SCAD + Google CLC
During the fall of 2016, SCAD and Google collaborated to research and develop concepts for making YouTube and video watching more interactive.
Over the course of 10 weeks, the students uncovered unique insights while leveraging existing material design principles and catering to Android mobile users.
All the while, the team was guided by workshops from Google and YouTube partners on research, prototyping, and storytelling.
From the very beginning it was clear to us that our users are the primary stakeholders, because user-centeredness is our common goal. To set a solid foundation for our project we used several research techniques to widen our scope of knowledge and find patterns on user behavior, which we could then leverage.
Basically, we used method "SPRINT" through the whole design process that five-day process for solving a specific problems through prototyping and testing ideas with customers.
We wanted to understand what these barriers were between and what were they preventing? The answer is engagement. YouTube caters to various types of user behavior which inherently differed in the levels of engagement. To explain this, we developed a model that identifies the various ways in which users interact and the barriers that prevent them from engaging further.
Viewing is the most primary user behaviour and the most common type of interaction.
Participating underscores users who want to absorb as much culture and content as they can while on the go.
Contributing pertains not only to self-expression but also expanding on others’ comments and opinions to build upon a theme or topic.
Sustaining multi-faceted dialogue is the most essential step in achieving Global Discourse. By breaking the barriers, users are gaining the confidence, the context, and the positive environment that facilitates discourse and instills the trust and desire to learn, create, and contribute even more. The proposed solutions attack the core of each barrier and empower users to communicate openly, express their point of view, and share their passions, which brings the world closer.
Once we understood our users, we moved on to our first sprint. Our goal was to cast a wide net and attack as many problems as possible. We ideated as a team, then split into groups to prototype five different ideas. I contribute on one of these ideas which is "Mix and Match"
In essence, this concept added context to comments. It was informed by the insight that users need communities and that they use visual cues to better express themselves. As a result, this prototype allowed users to use emoji-based tags with their comments to better clarify their tone. Users were also able to establish common grounds with other users by filtering based on those emojis
An important part of our first sprint was user testing. With the common goal of user-centered design, it was important for us to put our designs in front of our users. We tested the 5 prototypes by giving our users specific tasks and observed their interactions. Each prototype had 2 team members dedicated to the test phase to ensure we were capturing all the valuable feedback from our users.
After our first round of user testing, we presented our ideas at midterm to the team from Google, who then gave us very valuable feedback. Before moving further in our process, their comments and suggestions served as reminders. We received a wide range of feedback from prototype-specific to more macro scale perspective which we then took into consideration for improvements.
The real-world environment of a community can change the mood and attitude of communication between people. The same goes for online environments. In the user meet-ups, the team found that environments can also reflect the values of the communities within. We identified that people behave differently depending on the setting that they are immersed in. Therefore, an open environment invites communication and yields better conversations. By opposition, spaces that restrict interactions and maintain a status quo discourage potential conversations.
Communities give a sense of belonging. They support shared endeavors and commiserate shared setbacks. Online communities are formed around mutual interests and goals. While online communities are nurtured by users and creators, the online environment also plays a role in defining the community. When giving users the ability to establish shared passions and interests, it is crucial for them to be able to curate the moments they deem worth sharing.
This prototype is called Threads. Threads is a cross-channel feature that connects users who want to engage in a discourse with other individuals based purely on their shared interests. Users who are not video creators have a place to contribute to the conversations they are passionate about. We do this through:
Discourse by Topics Users will be able to seamlessly converse about the content of various videos by common themes and topics that tie them together.
Cross-Channel Link Cross-channel links will connect all the videos on YouTube with common themes, enabling users to find conversations based on topics that they are interested in, not the video they’re watching.
Multi-Media Library The multi-media library in threads would enable the user to share information and content from various sources to enrich their experience.
Threads is not only for video creator, it’s for everyone. It is the democratization of information. You can have a vast knowledge of theme but no skills in video production. Now, with threads, you can truly create an impact.