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Enhanced Playlists

It’s no easy feat to bring a product that requires a handful of phone calls from Customer Support to one that is completely self-service. By automating the playlist management experience for Zype users, we were able to decrease questions to our support team significantly in relation to this feature.

Zype is a software platform that allows video content owners to streamline their entire business and sell video directly to their fans. The platform offers a comprehensive CMS that includes “enhanced playlists”: a product used to organize videos into playlists and nest these playlists into a hierarchy (a common example: Genre > Series > Season > Episode); this hierarchy is mirrored within the client’s web, set-top and mobile apps. The primary goal was for each user to successfully set up their content structure and understand how this would reflect within their apps without needing to call into Customer Support.

What role did I play in this? UX discovery, wireframing, prototyping, user testing, UI

Discovery

Discovery

Working closely with the Customer Success team, we learned clients were getting frustrated with the lack of flexibility in organizing their playlists. With the previous product, Zype customers had no way of creating a content structure and had to resort to standalone playlists. (A “Drama” playlist with no way to nest the “The Handmaid’s Tale” playlist and “Game of Thrones” playlist underneath? Yikes.)

To answer this need, we knew we needed to choose the best visual representation for this hierarchy (a common one being the Genre > Series > Season > Episodes structure) so that clients could understand how their content would be displayed on all devices. With research, rough sketches and quick feedback, we landed on a bird’s eye view approach to help our users understand their content structure at a quick glance, and still have the option to dig into the details of that structure.

Prototyping and testing

Prototyping and testing

As we were iterating on our wireframes with stakeholders, we fell into the trap of adding too many bells and whistles to appease every edge case. I mean, why not give the users a way to add a playlist from an already existing playlist and sync all edits between them? Well, for one, we found we were overwhelming users with options instead of giving them a simple way to manage their content structure.

Since we had a small team to carry out this MVP, we retracted the extra niceties and held off developing a fully flushed out first-time user experience, although considerations were made for future iterations. First and foremost, we wanted the drag and drop functionality to work seamlessly so that users could quickly move their playlists around without frustration.

Final UI touches

Final UI touches

We sprinkled on some UI, implemented a few first-time user callouts and launched a simple and intuitive product for users to drag and drop playlists to create their content structure. After working through some kinks with the drag and drop feature, clients were very satisfied with how easy it is to use.

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