M7 Group, owned by Canal+, is a major European pay-tv operator offering language-specific packages to over three million subscribers in eight countries. Canal Digitaal is a TV application & web portal that complements the streaming experience of linear TV and video-on-demand services with various interactive features such as replay, record, explore interests, and recommendations. We went through a full design process starting from user research, through to usability to deliver unified and seamless TV experience across various devices. To meet customer's fast-changing viewing habits in an increasingly competitive field, it has launched a leading-edge OTT application allowing M7 subscribers to permanently access content on any device. They wanted a design strategy that can help them position as top leader in European market. By empathizing with users and conducting research we uncovered several problems and insights. While designing solutions we had to account for local user’s cultural and behavioral aspects. During the research, we uncovered several challenges but the most significant challenge was to help users spend less time selecting the content and more time watching. We wanted to leverage their distinctive offerings of providing hybrid content of Live TV programs and Video-on-demand into a seamless watching experience. Thus, we focused on personalizing viewing experience through highlighting relevant content based on thematic culture, watching time, and interests. We found that user behavior patterns were diverse based on several factors such as location, season, time, etc. Acting on these insights, we created features like live recording, playback, reminders and dynamic recommendations among others. Understanding customers’ needs of being socially connected and ability to share experiences, we recommended creating a social community framework where friends and families can help each other to explore new interests and contents. In order to eliminate user frustrations of typing on TV - we displayed QR code on TV screen to be scanned and typed on mobile. This design-focused approach helped to deliver a unified and seamless viewing experience and created new possibilities for the client to offer unique services.
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