FeedsOn Case Study Notes (Ongoing)

Bob Ruediger
26 min readMar 19, 2021

--

Saturday, March 13, 2021 — Initial Idea and Wireframes

After a long day of hiking with my wife, I settled in to start partaking in one of my favorite pastimes: watching the Big Brother Live Feeds. This may sound like a simple task, but for the true “superfans” of the game there are more challenges than one might expect. In North America, the show Big Brother is much more of a social strategy game than other iterations of the show where audience participation plays a much greater role. The US and Canadian versions of the show play out live, but with virtually no outside influence. The community that has formed around this show is a dedicated group who are willing to spend a majority of their day watching the live feeds for the small moments that can change the entire outcome.

When I sat down to fire up the live feeds, I began my normal routine which goes a little something like this:

  • Find and turn on laptop
  • Hookup laptop to TV via HDMI
  • Login to laptop and start VPN and browser
  • Connect VPN to country of choice (in this case, Canada)
  • Navigate to the Big Brother website
  • Navigate to the live feeds subpage
  • Discover the live feeds are NOT currently on
  • Turn off computer and TV in frustration

Big Brother is a show that relies heavily on advertiser funding to stay on the air. Because of this, there are a lot of reasons that the producers of the show may want to turn the live feeds off to the general public. The reason could be as simple as the houseguests singing copyrighted songs or it could be as severe as threats (or occasionally acts) of violence towards other houseguests. As a result, the live feeds may be down for a few minutes, a few hours, or even whole days depending on factors that are never disclosed to the dedicated viewers.

After my own frustrating experience, I thought about a popular Twitter bot account that notifies users when the live feeds turn on. I wondered why I no longer felt that it did its job to the best of its ability. The bot will send a tweet when feeds return but not when they go off and there is no way to know if the last tweet posted is still representative of the current status. I then thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that I could check to see if the live feeds were on right at this moment?”

Because no app like that exists, I opened my sketchbook and started sketching my first ideas for what such an app may look like. I knew at this point that I would dedicate the rest of my weekend to the project, beginning right then just before midnight.

Sunday March 14, 2021 — Refining the Design and Testing the Waters

As I would consider myself a member of the target market, I had a good sense of what I would want to see in this type of app but I didn’t want to rely on my own thoughts. For this reason, I decided the best course of action would be to create some visually-appealing mid-fidelity mockups to gauge the interest of my target audience. Due to unrelated reasons, I originally made my mockups in Figma to give myself a chance to familiarize myself with a new tool. (The project moved to Xd shortly after.)

The initial paper sketches and the first Figma-created wireframes of the FeedsOn app. The sketches were drawn just after midnight on Sunday and the Figma wireframes were created by 2:00 A.M. local time.

After crafting the more aesthetic wireframes, giving them a nice frame and putting them into a single, shareable post, I began to distribute the first design to various social media channels where the Big Brother community gathers. I began by posting my design as a single photo on Instagram and Twitter with targeted hashtags to attract the right audience. I then shared the same photo in the devoted communities on Facebook and Reddit.

In some places the attention was minimal, but the r/BigBrother subreddit on Reddit was hugely receptive and provided only positive feedback. As of the time of writing this, the post has received 268 upvotes and attracted 45 comments.

The feedback received on the first Reddit post was a mix of people asking how soon they could use it, offering ideas of things they would or wouldn’t use, and giving advice about what steps to take next. (Original Content)

With the reassurance of my target audience, the decision was made to move forward with the project. It was also at this point that I made the decision to work on the project on Adobe Xd as my personal UX Design tool of choice. My first step was to recreate the wireframes created with Figma on Adobe Xd. After a very long day of work, I finally took my first real break on Sunday evening.

Monday, March 15, 2021 — Incorporating Feedback to Understand Users

With the confidence in my idea established, it was time to revisit some of the stages of the Design Thinking process that were skipped initially. The first steps were to craft a problem statement, create a user persona, and make a journey map of the current process viewers must go through to check the current status of live feeds.

THE PROBLEM STATEMENT

“Big Brother Live Feed viewers need to learn if the live feeds are currently on-air with a real-time tracker that is always available to them because they do not want to go through the lengthy process of checking the website without certainty that the live feeds are currently on-air.

We will know this to be true when viewers refer to a dedicated mobile app that informs them of real-time live feed on-air status before they decide to watch, or not to watch, Big Brother Live Feeds.”

My problem statement was crafted around my own experience as a Big Brother Live Feed viewer, but it is further supported by the direct feedback received from the initial distribution of mockups.

USER PROTO-PERSONA: MARY

Without explorative, qualitative data to rely on for created a fully-fledged user persona, I created a simple proto-persona based on my own experiences as a fan and my interactions with other fans.

