My research includes user interviews and competitors analysis. I personally use most of these services and have completed my research in attempting all kinds of services currently available that I don't use.
I wanted to find a single interface (or even two interfaces complement) with a full, active and up-to-date source of information, that brings together a huge variety of different media (in this case movies, TV shows and music), that can be customized to my own personal taste, with the ability to receive reminders and alerts about so, based on my personal favorites ... I wanted to find a way of staying passively up-to-date.
Movies and series app – Gather information like actor’s names, directors, summary, reviews, soundtrack and content-based recommendations. After registration users can rate movies according to their own taste. The user can also use the app as a personal content reminder calendar or purchase movie tickets.
Personalized Reminders - Reminders from my favorites – there are no automatic reminders when a new movie is out or a series from my watch list starts.
Personalized updates - There are no notifications or updates for a new movie/series that might interest me. I get exposed to new content only by actively opening the app and searching, even if the new content is related to my list.
Accessibility - Cool features are limited to some users. You can watch only Amazon products directly from the app and order movie tickets is available in only 14 countries (Israel not included).
Movies, series, music and video games reviews website – Gathers reviews and ratings. You can search for content based on your subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon…) and get to your subscribed content directly from the website but this list is not user friendly.
Personalization – You can only view updates or give ratings or reviews. There is no option to create favorites lists, save stuff from Upcoming or get notifications or reminders.
Organization - Clear information hierarchy. The website is full of information but navigation is difficult and not user friendly, because of a bad design and layout.
Digital music service for streaming music, recordings (radio, audio books…), updates on concerts, purchasing concert tickets, special offers like vinyl albums and tee-shirts… Everything is personalized based on my favorites. There are also new recommendations based on my favorites.
Notifications – There are no notifications about a new upcoming album or a concert for artists in my favorites list.
Movie and series website – This website is for ratings, reviews, order tickets and information and news regarding series and movies. Website with a huge variety of information for updates. You need to manually look for interesting stuff.
Personalization – News only website. There is no way to personalize my favorite preferences of content. There are no notifications, personal reminders, newsletters… When I get an update on upcoming content, I need to leave the website and manually set a reminder in my calendar.
Accessibility - US only feature. You can order movie tickets based on your location, but this feature is available to US users.
App for discovering and tracking TV series and upcoming series episodes.
Registration process - Required lots of Intervention and time from the user, because data input doesn't happen automatically. During the registration the user needs to manually select each series and every watched episode. The app doesn’t get the information from other sources to save time.
User maintenance - I think it's weird, the way the user needs to keep on updating this upp, instead of the other way around. You have to maintain your relationship with this app, by being a very active user, or it doesn't give you the services you need…
To follow the series, the user needs to keep the App updated and manually mark every new episode he's been watching, so the app will know the exact place of the watching process, instead of getting the data from external sources like Netflix.
Following – Timeline feature is only for future episodes, there is no option to notify about missed episodes in the past recent days, even if you keep the app updated.
Personalization – Discover new shows, is for general recommendations according to what the general public liked and not based on my own private taste or favorites.
What I learned from my research is that there is no single application that meets all of the user's needs, Whether it's an App or Website. There are pairs of interfaces that the user can find most of the content has been looking for, but even then there are some blind spots of information that don't reach him, so the user still has to search in several places...
The reasons for that are:
Distribution of media.
I tried to find one place to all content, of all media types and found that websites focused specialization in one or two types of media. Movies and TV goes together in some cases, but without the music and vice versa.
Each source has its strengths.
Some information sources are websites and not Apps. Websites are not designed to send notifications on your phone.
On Apps that send notifications, there is not enough information and on websites that are good sources of information, there are no notifications or personalization.
Each source has its strengths. Take them all and you'll have the media content god app, but there is no collaboration between the different information sources.
After research, I learned that I need to figure out what is the best way to fill my app with content and updates. Where should it all come from?
One of my conclusions (no matter what it takes), is that gathering information from other sources is the only result in this case...
There is no way of filling all your favorite content on your own like "Hobi" app makes you do. It's too much! Takes lots of time, energy and that is after you carefully selected and probably missed some of them... I learned that this is a way of losing the user and leaving him frustrated.
The user is too active.
I realized that the user cannot be passive and be exposed to new content at the same time. There is currently no automatic and easy way to do this.
The only way to stay up-to-date is to be an active user and manually perform the entire search for new content in several interfaces.
After that, you have to set manually your own reminders. I think it makes more sense to bring the content directly to the user and automatically send relevant notifications and reminders.
I know how satisfying it is to get notified about things you consider as Interesting, but after research, I understood, even more, the importance of notifications. I didn't find any service/interface that has personalized notification without my intervention, or for the matter of fact, notification at all...
Take "Spotify" for example. I use this service and I love it, but the only thing I am missing is getting notifications, mostly about all my favorite artists from my own favorites list. Also, all the big places that keep lots of data information, like "IMDb", "Rotten Tomatoes", "Metacritic", don't even have notification service to the user... so I can't even talk about personalized notifications.
Not all user has Access.
In all the interfaces I tested, I was missing the process after revealing the new information, which is also an active part of the user.
Most of the interfaces in my research provide half the information...
The movie is about to hit the theaters, but where? And where do I order tickets from? A new season begins, but where is it available? And where do you order tickets for a performance?
This feature exists but is also limited. "IMDb" provides it in 14 countries (Israel is not one of them) and "Rotten Tomatoes" only provides it in the US.
I read old research that found out that this feature was built because the user has already expressed a need for it in the past. Therefore it already exists in the world and based on the user's location, so he'll know where is the closest theater to watch the movie.
This feature is limited for most users, that do not meet location conditions and can't enjoy such a privilege. This feature saves users from anything that forces them to make an active search, starting from the information search until they ordered tickets...
I think it's necessary to add this feature to Hit Halls and make it available for all.
I find it is ideal to have one App that satisfies all my media needs. From the discovery of a new and interesting upcoming series, till the watching ceremony, while getting notifications and reminders about it.
Everything should be in one friendly App that gathers all of my favorite media without me having to manually go and search for it myself.