On the importance and purpose of the UI

Posted On: 12th January 2016

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JETUI Search function featured in the picture above

As soon as you mention UI design people immediately start thinking about how it looks and how impressive it must be. Of course it is important that the UI is nice and has a modern look. But the most important thing about UI and UX design is not how impressive it looks, but how easy it is to use and how well it works for selling new services and presenting content to the customer. The UI itself should never be center stage, it should be the guide that the user can rely on when navigating content and an entertainment experience that is increasing in size for every new service that is added. That way the user will be more eager to explore than afraid to leave their comfort zone.

This also means that the UI itself must take a step back and provide the user with some, sometimes expected, basic needs. The TV user is pretty conservative and things have been the same for decades, the channel listings, the way you expect the remote control to work, the number of actions involved etc. And if these standards are broken, the UI must be very clear on explaining why and how this works.

When we designed JetUI this aspect was very important. We are not trying to revolutionize the way you interact with TV services; we are actually just trying to simplify it. Keeping many of the well-known navigation patterns while using a lot fewer buttons on the remote control is one important feature. This will help the user to learn how the service is navigated a lot faster, as opposed to having to remember specifically which button on the remote that corresponds to the desired action.

Another very important feature is recognition. This means that when a user has learned a concept this has to be consistent throughout the service. In JetUI we have a simple layout grid that is constantly reused and repurposed. Once the user has learnt that concept, they can rely on this knowledge in other parts of the service as well.

Yet another aspect where JetUI differs is the way that is uses shortcuts and recommendations to help the user get to the desired content as fast as possible. Fewer clicks on the remote means less work, which encourages the user to discover and interact with new content and services.

So, simplicity in UX design to decrease the effort for the user together with an intuitive and appealing presentation of good content is the way to create a successful TV service that customers will enjoy and continue to use.

 

Martin Henriksson
Head of Interactive Applications, Zenterio Services

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