(Original Content)

JOURNEY MAP

Once a proto-persona was crafted, it was again easy to refer back to my own experience to create a scenario for Mary’s user journey.

As you can see in the journey map, the current experience of trying to determine whether or not the Big Brother Live Feeds are currently turned on is one that does not bring joy to those who are currently trying achieve this goal. (Original Content)

SCENARIO

  • Mary is a Big Brother “superfan” in America is closely following the drama in the Big Brother Canada house on the Big Brother Live Feeds every day. However, she also has a full-time job and other commitments so she wants to make sure the Live Feeds are currently streaming before committing to turning them on because it is a time-consuming process.

GOALS

  • Mary Wants to Know if Feeds are “On”
    — Check “FeedsBot”
    — Turn On VPN
    — Open Live Feed Website
    — Learn Current Live Feed Status

EXPECTATIONS

  • Because Mary is familiar with how often the live feeds are not turned on for various reasons, she expects that there is about a 50/50 chance that the feeds will be on. However, she also expects that the process to find out if they are on will take a while.

When looking at Mary’s journey to complete a seemingly simple task we can see several points of disappointment and not a single moment of happiness. It was easy to identify opportunities for improvement at every single stage. More importantly, there were several opportunities to intervene with a solution in the beginning stages of the process that could eliminate a lot of frustration for the people who actually do go through this journey every day. (At least until each season ends, that is.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 — Surveying the Target Audience and Refining the Design

While it would be most ideal to conduct user interviews with members of the target audience, at this stage user surveys felt like a better place to start. There were several reasons I decided to begin with user surveys.

First, a short survey was much more likely to attract participants who are scrolling on a social media timeline, who probably won’t feel comfortable going through the process of giving their personal information to a random stranger asking to call them later.

Second, the feedback received from the initial social media posts were indicative that I’ve chosen a good problem to solve. While there are certainly more problems that could be addressed, it’s best to focus on this one for now.

Third, at the end of the survey I provided the option to leave an email address for participants who may be interested in participating in user interviews or usability tests later. This seemed like the best way to recruit participants who may be willing to dedicate more of their time to helping find a design solution.

Finally, upon looking at my research goals, the quantitative data mined from a user survey would give me sufficient input to refine and iterate upon the design.

Research Goals

Questions for the user survey were determined by first establishing clear research goals for the study. These were the goals that were decided upon:

  • How much time do Big Brother live feed viewers spend watching the live feeds?
  • What are the main pain points and frustrations ailing Big Brother live feed subscribers?
  • Do Big Brother live feed viewers use an existing product to check the current status of the Big Brother live feeds?

The first goal, “How much time do Big Brother live feed viewers spend watching the live feeds?” is most important because it establishes how much overall demand for the product there is. If the results suggest that more than 60% of participants watch the live feeds at least three days per week, we can assume that the product would be used regularly. It would be a bonus to see a large number of respondents (15–20%) watching live feeds over five days per week.

The second goal established asks “Do Big Brother live feed viewers currently check existing products to determine for information about the Big Brother live feeds?” The answer to this question will give me a good sense of how frequently respondents engage with existing products to determine how they will engage with my solution. There are several questions related to this goal in the survey itself, but generally I would hope to see at least 75% of respondents answer ‘yes’ to at least one of the relevant questions.

The final question that I hope to answer with these results is “Do Big Brother live feed viewers use an existing product to check the current status of the Big Brother live feeds?” I have included two questions in the survey about the specific Twitter account @Feeds_Bot, a Twitter bot account that only sends a Tweet when the live feeds turn on. This will give me a good idea of how many participants have already sought solutions to this problem. Because the audience is broad, I expect roughly 50% of respondents to say that they either follow the account or actively receive notifications from the account.

Medium, Activation, and Promotion of User Survey

The user survey was composed on Google Surveys and consisted of eight questions directly related to the user goals stated above. After the success of my first post on the r/BigBrother subreddit, I began by posting the survey there again. To try to gain further engagement with the survey, I again made posts on the various social networks previously utilized. One change I made this time, purely based on coincidental timing when I was posting, was directly replying to a well-known podcaster named Taran Armstrong after he tweeted a link to one of his shows. Although Taran himself didn’t directly engage with the response, several other podcasters retweeted the post and it again gained a lot of unexpected attention.

Aman Adwin is a well-known podcaster and influencer in the Big Brother community. With his retweet, I saw much higher engagement in my user survey. (Source: Twitter.com)

In addition to the responses gathered in those places, I was also contacted by the developer of another Big Brother fan website who had seen my project and was interested in helping advance it further. She directed me to the Discord community of the aforementioned Taran Armstrong. Once I posted my survey in that community, the number of participants nearly doubled in a single evening.

