TV is the past, Smart TV is the future. “A1 TV”, the TV service of A1 Telekom Austria was therefore to be developed into one of the most innovative TV services in Europe. But there is only a good future if it is well-designed. That was Fonda’s mission: to conceive and design a new user interface that can be used intuitively and grants easy access to the following functionalities and features, among others:
New program guide (EPG) with a 10-day-preview
A new recorder for time-shift viewing (and recording)
An extensive video library with clear selection options
Internet apps directly on the TV, e.g. Facebook and Twitter
Programming the recorder via smartphone app
Numerous useful additional functions.
People who watch TV want to relax and not struggle with the remote. So the aim was to create a user interface that supports the TV experience as discreetly as possible while making the use of the various functionalities a breeze. Most viewers use just three buttons on their remote: on/off, volume up/down and switch channels. We kept this bit of anthropological wisdom in mind when we developed the easy user guidance for the new “A1 TV”. So that Smart TV doesn’t become a brainteaser but rather the better TV.
In close cooperation with the “A1 TV” team, we were responsible for the concept and the design of the user interface.
Basic Interaction Model
The navigation and interaction model that we developed for “A1 TV” is consistent for all functional areas: The user always knows where he is and can easily find the desired function or the desired content. The complete functional range can be used with only a few buttons (up/down, right/left, confirm, back), without having to look at the remote.
Detailed Conceptual Design
For the detailed conceptual design, the most important precept was usability: With more than 1000 pages of wireframes we ran through every possible use case and statuses with functional descriptions.
For the user interface, creating the best user experience was again paramount. The corporate design of A1 Telekom Austria was integrated in a harmonious way, overall the design of the controls takes a back seat: the user interface is visually subdued and defers to the content.
With especially programmed Flash prototypes, we were able to thoroughly check the interaction behavior and to provide a solid basis for a decision on the various solution options.
The Smartphone and Tablet Apps
No real Smart TV without apps. We remained true to ourselves when we developed the interface concept and the interaction and interface designs of the smartphone and tablet apps: better simple. The apps for Android and IOS provide info for everyone interested in TV and exclusive content and services for “A1 TV” customers. But no matter what and for who, all functionalities can be used intuitively:
TV program (EPG)
Remote control of the “A1 TV” box
The most important features of the smartphone app interface are:
Intuitive despite great functional range
Use of the standard components provided by the operating system
Design: Symbiosis between the “A1 TV” look and the corresponding operating system