For the past two years, I have been designing features for Smart TVs.

WHY SMART TVs?

"Embrace ambiguity." -- Patrice Martin, IDEO.org

Unlike numerous resources on web, mobile, wearable, even bots and Virtual Reality, there is almost nothing on Smart TV user experience. But at the same time, designing for TV is so different from other platforms:

TV often serves multiple users physically present in one space.

TV often serves multiple users physically present in one space.

A conventional remote only allows elaborate interactions.

A conventional remote only allows elaborate interactions.

Separate input and output devices means a less coherent feedback loop.

Separate input and output devices means a less coherent feedback loop.

Any difficulties in reading and interaction is magnified by distance.

Any difficulties in reading and interaction is magnified by distance.

There is currently no consensual best-practice for the architecture and layout of TV OS. To learn about user behaviors, I designed a web-based simulator to enable a large quantity of remote testing. We started with something as fundamental as the Home UI. And here are what we found:

Users don't follow the logics designers give, even if the logics is "correct".

Users don't follow the logics designers give, even if the logics is "correct".

Users make subconscious actions. Physical remotes make any correction of them more burdensome.

Users make subconscious actions. Physical remotes make any correction of them more burdensome.

If we get the above two right, users could be surprisingly tolerant towards other disruptions.

Testing and validating concepts is an important part of my work. I believe everyone on the product team has a good intention of being the user advocate, however UX professionals are the ones who are equipped with scientific methods (and attitudes) to find the truth.

Curious about what exactly we found that have surprised ourselves? Contact me!