This was my testing rig. I propped up the phone on two s'mores skewers that are strung across my son's giant Legos.
Testing a Streaming Service
Problem: People spend a lot of time with streaming services, but it can take too long to find a show.
Solution: Insights into remote control design and screen layout.
Tools: Paper prototyping, scissors, penny, ingenuity.
A keyboard, not a mouse
This was another fun grad school project. We were asked to design an interface you would use from 10 feet away, a remote control and new screens for a video streaming service.
Here's what I found after exploring this idea:
The remote is a keyboard, not a pointing device. It has keys that go up, down, right, left.
Major concern is predicting where the next click will take you, if you're not directly pointing at it with a mouse.
I moved the menu to the left instead of the top, to reduce the click-distance to the menu. Since I did this project, I've seen more services do it that way.
I also wanted to use ellipses. This is a common convention from web design that I think could succeed in the TV space.
Read the Report (.pdf)
But how to test it?
The other part of the assignment was devising a method to test my design. For this, I had to get creative. I printed out screens and carefully choreographed my movements.
In my scenario, I'd use an assistant to call out screen movements while I move a marker representing the screen focus.
The act of printing and cutting out your elements is a great way to expose defects in your UI.