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Introduction

For over 20 years, DivX® has delivered exceptional video experiences, amassing over a billion software downloads and more than 1.7 billion licensed playback devices. However, we faced a significant decline in software downloads for DivX 10. Our investigation revealed four key issues: the need for a unified application for media playback and conversion, a modern and intuitive interface, requests for new features, and performance enhancements.

To address these issues, we devised a plan to modernize and streamline our software by consolidating DivX's "Player" and "Converter" into a single integrated platform. This initiative aimed to enhance user experience, update the interface, and integrate new features and performance optimizations to ensure our platform surpassed competitors.

This document outlines our journey from problem identification to the successful launch of DivX 11, detailing our market and user research, idea generation, design process, and collaborative efforts. Our goal was to significantly improve user satisfaction and drive increased software downloads.

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Market Research

To understand the competitive landscape and inform our design and product decisions, we analyzed three major competitors: Elmedia Player, Windows Media Player, and VLC Media Player. Each had distinct features that influenced our approach:

  • Elmedia Player: 
    Sleek design and user-friendly interface.

  • Windows Media Player: 
    Broad compatibility with various media formats.

  • VLC Media Player: 
    Extensive customization options and robust performance.
     

Several key market trends emerged:

  • Unified Media Solutions:
    A growing preference for all-in-one media solutions combining playback and conversion functionalities.

  • User Experience:
    Increasing emphasis on modern, aesthetically pleasing, and intuitive interfaces.

  • Performance Optimization:
    Demand for software with fast processing speeds and high-quality output.
     

My Contribution:

Assisted with market research, including competitor analysis of major players like Elmedia Player, Windows Media Player, and VLC Media Player. Identified market design trends and opportunities that guided our strategic design direction.

User Research

To gather user insights, we conducted surveys with over 600 participants. Key findings included:

  • Unified Experience:
    91% of users preferred a single application for media playback and conversion.

  • Modern Interface:
    88% of users expressed the need for a more modern and intuitive interface.

  • Requests For New Features:
    78% of users requested new features like batch conversions, cloud uploads, and updated media editor. 

  • Performance Enhancements:
    76% for users requested performance enhancements which focused on faster conversion speeds and improved playback quality.

My Contribution:
Led the user research efforts, designing and conducting user surveys to gather insights from over 600 participants. Analyzed feedback to identify key pain points and desired features that informed our design decisions.

Goal Creation, Prioritization, and Team Alignment

With insights from our market and user research, we held cross-functional brainstorming sessions to determine which goals to pursue. These sessions included team members from design, development, marketing, and product management, ensuring diverse perspectives.
 

We developed a prioritization framework to evaluate goals based on user impact, business value, technical feasibility, and resource constraints. This framework helped us to systematically identify and prioritize the most impactful goals.
 

Outcome of Solutions Pursued:

(Note: While numerous goals were pursued, the following highlights showcase the most impactful outcomes to maintain document clarity.)

  • Combined Player and Converter Platform:
    Simplified user experience by integrating playback and conversion functionalities into a single platform.

  • Modernized Interface:
    Enhanced user satisfaction with a visually appealing and intuitive design.

  • Performance Optimization:
    Improved conversion speeds and playback quality, addressing key user pain points.

  • Batch Conversion Capability:
    Of the new features requested, our prioritization framework indicated batch conversion as a top priority.
     

By including the cross-functional team in the goal creation and prioritization process, we ensured that everyone had a shared understanding of the project vision and objectives. Fostering open communication and involving diverse perspectives allowed us to identify and prioritize the most impactful product goals effectively.
 

My Contribution:

I facilitated cross-functional brainstorming sessions and played a key role in developing the prioritization framework that evaluated goals based on user impact, business value, technical feasibility, and resource constraints. By ensuring open communication and collaboration, I helped align the team around a shared project vision, leading to the successful integration of the Player and Converter functionalities, modernization of the interface, and performance optimization.

Platform Design Process

The Platform Design Process was instrumental in the DivX 11 project, reflecting our strategic approach to modernizing and unifying the platform. This process showcased my ability to synthesize research findings, develop detailed personas, map user journeys, and create a cohesive visual identity that aligned with user needs and market trends. By employing an iterative design approach, I was able to validate and refine our designs through continuous user research and cross-functional feedback.

