After many rounds of wireframes and brainstorming sessions, we created the first version of a minimum viable product with a hybrid streaming/social media model. An intuitive interface was designed for easy planning and keeping track of upcoming stream events. With our first MVP, we ran a quick usability testing in order to reinforce for another round.
toGather is a third-party streaming platform for OTT media services built to not only centralize and streamline watchparty experiences, but also to encourage conversation and connection between users.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Wireframing / Prototyping
July 2020–August 2020
With a rapid spread of COVID-19, social distancing became a key to flatten the curve and avoid exposure to the virus. Although the decision to socially distance is extremely crucial to a safer and more controlled environment, it can drive people a little crazy sometimes as people have fundamental needs for connection. Our team wanted to create an impactful product that can contribute to merging normal and new-normal to help people connect virtually.
With a hypothesis that people have hard time social distancing and networking with their loved ones, we sent out survey to individuals to gather qualities that make social distancing easier or harder. Out of 21 surveys that were collected, 66.7% individuals we surveyed were 18-22 and 28.6% are 23+.
Participants were asked to identify features that make virtual interactions easier or harder
watches videos during free time
difficulty of virtual interaction
uses streaming services every day
likes talking what they watch
Surprisingly, many young adults have responded that they find virtual interactions aren't as hard as they are already so used to digital technology.
→ Understand user's habits primary goals. Focus on improving the experience.
Lack of intimacy often leads to misunderstanding; conversations are more than just bubbles of text.
Limitations within social gathering is frustrating, but it also made it easier to reach out to friends and family outside of the town.
Silence is barely acceptable in a virtual social setting bc participants are relentlessly making eye contact through screens.
* 1=very easy to connect, 5=very difficult to connect
Our Journey to Finding Opportunity Space
Current watch party market situation
Currently, there are platforms that allow users to share through OTT media or their own screens. Our team took time to analyze the current market to find out where our product stands in the market.
How might we socialize when we're asked not to?
Many watch party apps only offer instant engagement of movie sharing and do not further provide space for users to form a community.
Social Distancing No Longer has to be Self-Isolation
We aim to bring good old sleepovers and late movie nights back to life. I mean, who doesn't love movie parties with the loved ones with a warm blanket, late-night pizza(with pineapple on top, of course), face masks, and more. Pre-COVID movie nights were more than just watching movies together and we wish to bring it back.
Key Feature 1 : Browsing
toGather uses visualization in logos and colors to invite users from different platforms.
Click to play our final prototype
Our First Iteration
In order to gain actionable insights on how we can improve our product's usability, we ran a quick 30-minute usability test sessions with 3 users of different demographics. As we were working with our very first MVP, we arranged controlled scenarios to see if the navigation was clear enough for the users to perform the tasks as wanted.
hi-fi wireframes for our final product
1. Adaptablity for multiple devices
Having a handy device is definitely tempting during long watch hours. One potential direction we can take in near future is to allow mobility for the product in order to adapt to different/multiple screen sizes.
2. Merging normal and new-normal
Approaching real-life activities with only the functionality can be quite limiting. Late night movie nights were more than just the movies; it was the intimacy and sentiments from togetherness.
What's Up Next?
Key Feature 2 : Engaging
toGather invites both registered users and non-registered users to enjoy the app with no limitation.
TL;DR: Our first product didn't do a great job.
After getting feedback from our users, we decided to take another month to empathize with the users before moving on to any design decisions.
We investigated on results from usability testing and created persona
Each team member pitched a new idea/direction for a fresh new start
Before the usability testing, we were confident in the product's success; we aimed to provide what was missing in the market and fill in the gaps. We researched how many social media approach communities and offer ways to form new communities. With that being said, we were surprised by how our tests turned out. Many people, regardless if they were in our range of target users or not, had a hard time completing tasks in scenarios we have provided and confused with the product's functionality and intentions at first glance. Users commented on lacking correlation between the product and the watch parties, the many steps in complex navigation to complete a task, certain wording not being clear enough, and more.
Stephanie wants to join Marvel-a-thon that happens every Friday night. It's Friday afternoon and you want to invite Stephanie ahead and have everything ready to go.
Add Stephanie to the group The Hamsters and set everything up. It's assumed that Stephanie is already in your friend list.
We took one of the sample scenarios from usability tests to see how our product improved
1. User flow before iteration
2. User flow after iteration