Home Work

SVOD Theme Development

With the shift in focus from transactional sales to a subscription based sales model, a big change was set in place for the themes on the Denver based VOD platform.

Introduction

My Role

In 2016 I was asked to move from my marketing focused position and take on the sole responsibility of the platform's themes, as the new Creative Developer.

In this role I am responsible for the design, maintenance and the development of themes. I also lead the UI/UX efforts to continually improve the customer's experience and I work close with stakeholders to identify user needs.

The Challenge

...ready, ...set, ...HOLD ON?!

In my previous role I was mostly responsible for marketing efforts, such as graphic design and design and maintenance for the Intelivideo wordpress site. The initial assignment was pretty simple, there needed to be more attractive themes for the platform.

It became clear pretty quickly that though the number of existing (legacy) themes were far too few, they were too expensive — both in development time and in maintenance time — they had very little commonality between them.

"[legacy themes] were too expensive — both in development time and in maintenance time — they had very little commonality between them"

The Approach

First things, first.

During competitor research we looked at some of the big players in the website and e-commerce theme space, to get a feel for the industry standard for theme structure and development. By normalizing the structure of the themes and their assets into a master theme structure (similar to the parent/child theme concept in the website theme space), both the development and the maintenance of these new themes would be reduced dramatically.

But how do we get there?

  • Stabilize: Find and fix crucial bugs in legacy themes.
  • Research: Establish master theme and design
  • Development: Develop new master themes with model variations
  • Retire: Move existing clients off legacy themes.
Visual Design for Denver based Video On Demand platform: eBook How to make social media channels work for you

Predictable and Familiar

By normalizing the pages that are involved with finding, purchasing, consuming content and account management the Master User Flow is established. This user flow aims to honor the principles of Nielsen’s Heuristics to ensure a pleasant, predictable experience for the user.

"This user flow aims to honor the principles of Nielsen’s Heuristics to ensure a pleasant, predictable experience for the user"

Flexible

This Master User Flow also needs to be able to respond to the different variations possible depending on pricing type, product type and delivery type. These variations have been documented in the Master User Flow research process and the expected theme behavior based on these preferences specified by the client.

Visual Design for Denver based Video On Demand platform: How to grow sales infographic
SarahBeth Yoga - online yoga classes on the Summit Theme [Media Player View]

Design & Testing

Testing Performance

User Testing

During a User Task design meeting with the CTO, COO and a Customer Success Manager we brainstormed on the tasks a user would try to complete on the themes or what support tickets have been coming in specifically.

During the User Tests we want to know:

  • Can a user complete the tasks given?
  • How does it perform compared to a similar platform?
  • What is a user expecting to find?
  • Does the user feel confident using the platform?

"How does our platform perform compared to a similar platform?"

Conversions

While some themes are converting as high as 3% I am currently leading an effort to put A/B tests in place to improve these conversion rates.

So far we have found that these numbers are highly influenced by the following factors:

  • What theme is it?
  • What client is it?
  • How good is their (external) marketing effort?
  • How good is their price point?

Prototype

The Powerful Intelivideo Master Structure

Attractive themes that are flexible enough to be a delivery website and powerful enough to be the client’s primary website, strategically built to create a deep sense of loyalty with their subscribers. Clients will love how easy it is to build successful businesses on the platform, their customers will love using their websites allowing it to play an important part of their daily life.

With the stable master theme in place, maintenance is much easier, asset requirements between themes are consistent and functionaility is easily added, even retro-actively. Development of new themes is down by as much as 75% in development time.

"Development of new themes is down by up to 75% in development time."

Designed to Convert

Focused on conversions and retention by creating customer loyalty, by adhering to the industry’s best pratices, predictable user experience and transparency.

User Flow - Content Discovery on the Monarch Theme
Laptop Mock Up
John Garey TV - online pilates and fitness trainer on the Monarch Theme [Category Detail View]

Actively Audited and Maintained

Striving to always improve the user's experience we perform User Testing, monitor support tickets and are actively working on putting A/B testing in place.

Responsive

With a Lean UX approach we spend less time on producing prototypes and more time on developing new themes and releasing usability improvements faster.

User Flow - Categories on the Monarch Theme
Phone Mock Up
User Flow - Content Discovery on the Monarch Theme
Laptop Mock Up
User Flow - Content Discovery on the Monarch Theme
Laptop Mock Up

Summary

Notes

We do not have ultimate control over the entire experience of the user - as it is up the client to complete this to full circle by adding high quality content and a strategic marketing plan - but we will strive to do our part to set up our client for success by focusing on the user and educating the clients on best practices.