Case study 2
Redbox Instant for Windows Phone 8
In May of 2013, Redbox Instant (RBI) and Nokia agreed to partner up on the Redbox Instant app for Windows phone 8 (WP8). Nokia was looking to bolster it’s exclusive collection within the Windows Phone App Store and we were happy to add one more platform to our already diverse list. I, along with a product manager and a development lead, were asked to drive the effort. After initially passing Microsoft’s strict design review, and lastly their even more strict quality review, the app launched in November 2013 and will remain a Nokia device exclusive for the first 60 days. We happily saw over 25,000 downloads within the first 3 weeks and the app currently has a 4 out of 5 star rating. We are now working with Nokia on v2, which will integrate with some of their very innovative IP.
- Launch a WP8 app in a very short period of time
- Meet the strictest standards set forth by Microsoft (a level of scrutiny only reserved for partnerships of this type)
- Achieve customer delight
The design objective was to incorporate WP8 platform conventions while maintaining Redbox Instant brand consistency across all devices. This project just happened to kick-off right at the beginning of an ongoing initiative to completely overhaul the RBI reference UI. Adapting to daily changes to IA and core concepts made it even more challenging.
I organized and outlined a 2 day working group which included a PM, an IA and a consultant from Nokia to kick-off the design phase. The outline consisted of the following:
- Define overall objectives
- Gather requirements (any deltas from current reqs.)
- Review latest AI
- Get a better idea of the schedule
- Create a UX schedule
- Check on NDA reqs if any
- Find out the proper way to handle any potential IP generated in the process
- Identify all stakeholders
- Are there any biz requirements because of the partnership? E.g., APIs, Attributions?
- Gather/Create proto-personas
- Identify core scenarios
- Write these out as steps and translate steps to screens on the whiteboard
- Identify ‘key’ screen types the app requires (e.g. Panorama, list, detail, data entry, notifications, error message dialogs)
- Analyze Windows Phone platform and discuss unique qualities/limitations
- Research Nokia phones (older vs. newer to establish an lowest common denominator or backwards compatibility plan)
- Give Nokia consultant walk-thru of current staging build and include how kiosks fit in
- Review competition
- Create document sharing plan/dir structure/naming conventions
- Synchronize on tool use for all stages (Illustrator is RBI requirement)
- Are emulators available to us?
Proto-personas generated in the kick-off meeting
The single cable-cutter
“I need to be able to watch movies when I please”
“Cable is old-timey and expensive”
“I don’t mind paying for subscriptions”
The cable-cutter family
“I need to keep the kids occupied at a moments notice. As long as my kids will watch it, I’m not picky about it being ‘fresh'”
“I’m fine with subscriptions; Way cheaper than cable”
The content craver
“If I miss it at the movies, I need to see it ASAP in another way. I don’t care so much about movies that have lost their ‘buzz'”
“I’m indifferent about subscriptions, but if its only to get access to old & culturally insignificant content, I’d rather spend my disposable income on ‘new’ even if its more expensive”
This persona modeling exercise combined with recent quantitative data was enough justification to act on an interaction flaw I’d suspected across all platforms when I started at Redbox Instant. The original IA, which predated my time at Redbox Instant, has placed as much relevance on renting physical game discs as the Redbox kiosk IA does. Redbox kiosks do vend games, so it makes sense for games to be as prominent as movies; But, for Redbox Instant, streaming movie content (through subscription, renting and buying) is the primary business model. Secondly, data shows that practically no one is using our apps to reserve physical game discs at the kiosk.
This is an illustration of the IA change:
In the month following the working group, I collaborated with all team members in additional face to face and remote sessions and created a high level wireframe document that was submitted to Microsoft for review. After passing the review, I continued to fill out the design framework document in alignment with the development schedule.
The app launched on November 22 of 2013. We happily saw over 25,000 downloads within the first 3 weeks and the app currently has a 4 out of 5 star rating. We are now working with Nokia on v2, which will integrate with some of their very innovative IP.