Insight: Routines matter; people are not looking to watch something new all the time.

After running a diary study, we followed up with the participants and watched TV with them.

As part of the in-home visits, we had participants do a "sorting shows" activity to understand their mental models of and how they relate to TV.

A post-research observations workshop with the team and stakeholders.

A deeper dive into the the driving themes of the project.

Mapping out the experience framework and journeys.

A set of insights and corresponding guiding principles.

A framework that communicates how people watch TV, as well as provides a common "TV watching" vocabulary for stakeholders.

One of four journeys that explains the experience framework in greater detail, focusing on customers' behaviors and emotions.

A concepting session with the team, using the Cover Story activity from Gamestorming.

Over the past few years, there has been a major shift in how people consume TV and entertainment content. Rather than a singular content provider, provided on a singular device/platform, consumers’ options and choices are extremely diverse. There’s a mix of content creators, providers, services, and devices. Along with this proliferation, there are shifts in how consumers are engaging with both content (bingeing, second screen experiences) and one another (social media).

The goal of this project was to develop a framework for how people watch TV today and the core components that make up their experiences, using that as a point of departure for ideation and defining the future of the entertainment experience for DIRECTV customers. Initially pitched as a project to investigate “Discovery” and “Personalization,” which are two very loaded terms throughout the enterprise, we decided to take a step back and look at the problem more holistically, recognizing that we first had to understand the consumers’ entertainment behaviors, ecosystems and experiences.

For our exploratory research, we recruited a wide variety of TV customers (from singles to families, premium TV subscribers to cord cutters; 13 households total) to participate in a weeklong diary study, to get an understanding of their behavior over time and how TV fits into their lives. After the diary study, we followed up with contextual inquiries - i.e., hanging out and watching TV! Throughout the project we continually involved stakeholders in the research process and attending the in-home visits, as well as running a variety of workshops aimed at unpacking and synthesizing our observations. Finally, after sharing out our findings, in the form of a framework, insights and journeys, we conducted a variety of brainstorming sessions to identify concept for prototyping.

We provided stakeholders with new models of customer engagement, helping to debunk common assumptions about discovery and fragmentation. We also provided departments across the enterprise with a common vocabulary and guiding principles for incorporating customer behaviors and attitudes into current and future products. By engaging stakeholders throughout the process, we were also able to educate through involvement - not simply telling. As a result, they've been more engaged in subsequent projects.

To see one of the concepts we moved forward with for prototyping, check out Smart Potato!