The introduction of Internet or Web enabled televisions (WETV) has spurred varying degrees of interests among hardware manufacturers and consumers. Its promise was that it would change the way we consume entertainment in the living room. Why wouldn’t you want to have your TV double as an all-in-one set-top box or computer? Why pay $75 per month for cable when Hulu streams TV for free? Why sit with a laptop when news, social media updates, photographs, games, and video chat are all available on a big bright LED TV screen, alongside all your personal and desired video content?
Internet TV presents exciting and intriguing opportunities but thus far has failed to catch on with a large amount of consumers. Google TV, Boxee, and other set-top box products will acknowledge that one source for this slow adoption is that ABC, CBS and NBC have blocked their online TV shows from view through these devices. Compounding the problem, and perhaps of more concern to our audience, is the obsolete forms of navigation and input as seen through the tradition TV remote control.
With diligence, many of these problems may be overcome. Google and Apple are sure to ink deals with content providers and the hardware manufacturers are sure to improve input devices. However, we believe the real promise lies with a robust delivery of application software (apps) specifically designed to enhance one’s TV viewing experience in the context of the living room.
At The Ohio State University, we have investigated ways to enhance the user experience of WETV. I propose to deliver a presentation that will outline our process of discovery, conceptualization, evaluation, and development. The presentation will be supported by several dynamic proposals. My goal in participating in UX Week is to share our ideas and theories on this emerging topic. More importantly, I expect to stimulate a dialogue amongst colleagues to further investigations in this area. This presentation should be of particular interest to designers and developers who aspire to engage in this form of user experience.
R. Brian Stone is a practicing designer, educator, and researcher in the area of interaction design, information design, user experience, and communication through motion. He teaches Visual Communication in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University
and is a principal partner of Latitude 40 Design
. His work has garnered numerous awards for design excellence, usability, and user satisfaction. He is the author of several articles on the subjects of interactive experiences, usability, information visualization, and kinetic typographic messages. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities and has held visiting appointments at the National University of Singapore and Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (ESDI) in Brasil.
Apple Computer has recognized Professor Stone as one of the top educational technology leaders in the U.S. with the Apple Distinguished Educator award. He is also a recipient of the 2002 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching from The Ohio State University and the 2005 Order of Omega Faculty Recognition Award.