The PlexPlayer app is a concept for a video multi-screaming platform that allows you to watch TV shows and movies available on the most popular streaming services. You can simply browse streaming platform offers, search videos, download all the episodes you want, or listen to episodes as podcasts on your mobile device.
People often prefer to watch favorite movies and TV shows on a mobile device’s screen on the way to one’s work, doing cardio at gym or during the journey. Most users subscribe to at least one video streaming platform but having more subscriptions can make the decision of what to watch even harder. Let’s say your friend recommends you to watch the newest Lucifer season, but you don’t know which platform it is currently streaming on. You can check it out on Google, or search it on each platform, but jumping from website to website takes a lot of time.
The best way would be to design a versatile video platform, allowing to watch movies and TV shows, browse catalogues, download and listening digital library as a podcast from the most popular streaming services such as: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Apple TV+, Prime Video on mobile devices.
Available streaming platforms change consumer’s life and preferences rapidly. People in the past had to sit in front of TV to watch their favorite shows but now, all well known movies and TV shows has been moved to streaming platforms. Nowadays, we can all observe the increasing trend of video streaming platforms and many people are switching from TV cable to video platforms which are more flexible.
The streaming services are much cheaper than traditional cable TV services and offer watching a favorite video on smartphones, tablets, laptops or smart TVs. One of the best streaming platform advantage is a commercial-free content. Consumers are not facing any kind of interruption while watching their favorite movie or show. With cable TV, consumers have to bear with the whole commercial thing and sometimes it gets really frustrating. It can happen that consumers cannot find any interesting content on the different platforms and in that case, there are no difficulties or extra costs associated with cancelling a subscription.
Video streaming platforms
The most popular and well-known subscribed streaming platforms are:
Currently, it is the biggest platform that offers a wide selection of movies and TV shows, with several series being exclusive to the platform or made and funded by Netflix itself.
Amazon Prime Video is an online media streaming service that’s typically bundled with the company’s popular Amazon Prime service. It offers movies and TV shows available to stream right away, including full 4K quality for select titles. On top of the content included in the subscription, there are also many extra digital titles available to buy or rent.
Hulu is an on-demand video streaming platform which is a good alternative for a cable TV giving earlier access to popular TV shows from American traditional broadcasting networks. Unfortunately, the platform is available only in the USA.
HBO GO is one of the biggest and popular platforms in Europe and USA which offers great quality movies and TV shows productions. The access to the platform goes along with a premium cable TV subscription or paid a month subscription.
Apple TV + is Apple’s subscription video streaming service featuring original TV shows and movies. However, the platform doesn’t have a big back catalog of things to watch at the moment, so they offer a free yearlong subscription to anyone who’s purchased an Apple device in 2019/2020.
The newest launch platform which provide an access to exclusive movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.
Based on all the above streaming services information, I decided to compare each mobile application available on App Store.
Source: Own elaboration based on streaming platforms research.
I noticed that none of streaming platforms offer listening episodes as podcasts. Additionally, some of them don’t offer upcoming premier reminders or user profile management. Mobile application comparison has helped me understand which features I should focus on during designing my own application project.
Understand viewer needs
This part of the research was essential to understand consumer’s expectation and habits to be able design functional and fulling viewers requirement of mobile application. I have interviewed a group of 14 people to meet their preferences by asking them a few questions. Results of the survey are outlined below.
According to collected information:
35% of people subscribe 4 streaming platforms at the same time to have a better access to a video content.
38% of people prefer to watch videos on a bigger TV screen, 34% on a PC/laptop’s screen and 16% prefer to watch it on their smartphone’s screen.
63% of people like to watch TV shows and 37% people are more interested in watching movies.
35% prefer to watch videos on public transportation while commuting to/from work and the second largest group of people, 23%, prefer to watch videos during workout at the gym, 20% at home.
Sometimes viewers can be busy doing sport activities and they are not focused on mobile’s screen, listening podcast features could allow them to follow a movie or TV show’s action by ears.
How might I help consumers to better manage all subscribed streaming platforms account, watch movies and TV shows, be informed about new releases, download movies/episodes on mobile storage and offer new features?
Even though I interviewed a lot of people, it was important to create a key profile of a user that would benefit from it. Let’s meet Bruno:
Keeping in my mind consumers’ watching preferences, habits and streaming platforms features, I gained insights and possible decisions to be able to better understand the right direction of design thinking by empathizing, defining, ideating and prototyping.
I knew that I wanted to use a modern, dark and contrasting color which doesn’t make eyes tired and navigation on application will be more intuitive for users. My moodboard conveys a fun, relaxed and good time which is what I would like my app to bring to the market.
Following streaming service apps trends, I decided to pick black, grey, and white shades to keep the layout simple, clear and modern at the same time.
One of the most important parts of the project was a logo. I wanted to design the logo based on font, while knowing that it must be simple and memorable. In the beginning, my app was named CinemaPlay, but the ‘cinema’ part suggested that you could only watch movies; that’s why I changed the name to PlexPlayer, associated with watching movies and TV shows available on streaming multiplex platforms.
Drawing concepts up on paper was an essential part of further designing my concept. Sketches made organizing the layout easier and cleaner, helping to solve navigation problems between switching streaming platforms feature.
Above sketches helps me to design architecture information and present hierarchy of application. Visualization clarifies user’s navigation, function, content, and flows.
Based on previous gain, I was finally able to design medium fidelity wireframes that presented a general idea of the PlexPlayer app concept.
While designing the PlexPlayer concept, it was important to make a solid viewer’s preferences research, comparing the most popular platforms to meet their advantages and disadvantages and provide new features. Also, a logo designing process was an essential part of visualization that helps to highlight a unique character of the application idea. The most difficult issue was to present an easy and intuitive switching streaming platform. I think upper streaming services tab bar with subscribed platform’s logo was the best way to keep the application layout easy, organized and understandable by potential users.
For the next steps, I would like to integrate the application with more video streaming services, provide Google Chromecast share screen feature and launch a PlexPlayer application on AndroidTV, Apple TV 4K, PlayStation and XBOX devices.