IVE: Inside a video experience 🎁

  NID:   DP 1 Role:   UX designer, researcher Duration:   2 months (Mar-Apr, 2017) Contribution:   Individual


Since 2005 onwards, with the surge in online video sharing websites like myspace, youtube and others; users have started to consume information many folds. As a result, online videos has now become an open access to information, a powerful force for education, building understanding, and documenting the world events.

Problem statement

A design research started off from looking into the collaborative office meetings and then transformed into the broader topic of how users interacts with online videos and how their experiences are impacted.

Proposed solution

Demo video

Design Publication:

"Understanding & enhancing the user experience of watching online videos"

in the SIDeR Design Research Conference 2018, held in Helsinki.

View Publication

Design Process

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This project came into existence to evaluate that hypothesis i.e. "current day interactions of online videos are very limited". So, I started off with mapping all the possible types of videos and their mode of applications.

Mapping: Video Viewing Experiences & Capabilities.

User Interviews

Firmly beleiving in the design philosophy of talking to people, in order to identify thier problems, to understand and distinguish their needs from the wants. I started conversing with people around me about how they go about watching videos online.

Quotes from the personal interviews.

Contextual Inquiry

As well established fact in user research, i.e. what users says is not what exactly they need. I made use of the contextual inquiry research method to better understand their behavior while wathcing online videos to achieve their goals.

Note:- Transcribed video of contextual inquiries.

Comparative Analysis - Existing Online Video Sites

A comparative study was done to analyse how various other online video sites currently functions, and understand the nuances of their interfaces which helped me discover the features set that is currently available for the users to interact with.

Note: Documented video showing the comparative study of interfaces of 4 different video sites i.e. Youtube, Daily Motion, Ted and Vimeo.


Understanding the Research Data

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Based on the task analysis, it was observed that there is a limited set of user touch points while interacting with the online video players. The diagram below represents the existing user task flow on video streaming websites (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, TED etc.).

Key observations

Title’s doesn't justify the content in the video
Users played the video at 1.5x or 2x speed to go through the video quickly while looking for something important
Hassle of toggling between browser and software for hands on training while watching video
User’s (going through the video for the first time) doesn't know what content to expect and when
Users wanted quick lookup in comments section while watching, a few of them used CMD+F (mac) or CTRL+F (windows) to search
User’s wants to save the URL if they found it useful and might use it for future reference
Feedback coming from the horses mouth, materials referred by experts are more trustworthy than any other materials

All these studies pointed out that there is an opportunity area to intervene in designing better user experiences for the users while they are watching an online video.

Testing: Iterative prototype evaluation

Since there are billions of users with YouTube and given tech infrastructure it has, we can assume that the proposed design solution could be used as a case study for other similar websites like Vimeo, online / recorded meeting video players etc.

In order to quickly prototype the conceptual ideas, I used a low fidelity clickable wireframe using Balsamiq, and got it user tested by inviting participants who are kind of heavy users of video streaming website like youtube.

Version 1.0

  • Users find it difficult to locate new menu icon
  • Placement of the smart search icon on the right top corner of the player confused users;
  • Users were not sure whether the content in the overlay screen is scrollable or not
  • All the new controls alongside the existing control buttons added more clutter

  • Taking cues from the version 1.0 mockup evaluations, it made sense to keep a common interaction point for the new features set, similar to how settings button is currently available now. But at the same time it should be visible to the user and quickly accessible to use as a one touch solution.

    Version 2.0

  • 70% participants found the idea of searching inside the video and adding tags interesting
  • An observation made by a user, what happens to new button in full-screen mode?
  • Is this approach scalable to all other existing video streaming websites?
  • What will happen if video doesn’t have any dialogues in it? Only musical or visual.

  • Results

    Finalised Product's Feature Set

    search content inside an online video

    discover quality content as needed

    bookmark interesting video snippets

    chat & share video snippets to peers

    taking quick inline notes for future referencing

    flexibility of adding tags by viewers as well

    Proposed use case scenarious

    Key Learnings

    While compiling the complete project for the portfolio, I realised how important it is to always click pictures to document the whole process. It not only helps you to show your process but also keeps a tab on why certain critical decisions made as project progresses.

    During reviews, of Balsamiq clickable mockup, I had to constantly remind the reviewers that its a mockup.

    As I did not know much about the web development, I am currently in the process learning the technical aspects of web development.

    Key Highlight + Little Bragging 😉

    This complete project was independently conceived and presented as a Design Project outcome of 6 Weeks duration (March - April 2017) in M.Des Interaction Design 2nd Semester at National Institute of Design, India.

    Most of my design research observations and insights proposed feature enhancements for YouTube (as a case study), for example

    ● Floating browser window Search Results 👉 Activate Mini Player
    ● Hash tagging for video searching 👉 Hashtags for Videos
    ● Video specific chatting functionality 👉 Chat for web browser based YouTube
    ● timestamp highlighter of searched item 👉 Suggested youtube "clips" on google search Or "Video Chapters"

    were similar to what YouTube has introduced post April 2017. However, I still have few more feature enhancements which havenʼt been implemented anywhere as of now, and I am in the process of making a Minimum Viable Product prototype for the same.

    Video Intelligence API Launched

    Published on: May 19,2017

    Use hashtags for searching on YouTube

    Published on: March 21, 2018

    This week at youtube: Video chapters...

    Published on: Apr 08,2020

    7 Productivity Secrets for Watching YouTube Videos!

    Published on: June 08,2021

    Thanks for viewing the project!

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    © All Rights Reserved 2017.