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Alcatel-Lucent

3D TV: interfaces for today's viewer

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3D TV: interfaces for today's viewer

Alcatel-Lucent

How might the future of high definition television content be experienced?

Experientia re-designed the user experience of Alcatel Lucent’s MiViewTV 6.0 IPTV application, creating a new generation interface platform. The design stages included information architecture and application flow (TV Guide, Video On Demand, Pay-per-View, library, etc.), content management and interface design. We delivered a complete middleware prototype in Flash, running on Set Top Boxes and PC.

3 things to know

  1. Alcatel-Lucent asked Experientia to redesign their existing IPTV application in a way that would be continuous with the existing program design, but also run on basic and next generation platforms.

  2. We refined IPTV best practices through benchmarking, international user testing and iterative prototyping.

  3. We delivered a core interface design providing a seamless, multi-screen experience for 2D and 3D online TV content.

Alcatel-Lucent asked Experientia to redesign their existing MiView TV 6.0 IPTV application so that it would be continuous with the existing program design, and would also run on basic and next generation platforms. One of the main challenges of this task was to create a platform that could simultaneously support both standard definition and widescreen television, and high resolution and low resolution screens.

Alcatel-Lucent wanted to create a system that was not only simple to navigate and use, but that strongly functioned as a content selling platform. Experientia began by benchmarking current IPTV solutions, gaining a clear idea of current best and worst practices among competitors, and evaluating them from a usability viewpoint. To create a more engaging and smooth experience, Experientia recommended a change from HTML to Flash programming language, which allows a more dynamic and animated interface.

Experientia created a number of design proposal wireframes, inspired by current best practices, as discovered in the benchmarking phase. The wireframes detailed the information architecture, the interface behavior and the application flow. Together with the client, these wireframes were narrowed down to the best solution, which was then developed and explored further in a flexible, ongoing design process.

Simultaneously, Experientia developed the graphic design elements to move from wireframes to complete interface. The design was not static, but was constantly refined and redeveloped, in close collaboration with the client. While this added a significant challenge to the prototyping and testing stages, it resulted in a continuously improving platform, with highly visible content and a short navigation route to customer purchases.

Experientia delivered a complete middleware prototype in Flash Lite, running on Set Top Boxes and PC. The prototypes needed to work on existing hardware, but also have enough detail and depth to indicate what the look, feel and experience on the final system would be like.

Testing of the working prototypes was carried out twice on actual hardware, and the results were used to refine the design, addressing any problems that arose. The prototype was then evaluated through expert usability evaluations in Germany and the UK, as well as usability tests on simulated hardware with real users in Italy.

One focus of the testing was to discover how people felt the interface was different, and how it compared to existing competitors. The testing also helped to ensure that the technological objectives of a smooth, easy to use interface aligned with the strategic objectives of a platform that helped customers to purchase content. The insights from the testing drastically improved the usability of the MiViewTV application compared to prior versions.

Experientia delivered a core interface design of a next generation IPTV system. The working prototype encompassed the major areas of the operating system, design schematics, behavior animation, complete blueprint templates, a graphic set and design guidelines for implementation.

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