Stream content with others in real time.
Our team created an app called Together Stream that allows you to stream content with others in real time. The stream host has full control to choose, pause, and skip any video in the queue — synchronizing playback immediately with participants’ devices. We had 90 days to get it from concept to published application, which a tight timeline. On top of that, we pivoted platforms mid-way through. But we survived.
Initially, we focused on SoundCloud and conducted user research on how users interact with SoundCloud. Since we couldn't get access to their API in time, we pivoted to YouTube and all the research work we had done was thrown out the window. This definitely was frustrating but it allowed us to know what we needed to focus on for the Youtube users.
Because we didn't have time or budget to get external users, we used IBMers in our building as users. They had never heard of the project we were working on so they worked out really well. I came up with the idea to post flyers in our elevators and lobbies to recruit people, which was surprisingly effective. We got so many users we had to turn some away or save them for later testing sessions.
We used Lookback.io for recording sessions so we could go back and review them later. Like our other testing sessions, we had one researcher in the room asking the tasks and the other researcher would take notes on the side to save us time. We tested wireframes, high fidelity wireframes, and final visuals.
We also used a Survey Gizmo + Usertesting.com combo in addition to moderated sessions. I created a survey that asked about music-listening habits to understand our users better. Users told us about how often they listen to music, where they listen to music, and what services they use. This helped us form our use cases for the app. We learned that users would like to continue listening from one device to another, and that they do some work arounds in order to do it themselves, like pausing it and restarting it on another device.
Once we finished the design and research for the iOS app, we focused on the web app experience. Did users understand how the web component and the mobile component connected? We simulated the user getting a text message using InVision from a friend inviting them to the app. They then had to go to the web app to enter the stream. After testing, we came to the conclusion this transition from mobile to web was not an issue.