Buying a new Smart TV reminded me of the importance of the User Experience

At Amino we have been saying for years, that: “Content is King, but the user experience is Queen”. It’s easy to say this, but first-hand experience of recently buying a new connected TV from a leading brand shows that it can be forgotten, even by global CE device brands!

We all know how this can happen. Product Managers are driven by endless requests for new features, support for the latest standards or to integrate the latest app. CE device manufacturers are creating these products for a retail market, aiming for a single product with continental or global reach. The result is that the consumer often sees a bloated Smart TV experience with the majority of the integrated apps and services not relevant to that consumer or the territory he or she lives in.

The role of the operator was traditionally to provide aggregation of content and services and deliver this with a high-quality user experience. However, the multitude of competing OTT services is causing fragmentation, which in turn is creating consumer confusion. My app may support ‘Resume,’ but before I can do this I have to remember if I was watching the show live, through the operators’ catch-up app, or another catch-up app or perhaps it was my local PVR. The user experience needs aggregation in order to simplify the discovery of content and ease of use, instead the consumer is getting fragmentation of the content discovery and user experience.

The utopia of a single UI with every popular OTT service is almost certainly out of reach today. But, operators still have the fundamental advantage of being able to keep their service at the centre of the viewing experience. Most operators, even the largest, also have the advantage that they are targeting individual regions with commonalities in viewing habits, language and what content is most popular. This gives the operator a better understanding of their customer than a Smart TV brand which is providing for a global market.

Amino has had a front seat view of how operators can make a success of providing video entertainment over the 20 years we have been in the broadcast and IPTV business. Today, integration and certification of third-party services and the user experience is a key part of what we do. In my next post I’m going to talk about that first step, the ‘out-of-the-box experience’, which creates a vital first impression of the service.

Jonny McKee
VP Product Management & Customer Support