Home Work

SVOD Theme Development

How a shift in focus for the platform's sales model turns out to set a big change in motion for the themes.


My Role

From 2016-2019 I was responsible for the platform's Video On Demand themes. This responsibility included design, maintenance and development efforts of existing and new themes.

During this time I lead the UI/UX efforts to improve the usability of the themes on the platform. Together with the Customer Success team we uncovered user needs and found solutions. And, together with Marketing we strategized to create high converting themes.

The Challenge

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

The initial assignment was simple; creating new, attractive and easy to personalize themes. Because the current themes on the platform looked dated and proved to be too hard to personalize.

But it also became clear that the current themes were too expensive. High in development time and cumbersome maintenance, and had little commonality between them.

"themes were too expensive, both in development time and in maintenance time, with very little commonality between them"

The Approach

First things, first.

So, before starting any design work we had to find ways to reduce this development cost. By looking at some of our indirect competitors we looked for other ways to structure the themes. This helped us gain insight to the industry's standards and practices as well.

With a page and asset normalization approach we would reduce the cost of the themes. This structure allows more frequent new theme releases and easy switching between themes.

But how do we get there?

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

Predictable and Familiar

An important addition to this is the master user flow. This user flow uses heuristics as a guide to a pleasant and predictable user experience. Because happy subscribers equal happy clients.

"This user flow uses heuristics as a guide to a pleasant and predictable user experience"


No two clients are alike. Therefor the user flow works with a variety of pricing, product and delivery type options. During the research process we identified these variations and the expected theme behavior.

More about the '10 Heuristics for Interface Design' created by Norman Nielsen.

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]


Introducing the Powerful Intelivideo VOD master themes

Flexible enough to be the delivery page, powerful enough to be a stand-alone website. Built to create a deep sense of loyalty with their subscribers.

Clients will love how easy it is to build successful businesses on the themes. The ease of use for their subscribers will allow it to play an important part of their daily life.

Designed to Convert

Themes with a clear focus to connect with the different type of audiences, hot, warm and cold. Sections crafted with the purpose to educate the audience on their story and mission. Reiterating brand credibility with logo endorsements, reviews and intro videos.

And, retention focused by adhering to best practices, predictable user experience and transparency.

Audited and Maintained

To find remaining user issues, we perform user tests and watch support tickets. Together with Customer Success we find solution to address these issues. Improvements released on an iterative basis.

We are currently looking into putting A/B testing and heatmap tracking in place.


The Preliminary Results are In


The newer VOLT theme is a theme that converts much higher than all the other themes at 3.5%. The older Summit theme converts at a mere 1.8%. According to BigCommerce, average e-commerce conversion rates are about 1% – 2%. So any 2%+ conversion rate is a great result for themes.

But, the conversion numbers are very client dependent. The conversion numbers are more favorable when:

  • There's a strategic marketing plan in place
  • The price point is good for the content offered

In conclusion we can say that we may be able to increase conversion numbers a bit on a theme with the help of A/B testing. But in reality, it is the client who has to do the heavy lifting with strategic marketing and pricing.

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]

Low Maintenance

With a normalized theme structure the maintenance is much easier. The consistent asset requirements allow for easy switching between themes. And, adding new feature releases on a selective basis is easy, even post-launch. 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."

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



Though we do not have full control over the entire experience of the user, we will strive to do our part well. And to set up our client for success by focusing on the user and educating the clients on best practices.