Overview: Syfy Sync is an app for your tablet or phone that delivers contextual content that directly relates to the specific Syfy show you're watching. In-app contextual content may be a behind-the-scenes video of the scene you just watched, a trivia quiz based on the show, fun facts about the program or never before seen photos. Our goal was to create an immersive television viewing experience by providing relevant and engaging companion content on phones and tablets. Viewers may be presented with bio information when a popular show character appears on screen. Or they may be asked to vote in a poll to determine what direction the plot should go. Social integration and in-app live commenting are also options that allow fans to engage with each other.
Syfy Sync uses ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) technology to synchronize content between your television and mobile device by using the device's built-in microphone to "listen" to the television's audio.
My role: Production, Information architecture
Research/Competetive Analysis: Behavioral studies showed that an increased number of television viewers (over 80%) were simultaneously using their mobile devices and watching television.
Audio Detection/Vendor Selection: ACR technology has the ability to both identify what show is airing, as well as pinpointing precise locations within the show. Some of the minimum vendor criteria include a recognition Rate: > 98% in a normal (un-noisy) environment and an average recognition Speed or 4 seconds.
Overview: Computers allow anyone to become an amateur filmmaker at home with ease using programs such Windows Moviemaker and Apple iMovie. However, for newcomers, the interface of such applications can be complicated and daunting. Working with my classmate David Golan, we proposed an alternative video editor that brings home movies away from the computer and back where they belong, the living room television.
We created a simple, yet robust physical interface in the form of a television remote that anyone can pick up and start editing video right away. We also wanted to create a fun experience for the family that utilized an intuitive control scheme. The remote can be tilted up and down to make selections, rotated counterclockwise and clockwise to rewind and fast forward, and a quick “chop” up-down action makes a cut in the video edit.
The physical device is composed of an accelerometer and simple buttons. The software interface was created with Processing.
My Roles: User Experience Design, User Research, Physical Computing, Rapid prototyping, User testing
Research: Video Editing software (Final Cut Pro, Windows Movie Maker, Avid) can be pricey and also has a certain learning curve when it comes to both the preferred operating system (MAC or WIN) on top of the software's learning curve. Most people are also already comfortable with remote controls.
Remote Construction: Remote design had to lead to intuitive use and natural movements; mimic TV remote to offer familiarity, yet keep the number of buttons to a minimum; select and back/cancel button to navigate menus; accelerometer to do everything else; LED for feedback of button pushes. The remote is comprised of two pushbuttons, a LED, and an accelerometer. We housed the breadboard and Arduino in styrofoam and placed a plastic half-pipe as the top case. For more information on the circuit and construction.
Function: You tilt the remote up or down (then back to resting position) to cycle through the main menu. The select button and cancel/back button are self-explanatory. If you choose to add a shot to your edit, after selecting a video file from the “bin” listed on screen, you then have to set an in and out point to cut a shot for the edit. The active axis of the accelerometer is now the horizontal one, where rotating clockwise fast-forwards and rotating counter-clockwise rewinds. Once select is pushed to pause the video, the axis then shifts back to the vertical where you have to do a “cut” or “chop” motion, basically tilting from up to down, to set an in or out point. Once the out point is chosen and stored, you return to the main menu where you can continue adding more shots to the edit, you can review the current edit, you can export the current edit to a .mov file, or you can review past edits exported through the I-Ve interface.
Challenges: Choosing when to have users press a button or use the accelerometer. making processing interface intuitive and well-suited for our remote; unstable accelerometer values; perf-board is difficult to solder correctly; finding suitable materials for construction; lots of user testing.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Worked on the responsive redesign of www.uphe.com which allowed visitors to seamlessly browse video content in a clean and responsive interface. We also streamlined the content management system, allowing editors to work more efficiently and make video easily searcheable.
My Role: Requirements gathering,Business Analysis, Project Management, User testing, Information Architecture
Telemundo reality show "Gran Hermano" is the latin network's version of Big Brother, a social experiment placing strangers in one location and isolating them from the outside world for over 13 weeks. Viewers have the option of watching a 24/7 live stream on Telemundo.com. The site also featured access to recaps of anything exciting that took place. Each week, viewers are invited to vote via web or SMS on which contestants should leave the house.
Role: Strategy, Requirements Gathering, Project Management, User Acceptance Testing
Competitive Analysis: CBS Big Brother
Being Human/Shazam Partnership
Overview: Syfy and Shazam partnered to launch the first TV tagging initiative for Syfy's series Being Human. An on-screen promotional campaign encourages viewers to download the Shazam application onto their mobile device and to watch Being Human every week.
Research: Behavioral studies showed that an increased number of television viewers (over 80%) were simultaneously using their mobile devices and watching television.
Universal Studios Orlando-Mobile Web
Universal Orlando wanted to make it easier for park visitors to gain quick access to park information that mattered to them the most. This includes not only ride attraction information and wait-times, but also ticket information and pricing.
My Role: Business Analysis, technical production, Low fidelity wireframing, User Acceptance testing
Research: Analytics highlighted the pages most frequently visited by the park visitors. We also took a look at the information housed on pages less visited. We found that information was often living on pages with no other relevant content. We synthesized this information, grouping together similar pieces of information.