Redesign to become digital first
As early as 2017, there was a major need to redefine our digital offerings and offer a better experience in the way we create and present our current affairs offerings while broadening our existing user base to young informed millenials. COVID-19 accellerated that need to provide a more optimized focus to better inform and diseminate information while a new strategic shift to engage marginalized groups and share more stories from an Ontario perspective was our new benchmark for success
Understanding our desired target user
As it was apparent that our 25-44 year old users would we the primary focus of the redesign, we wanted to capture more data to understand how users consume information and especially understand
- how users consume current affairs content
- how users watch documentaries and series
- What sentiment do they have to the TVO brand
Conducting research into our demographics
To get a more visceral understanding of our user, we interviewed 5 users to better understand these questions.
Our interview criteria included
- Avid or occassional current affairs consumers
- WIthin the target demographic
- Some or little familiarity with the TVO brand
Digging into the data
There were many themes that we uncovered as we dissected the data that was so important in we approached and focued in on our redesign.
Focusing in on our must haves
With the research in mind. we also had to be mindful of users who have
- limited bandwidth connections, such as rural users.
- The current innaccessibility to watch TVO online
- The need to deliver a responsive web experience
- In tandem, deliver both an iOS and Android app
To hone in our focus, we developed a few key points to keep our work in check mainly,
Outlining the initial wireframes
many wireframes were made to see how best to maximze the variety we have and create balance. When on the home page, the opportunity to maximize our users at the first touch point was critical and took a great focus to outlining the proper flow
Improving Article Engagement
One major issue we noticed was that the articles that we present could be better optimized. Oftentimes, they would be long, lack any structure or defining features that would break up the page and make it easier for people to read or understand in less than 10 secs. Using data from heatmaps and recordings, we saw that users also felt this way.
Reformating and optimizing article presentations
We studied different formats but ultimately, we wanted to have clear focus with the headlines. Bold and clean typeography was chosen, and images were stacked optimizing responsive screen formats. Based on sharing patterns, we also wanted to leverage social platforms such as LinkedIn and Reddit more prominently.
Highlighting our breadth of content
As we learned In our user interviews, the lack of organization and hierarchy of content impeded with our users desire to engage with TVO articles. In fact, the presence of only “latest articles” impeded their desire to discover content because they couldn’t find the topics and sections that interested them.
Easy Wins - Revamping the Homepage Experience
In our first phase, we revamped the main homepage to serve a more balanced presence to topics and types of content TVO offers. Instead of featuring only a high volume of latest articles, we’ve paired down the amount of content featured, instead creating more visual, minimalistic layouts that highlight the quality of the content as well as our flagship programs and features we want to highlight
Future Wins - Curated Topics and Subtopics
Leaning in from insight from users and editors, developing the site to handle more curated topics will create more depth into the reporting TVO can do and will ensure timely topics, both short term and long term, can be highlighted and featured, creating a more personalized, nuanced and flexible current affairs experience
TVO hosts a wide selection of documentaries and series however major issues impede its usability. While the content catalog is diverse, often titles don’t appear on the site and are hidden due to the sites indirect navigation and lack of organization. At the same time, the video experience is distracting with a cluttered interface that puts attention on everything except the content the user is watching.
Creating a more welcoming and cinematic experience
66% of People people we interviewed identified that they had hard time knowing what TVO does and don’t automatically think of TVO to watch Documentaries and series. At the same time, the respondents identified that they like binge watching shows, from platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video and Twitch.
Part of our solution was to bring that same cinematic experience to TVO.org, promote greater content recall by using poster images of documentaries and series, showing the vast amount of content through carousels and curated blocks while introducing a more intuitive navigation system that gets users finding content faster and more.
Organized Show Pages and Video Player
Show and video pages also received an update. In particular, we structured the data, the video player and added new features that we identified through surveys and respondents that fit into the theme of
Streamlined and Intuitive
With these fixes, we were able to significantly reduce the journey taken to view content and make a more straightforward experience for users so that they can enjoy content faster.
Over time, we will be tracking performance of each section and analyzing our Google Analytics to see what percentage of our audience we can retain and attract. One of our next priorities is to enhance the performance of the section and enhance it so that page times will decrease, and show titles can appear faster and more frequently when users browse.
Since we are one of the few providers that offer transcripts, described and closed captioning within our video experience, I would love to find a way to see if we can improve and create a more unified version for our users. Accessibility features have definitely helped bring unexpected benefits to the traffic that we see, especially international, and it would be interesting what we can do to leverage that insight.
Eric Hanson - UX Research, UX Design
Van Shaw - UI Design