About the Within App
My role: lead designer
In mid 2017, Within's content library was expanding to the point where the linear list that existed in the current app was starting to be unmanageable for users. It was becoming harder for users to find content they watched before and it was also hard for them to find further 360º videos they might enjoy. Content needed to be more discoverable and easier for users to find.
There were additional design asks:
- Update the app to have more current branding
- No more additional assets for the content pieces, other than what already exists in our CMS
This project can be split up into 3 parts:
- The Original Proposal
- Understanding Technical Limitations
- First Update: Making Categories More Discoverable
The Original Proposal
This original proposal was created as a very broad exploration into many possible features to add to our existing app. The biggest focus was on making sure the app would be easier for users to find content pieces that they might be interested in watching.
The aspects that were added that made the content more discoverable were:
- A search function that enabled users to quickly find a piece that they may have heard about before, or even watched before
- Categories were added so users can find similar pieces to videos that they have already watched. It also provided users with a little bit more background to the pieces, so they know if the piece would be something they would be interested in watching.
- On the individual content description pages, two additional sections were proposed: a series section so users can watch all content pieces in a series and a related videos section
Additional functionality that was proposed included:
- Download manager, which helps users keep track of which pieces they've downloaded to their phone. This is important because our content pieces can be very big (many are over 1GB) and can take up a lot of space on a device with limited space.
- Adding user accounts, which was an important feature for a discontinued project
These are the wireframes with a very quick visual pass over it for presentation to the C-suite.
Main screens of the app
The description page changes depending on the content (e.g. if it is part of a series, if it has won any awards, if it's been downloaded)
One flow from the download manager
Understanding Technical Limitations
The original proposal would require a lot more engineering overhead than we were willing to commit to it, so we pared it down to the bare minimum requirements for discoverability--introducing categories to the app and adding search functionality. The only visual changes we ended up making were:
- Adding a secondary header for the categories title. This was static and could not be tapped, which made it easy to implement.
- Search functionality added. It takes over the top bar when the search icon is clicked, but the search results use the same viewer as the regular list of videos.
- Visual updates to the top header and menu to make it fit Within's branding better, as well as showing off the new search functionality.
Main screens from the app
Showing how to handle and display titles of different lengths
What it looks like when you download a piece of content
One possible flow for when someone wants to view a piece of content
First Update: Making Categories More Discoverable
Since the app update added more complex analytics, we were able to see where there were problems in the app. We received data that indicated that there was a significant dropoff when people reached the end of the featured category and there were also very few clicks on the menu. This behavior indicated that users didn't understand that there were categories, and that users didn't know that there were additional pieces that were not displayed in the currently selected category.
We decided to update the app in order to increase the views on all of our various content pieces. However, they needed to be minimal changes because we weren't really looking to allocate lots of resources to it.
Here are a few of the quick mockups made to decide on a direction for the update:
This is where we landed with the redesign:
- Categories are integrated into the top bar, which makes it feel like a more important feature to the user
- Categories appear as a dropdown, which is a common design pattern so users are more likely to understand how to use it
- Menu to select categories has been centered-aligned so it feels more natural coming from the top bar
This update has not yet been released.