Verizon Fios TV

2017 - 2018, Product Management, Design Management
Mobile and CE

  • Product management (Design Focus)
  • Product Design
  • User Studies
  • User Stories, User Journeys
  • Use Case and requirements
  • Design Team Management
  • Developer Relations/Integration
  • Monthly Product Design Meeting Facilitation
  • Rapid Prototypes/Motion/Micro Interaction

The basic idea

Reimagine Verizon's Home and Mobile Video Platform.

Upon completion of IPTV , I transitioned to reimagine our legacy product, FIOS Mobile. This product had been on the market for 10 years and had accumulated an immense amount of bells, whistles, and visual clutter. The Design team and I began an inventory of both the mobile and Set Top Box applications.

Beyond an efficient UI to get users to content quickly, the service has to be performant, delivering high quality streams, loading data quickly, and serving engaging imagery.

As Design Manager on the Product team for mobile and CE devices, it was my responsibility to create and maintain relationships with Engineering, Data Science, Services, and business teams to ensure we ship products that stay true to our teams vision. Everyone on those teams play a role in the design effort and it was my job to advocate for our users.

Fios TV on the app store

Design and Product

I played a bi-directional role between Design and Product, keeping product requirements fresh in the minds of the design team, and keeping the Product team aware of design best practices, consistency, and usability concerns.

As part of the product team, I kept an eye on the roadmap, sprint schedules, and user stories.  Utilizing my design background, I kept things moving with flows, user journeys, and even into nitty-gritty details like maintaining 500+ channel logos for the service.

I would routinely jump into design to sketch up a flow, set of wireframes, animation, or prototype to keep our process at speed.  While the London design team slept, I could keep the US teams engaged and moving forward.

Another useful aspect of my mixed Design/Product role: I travelled to meet with engineering for one week each month to integrate design where I could not only present our thinking but make live updates as planning progressed and issues popped up.


User Insights

There was a lot of work to understand where the product was heading and it started with talking to everyone involved, from the other product teams, operations, engineering, to directors, marketing, and strategists.

As the product had been on the market for 10 years prior, I had the opportunity to dig into the goldmine/nightmare of app store user reviews and communications. Sifting through billing, technical difficulties, and general telephony issues to uncover many issues that centered around content hierarchy and simplifying a cluttered experience.

Getting users to content quickly was always a top priority. The older version of the app tried a bit to hard to include more content, making the cards and text so small that many people struggled to read the details. We did a lot of research around what people felt was a comfortable size content card while designing IPTV, so we continued with that data. Testing revealed users felt there was more space in the app and it was easier to browse the content.

Testing and Prototypes

Testing started on day one since we had the initial product to get feedback on. This continued throughout the project. Since we had the visual language from IPTV, we were able to iterate quickly, prototype with engineering, and get feedback without disrupting the cadence.

Since the Fios Mobile app had been in the market for 8 years and had amassed a large amount of features and was feeling dated and overcomplicated.
I worked with the usability team directly to help identify and aggregate issues.  We gathered user reviews to identify pain points in the in-market experience.  We interviewed current users, both power-users and occasional viewers, and used this data to begin prioritizing features.

User focused:

  • Simplify browsing and searching and introduce voice search
  • Increase legibility
  • Allow for continued browsing with a floating video player
  • Indicate content available to watch in your current location - In-home, Out of home, Out of region
  • Give users a visual guide to what's on right now (in addition to the classic grid guide)

Business cases:

  • Increase purchases and rentals rate
  • Simplify the purchase process and tie into the users Verizon account
  • Increase the rate at which Fios customers download use the mobile app.

Summary and lessons learned

Creating a product, even a version update, that users love is a difficult experience. We set out to improve the "usability" of a ten year old mobile app and while most of the technology on the backend didn’t change, our experience for the customers improved measurably. The rating for Fios moved quickly from 3 stars to ~4.5 stars.

It was an important success for a brand like Verizon and a testament to the power of design.

Fios TV on the app store