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Persona Development

Based on our user research, I developed detailed personas to guide our design process. These personas reflected the primary user groups and their needs:

  • Tech-Savvy Professional: Aged 25-35, looking for efficient tools to manage and convert media for work-related tasks.

  • Casual User: Aged 25-35, seeking an easy-to-use platform for personal media consumption and occasional conversions.

  • Media Enthusiast: Aged 25-35, desiring advanced features and high performance for extensive media use.

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User Flows & Wireframing

Our user research indicated that the portion of the platform that would get the most use was the mobile app. This finding led us to begin building out the mobile app first. Once we had a high-level architecture in place, we expanded upon each component by using wireframing and user flows. A lot of whiteboarding was also involved.

 

At this point in the process, we found user feedback very important. The user feedback we received helped us flesh out the primary features and workflows of the mobile app, which include the registration process, dashboard, schedule, vital recording, alerts, profile, and many other internal screens. 

 

Below is an example of the registration process user flow and wireframe for the mobile app.  

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User Inteface

It was very important to the co-founders that we created a user interface that was colorful, fun, modern, and very unique. I love working with teams who want to push the boundaries of UI design because that's when you have the opportunity to create something industry leading.

 

I have found that the secret to creating a beautiful interface is consistency. To create consistency across all platforms for Buddy we began by establishing our visual design language which included color palette, typographic hierarchy, iconography, and image style. One aspect we used to give buddy a colorful, fun, and unique look was by creating a custom color palette and icon library for the vitals which you can view a portion of below.    

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Iterative UI Process

Crafting an optimal UI solution often involves an iterative process. It's about researching, creating, testing, analyzing feedback, refining, and then revisiting.

 

At Buddy, we embraced this approach, ensuring our solutions were finely tuned to user needs.

Dashboard Version 1

Through usability testing we found the following issues with our first version.

  • Too much data was being shown which was overwhelming users.
     

  • Users often didn't realize you could tap on the squares of data to advance to the next screen which displays more information.
     

  • We also found that users didn't feel like the dashboard was personalized to them.

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Mobile App UI & Strategy

The platform we started to design first for Buddy was their iOS mobile app. When designing the user interface for a large platform like Buddy, I start by focusing on the primary features. I choose a couple of wireframes from each primary feature and start the iterative UI process described above.

 

As I advance the designs though my process, the visual look of the platform begins to form. Once I have finalized my designs and established the visual look for a few key screens, I begin to expand it out through the remainder of the platform. I have found following this process to be very useful because it slims down on the time it takes to establish a visual look while also decreasing the time spent updating a large number of designs.

We followed my process and began Buddy's mobile app by designing the user interface for Buddy's dashboard, vitals, schedule, record vitals, alerts, and profile. Once we established the visual look, we expanded it out through the remainder of the app. You can view a few of the finalized user interface screens below.

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Desktop UI & Cross-platform Strategy


Developing a cross-platform application is indeed a complicated task. By initially focusing on the mobile app, we were able to learn valuable insights into user preferences and interface usability, insights which were invaluable when applied to subsequent platforms. Having already established a visual standard during the mobile application's creation allowed us to swiftly progress in producing the desktop user interface.


Throughout the desktop interface's development, we consistently refined and assessed our designs through a series of iterative processes, ensuring the  product met the needs and expectations of our end users. Below are some of the refined and finalized user interface designs we developed for the desktop platform.

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Apple Watch App UI

Our user data showed that the elderly user group, who would primarily be using the apple watch app, didn't want a complex experience. The wanted something straightforward that only focused on notifying them about essential alerts.​ Focusing on our user needs we designed a simplistic apple watch app that is centered around alerts. You can view a few of the alert screens we created for the apple watch app below.

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Outcome

Our cross-functional team collaborated effectively to develop Buddy's intricate platform, earning commendations from both company leadership and users alike.

During my time at Buddy, the company gained significant momentum, being featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo Finance, and FOX. Additionally, we attracted strategic partnership proposals from renowned brands like Fitbit and Rite Aid.

Reflections

My journey from the project's inception to its completion was truly enriching. This endeavor profoundly accelerated my development as a product designer. I refined my workflows, deepened my understanding of user testing and its applications, honed my project management skills, and acquired so much more. I have a passion for learning and growth, and Buddy played a pivotal role in facilitating both for me.

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