Redesigning RTÉ Player: Prototyping the Features (3/5)

Michael Bengwayan Jr.
3 min readJan 22, 2021

This blog is the third of five posts of an academic group project. The goal of the project is to iteratively redesign and evaluate the user experience (UX) problems of the RTÉ Player mobile app. In this blog, we will be looking at the design principles we applied, how we prioritised our features, and the challenges in prototyping them.

If you haven’t read the previous posts yet, you can find them in the links below:

  1. Redesigning RTÉ Player: User Research on Watching Behaviour and Pain Points.
  2. Redesigning RTÉ Player: Project Planning, Milestones and Team Dynamics

I. Iterative Design Process and Principles Used

After defining user goals using Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) statements, they were grouped by theme to have a better overview of them. The general user goals are:

  1. Quick browsing, which is also related to relaxing
  2. Socialising about shows watched
  3. Watching for education
  4. Consuming personalised content
  5. Catching up on missed shows

Following insights from the research, features were ideated to address the user goals. The mood board below shows the features.

Features to be Designed (See higher resolution in Miro)

Not all features were feasible for concept testing. Features with light-yellow colour in the mood board require long-term studies like diary studies and analytics to be validated.

The only features that progressed to prototyping were:

  1. Smart Pick
  2. Pick by Mood
  3. New Features and Account Setup Onboarding
  4. Ratings reviews and live chat.

The features are self-explanatory but Random Pick and Pick by Mood will be elaborated further, them being the features that have significant rounds of ideation and deliberation.

Features Pick by Mood and Smart Pick as seen in the home page.

Smart Pick, represented as a floating action button (FAB), is a feature that takes gives the user an auto-playing recommended video. If the user is not interested in the recommended video, they can select Random Pick again for the next recommendation.

Pick by Mood offers categories based on feelings or emotions. Some examples of the categories are Chill, Thrilling, Cheer-up, and Romantic. These categories are only provisional and will require further research for validation.

Visual and Tone of Voice

In parallel with feature ideation, the visual and tone of voice for prototyping were prepared. Not wanting to drastically redesign the current look and feel of RTÉ Player, the Material Dark Theme design kit was chosen as it was consistent with the current theme. Based on research, majority of the viewers of RTÉ programs are teenagers and young adults. Bearing this in mind, it was decided that the tone of voice for the app should be something humorous and funny. References to Paddy Power and McDonnell’s were used, being brands that gained popularity for their use of Irish humour in advertisements.

Brands popularly known for their humour.

II. Prototyping Challenges

It was challenging to prototype the features. A tool was needed to simulate flexible scrolling (vertical and horizontal) and playing videos, but no tool had both capabilities. Fortunately, Figma supported animated graphics interchange format (GIF) images and they were used to simulate the playing of videos. Figma also supported flexible scrolling.

Key Takeaways

Prototyping mobile apps like RTÉ player require powerful and sophisticated tools. For future prototyping efforts, it may be necessary to use native prototyping, a technique that involves writing code. This can be costly as it requires a developer resource.

Michael Bengwayan Jr.

T-shaped designer and life learner, portfolio design enthusiast and nerd.