Google partnered with Logitech to launch Google TV. It delivered an internet tv experience with complete control of your devices.
Logitech built the hardware (box and keyboard) while Google developed the onscreen experience. I designed the first time setup experience, settings, input device management, and keyboard customization.
9 months, 2011
2 designers, 1 researcher, 1 pm, 8 engineers
workflows, interactions, prototypes
Back in 2011, despite the onset of ondemand video content and a rich app ecosystem on mobile devices, the guide was still the main content discovery interface on tvs.
The challenge was to bring these apps to the large screen in a way that didn’t impede tv watching and allowed for easy device control.
When I joined, the hardware was already finalized. We needed to design and build the first time setup experience and other hardware related features.
The keyboard with attached touchpad was the sole input device and needed to be setup to control all devices connected to the Logitech Revue (tv, setup box, av receiver). Customers also needed to properly configure their tv providers accordingly to their geographical region.
Through their Harmony line of remotes, Logitech already had developed a desktop setup experience. I used this as a starting point and performed an in depth heuristics analysis. I mined for customer feedback in partnership with the support team and made key workflow changes. The experience needed to be simplified, support a dpad navigation model, and be legible from 10 feet away. It was also thoroughly tested among Harmony and new customers alike.
Unfortunately, both Google TV and Logitech Revue were not a commercial success. The complexities around content providers and complete device control contributed to a complicated tv watching experience. Among others, there were layering issues with various interface menus (tv, stb, google tv), limited tv apps, blocked content from tv networks, etc. Nonetheless, this effort led to a renewed interest in cord cutting. It resulted in new versions of the Apple TV, and new products like Amazon Fire TV, and, of course, Google’s very own Chromecast.
Personally, this was an amazing journey for me. It was my first product to launch at scale. It afforded me the opportunity to work with talented professionals. And I gained valuable insights into the process of designing and shipping a hardware product.