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Usability and User eXperience Assessment in Design (group work) 2011.02-2011.06

Usability and user experience improvement

“Text input redesign of Philips NetTV�

Philips NetTV brings a wide range of online information and entertainment to people on the couch. By using remote controls, people can easily get access to small programs or applications which are established on the television sets. However, Philips NetTV has experienced much negative publicity due to the methods of text input, which is described as slow and cumbersome. In this project, the team aims to improve the user experience and usability of its text input functions.

“text input redesign of Philips NetTV”

Product description

Explorative study

The NetTV has three ways of text input: multi-tap, on-screen keyboard and smart phone application keyboard.

The team conducts an explorative study to test the product’s usability and user experience aspects and find out potential users’ desires with two ways of text-input, multi-tap and on-screen keyboard.

With multi-tap remote, people press the number buttons for several times to select the character. Because the coming character is invisible, there are risks that people skip the one they need and have to keep on pressing until it reappears. The on-screen keyboard is in alphabetical style and used to enter a URL in the internet browser. It is hard to find because people do not know it is activated by pressing OK. Besides, selecting one character might take much time because people have to navigate to each character with arrows.

The smart phone application works faster and easier than other two. The only problem is that not every user possesses a smart phone.

The study results state that user experience can be improved by redesigning text input functions as well as TV interface. The layout of on-screen keyboard can be adapted. Besides, the functions and cognitive qualities of multi-tap buttons can be changed in the redesign.

“text input redesign of Philips NetTV”

Design proposal The team aims to bring the user experience to a satisfactory standard by proposing user’s personal account, which is called “Philips ID”. It can be managed on both TV and computers. User stores favorites and sends videos to friends with the ID, which can be done on the computers to avoid text input on TV. The figures illustrate several components of the new system.

The HOME screen It is personalized based on the Philips ID and made up of three main parts: Applications, Medias and Suggestions (by friends or Philips). Users can add or delete applications in the Home screen.

“text input redesign of Philips NetTV” Help suggestions They appear when an application is opened for the first time. They inform the user of the possibilities they have in a specific window. When the user feel trapped within the system, he can click a button in the “Navigation Trail”.

Text and Character Prediction When a certain multi-tap button is pressed, a “bubble” of character prediction appears on the screen to make the remote text input much easier. The text prediction for words or phrases is based on search history of user account.

Illustration of character prediction

Navigation Trail It appears as a layer on top of the current screen when OPTION key on the remote is pressed. It has three options: add to favorites, show/hide help suggestions and navigation history. Illustration of text prediction

“text input redesign of Philips NetTV�

Evaluative study The team builds a flash prototype based on the design proposal and tests it in an evaluative study. The method is the same as the one in the explorative study so that the results can support the team to find if the redesign is a significant improvement comparing to the current system. Generally the results state that the amount of problems encountered is significantly reduced in the redesign, but some new problems appear. Based on the study results, the team improves and details the redesign.

Final design Help suggestions Help suggestions provide tips on how to use the NetTV and the remote. When one application is used for the first time, the suggestion pops up. When the user does not press any button for three seconds in a text input field, it also appears. It can be turned off because it is irrelevant for experienced users.

“text input redesign of Philips NetTV” Remote control Some buttons on the old remote are confusing to users so that the team dedicates new buttons or new functions on the old ones: Home, Back, Keyboard and Backspace.

Options layer The layer adds an extra dimension to the application which is currently used. It contains a navigation trail on the left. Users can see previous screen and go forward. The rest of functions in the options layer depends on what application is used. When a user is browsing, “add to favorites” and “send to friend” functions appear. When the user goes to home menu, “log off” and “my account” functions appear.

Philips ID website The users can visit Philips ID website with computers to manage their accounts, for example, connecting with their friends and sending favorites to them. It avoids text input with remote and on-screen keyboard which improves user experience with text input.

Text input redesign for Philips NetTV (Interface design)  
Text input redesign for Philips NetTV (Interface design)  

Philips NetTV brings a wide range of online information and entertainment to people on the couch. By using remote controls, people can easil...