Samsung Smart TV

2014

Leadership Role: Directing UX and Visual Concept Design and Prototyping

Hands-on: Prototyping of key interaction behaviours

In 2015 (and 2016), Samsung Smart TV had a huge renovation, featuring easier access to contents, and simple yet playful user interface. I led the redesign of its UI and a large part of visual design concept, as well as the development of close-to-production phase prototypes. Throughout the development, I brought in and established the iterative software design process for the first time in Samsung’s Visual Display division.

Things started in 2013 with my side project called Stripe. It was a new interface concept based on the channel metaphor, which radically simplifies the navigation of a large content landscape from a various sources, including traditional TV channels, web services, and social networks. In addition to STRIPE’s light-weight UX, its geometric and playful interaction style was well received, resulting in the formation of a larger team with a mission to reappropriate Stripe into the main TV UI.

samsungtv

QUEST FOR SIMPLIFYING TV UX

The complexity of the TV UX comes from the fact that it has to accommodate so many different types of content. Designing a legible TV experience is particularly challenging because there is no direct way to manipulate on-screen UIs as on mobile phones, and users prefer to be lean-back in front of the TVs unlike other digital devices.

samsungtv Previous Samsung TV UI 2014

We came up with the following concepts as solutions to simplify and improve the UX.

  • Responsive and playful UIs to make the user feel the connection between their hands and graphics on the UIs.
  • Reduce previously full-screen UIs down to a single line such that navigation becomes simple and users don’t have stop watching video content.
  • Instead, improve scrolling UIs with a pointing device such that users can quickly navigate to a desired content
  • Bring recently watched contents to up-front UI, based on the user research that most of the people use a few apps or contents
  • Provide instant access to 4 most-used functions triggered upon the remote activation.


We created multiple parameterized software modules that defined the key interaction behaviours that capture these concepts, many of which are based on my previous research prototypes on interactive cursors, highlighting effects (fovea), remote control based interactions.

Introducing Iterative Software Design Process

In 2014, I founded interactive visualization lab and brought in the iterative software design process for the first time in Samsung Electronics. With a small team of engineers I led the establishment of a new prototyping process where designers and developers can live-control the design parameters (motion curve, duration, layout) of the prototype while seeing those attribute changes reflected on running demos. This new process greatly enhanced collaboration and communication bandwidth between planning, design, and engineering teams.

Selected Awards
  • CES - Innovation Award in Software / App Category
  • work