Design has always been an aspect of user experience (UX) that I find particularly fascinating. And looking at UX from a design perspective can be incredibly beneficial for businesses; it can facilitate further understanding of how to create a visceral experience for viewers over the lifecycle of an event.
Take video for example. Regardless of how great the content is, if publishers don’t place the appropriate emphasis on the design elements of user experience, the content will have less impact –- from a business and monetization standpoint.
What does this mean, exactly?
Consider the notion that there are three macro phases in long-form content viewing:
- The thrill of getting to it or the anticipation
- The active experience of watching the content
- The lingering thoughts of the recent past and expectations of a similar future experience
These three phases relate to both streaming online video viewing as well as in-theater viewing, though in different, individual, experiential modalities. An in-theater experience is more closely aligned with a laid-back modality, as the content is already pre-selected in advance of the viewing time. Online viewing is more closely aligned with a lean-forward experience.
When a viewer wants to watch long-form content online, the content choice isn’t always pre-determined. In the first of three aforementioned macro phases, the viewer may have a sense of genre, or may be influenced by his or her viewing group, friends or family. This initial phase of immersion is a crucial “design” step; content providers and aggregators should pay special attention to it as they look to monetize their collection of long-form content.
The user interface plays a significant role in the user’s discovery of relevant and usable choices. Cutting out the clutter can help the user access desired content, without being overwhelmed by a vast selection of content that may not interest the user.
It is also imperative to consider design during the active experience of watching live content. To be effective, the online video player needs to provide the right controls to the viewer. Often times, it seems as if the player simply needs to support the standard set of commands: “FF, RWD, pause and stop.” But, thumbnail scrubbing and mobile device integration add an additional layer of complexity.
Viewers prefer to have a uniform experience when using a given content provider or aggregator. However, user interface design is becoming more complex given the assortment of screen sizes and differing operating systems that run on various mobile devices. At the same time, further complications emerge in player feature support--where the continuity in long-form viewing becomes an essential feature.
And when the user has finished viewing the video, the user often has the choice to watch another piece of content or browse for related content before ending the online session. Considering what the viewer will be presented with at this point is critical to continued monetization of the total set of assets available in the repository.
At Brightcove Digital -- the services arm of Brightcove that includes consulting, design, software development and system integration -- we thrive on analyzing these details to provide our customers with holistic, custom and innovative user experiences. We give our customers the ability to reach viewers on multiple screens including smart TVs, mobile devices and desktop, while monetizing viewing experiences.
Ready to change the way you think about user experience design? Contact the team today, and find out what Brightcove can do for you.