv watching experience, something the website does as well
  • in a group watching session, anyone has the power to pause and rewind the program, so offers a literal remote feature as well

Its goal is to motivate people to engage with TV more but also encourage sharing the viewing experience with friends as another thing to bond over as well as offer a place to primarily have your TV discussion on.

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Key findings from personal survey

Research

Next, I planned to get to know future friends, or users, of this platform. In order to do this, I crafted a set of survey questions that were posted on several TV-centric forums far and wide to attract a large sample size. The results of this revealed that while about sixty of respondents at least almost always watched alone, the majority of all respondents would like the ability to at least sometimes watch with others. And so with this new information, I used this to help inform the corresponding user persona.

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Kimmy, Our User Persona

User Personas

Kimmy is 19 years old and is from New York City, New York. She streams whenever she has free time and usually alone, as her work as an assistant and nanny demands a lot of time from her. She does not have enough time to arrange or attend a proper viewing party for her favorite shows but wishes she could. She loves watching animated content and teen shows as well as binge-able comedies. This platform would solve this issue by allowing her to create a virtual viewing party for her real and online friends whenever her favorite shows release a new season.

In addition to Kimmy, we also have our friend Antoni. Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, Antoni works as a sous-chef by day, and a loving husband at night, which is the time when he likes to unwind. He and his partner never know exactly what to watch or where to start, something they find very frustrating. Luckily, Remote would fulfill this need by guiding him to see what his friends are watching as well as accept recommendations from friends.

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Remote Style Tile

Brand Identity

After gathering the quantitative and visual research, it then became easier to conceptualize the brand identity as a whole. As I began working on the logo, I considered the visual elements that make up concepts that this platform touches such as the triangle of an envelope, or a party hat or as a play button, the square and rectangular forms of a device, etc. led to this final logo. Keeping with this theme of working with three’s and triangles, I stuck with a triad color scheme that served as visual cues for quickly recognizing how much of your friends’ are watching certain shows. As far as typography is concerned, I went for a less conventional choice so that the shows’ titles pop out more and remained on-brand with the more triangular serif cut-offs. When it came to the icons, I looked to the logo to recreate the tension across all buttons.

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Card Sorting via Padlet

Before touching any of the UX/UI components of the project, I looked to card sorting to help me decide how to organize information. I placed all the platform’s features on their own cards on an open plain and told participants to arrange the cards how they saw fit. Once I had a few results, I was able to recognize the overlap and lay out which features would lie in which places.

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Viewing Party, Homepage and Feed UI Screens

When creating the interface for Remote’s web app, the primary consideration was to keep connecting friends together over TV at the forefront of the user experience and have that reflect on the interface. Content-wise, the first place this was iterated was through the homepage, where the show that most of your friends are watching is the most promoted show. This concept continues throughout with the prioritization of friends’ reviews and reactions on shows’ pages and the feed. Structurally, the interface is inspired by the vertical scrolling nature of social media feeds as well as supports the longitudinal structure of the logo.

Brand Video

Designer: Reyna Hixson
Instructor: Abby Guido
Department: Graphic and Interactive Design at Tyler School of Art and Architecture

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