One disappointing aspect of this round of public outreach was the lack of response I got from the subreddit in comparison to the attention the original post received. I even went so far as to reply with a link to the survey to a lot of commenters on the original post, who seemed happy to participate, but it did not generate further engagement as hoped.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — Analyzing Survey Results

Fortunately, with over 70 participants, I was able to identify a lot of desired features, uncover some new ideas for features, and come to reasonable conclusions about my research goals. Including the option for participants to write-in their own ideas for features was helpful because it allowed new ideas to come into the design process from the target audience itself.

The charts produced by Google Surveys always provide a nice visual representation of survey results.

Survey Results

It may be impossible to achieve exact and perfect answers to the research goals set at the beginning of the survey planning, but I was still very satisfied with the data that was collected and the insights that were able to be made from it.

  • How much time do Big Brother live feed viewers spend watching the live feeds?

The first goal of the survey was to determine the amount of time live feed viewers actually devote to watching the feeds. The results were varied, but as expected with the target audience, over 71% of respondents watch live feeds at least three days a week. On top of that, roughly 43% actually watch live feeds at least six days per week (smashing the “bonus goal” I had set at just 15–20%). This confirmed the hypothesis that at least 60% of respondents would devote at least three days per week to viewing.

With approximately 86% of all respondents stating that they watch live feeds at least once a week, the correlation to respondents who answered “How many hours per day do you watch live feeds?” was an exact match. 61% of the total responses from respondents who say they do watch live feeds went on to answer that they watch live feeds for at least 3 hours per day. This provided further reassurance that live feed viewers are willing to devote a lot of their free time to this passion.

  • What are the main pain points and frustrations ailing Big Brother live feed subscribers?

Big Brother live feeds were turned off for 42.2% of the last season and contestants were asleep for 21.8% of the time live feeds were on. Dedicated subscribers find it easier to stay up to date on live feed events by following Twitter users, checking third-party websites, and listening to podcasts. 18% of participants indicated they will cancel their Paramount + subscription one month before the end of the Big Brother season if they have experienced enough frustrations with the live feeds.

  • Do Big Brother live feed viewers currently check existing products to determine for information about the Big Brother live feeds?

The most popular method of finding information on the live feeds was to check Twitter which 93% of respondents say they use to keep up. Dedicated fan sites like Hamsterwatch and Jokers Updates also attract 75% of respondents to their site for information. A newer addition to the Big Brother community is the Reality Stock Watch game, but its popularity was obvious by the 66% of responses to the question about participation being “Yes.” It was very clear that this dedicated group of fans are actively engaging with existing products.

  • Do Big Brother live feed viewers use an existing product to check the current status of the Big Brother live feeds?

In order to address this question, there is really only one product that needed to be asked about. The @Feeds_Bot account on Twitter that was discussed earlier appears twice in the survey. First to see if respondents follow it and second to see if they utilize the push notifications. While a majority of users follow Feeds_Bot, only about half of them utilize the push notifications for instant live feed status information. This is even somewhat surprising when considering that 93% of respondents said they would be interested in a real-time tracker of the live feed status.

Sunday, April 4, 2021 — Determining the Next Steps

I am working on this project in tandem with a full-time UX bootcamp and a few additional courses from Interaction Design Foundation which means that I’ve had to distribute my time appropriately between several projects. The survey was live for a week which gave me time to focus on other things, but not enough time to clear out some of the priorities so I was away from the FeedsOn project for a little longer than anticipated.

Fortunately, I have stumbled across some helpful pieces of knowledge in that time from my other work that feels applicable to this project. For example, I had an interaction yesterday with an experienced designer who pointed out that my surveys should have been based around a hypothesis that I wanted to disprove. It may be too late to change the goals and results of my survey, but now I have a better idea of how to approach the same task in the future. At the same time, I’m not sure that If I had proposed a hypothesis of “Big Brother live feed viewers are happy with their current experience”, I would have actually retrieved anything more useful than what I did.

This also led me to question a lot of my process until listening to a lecture from Alan Dix on IxDF today about the application of technology probes. I realize now that my initial wireframes were more of a technology probe than anything else. It allowed potential users to envisage the app being used in their daily lives and allowed me to gauge the interest. This also gave me a better understanding of the needs of live feed viewers and the things they do or don’t care about.

One thing I have already started, is creating an affinity map of information gathered from the survey and outside information that I’ve been collecting (for example, the live feeds were turned off for 42% of a 7-day period examined last week). The insights are not plentiful enough yet to create a full map, but some interesting patterns have already emerged.

In order to fill the affinity map out with some more exploratory, qualitative data, proper user interviews will need to be conducted. Thankfully, I retrieved 13 email addresses (in addition to DMs and existing contacts) from survey participants who expressed interest in doing an interview. If I can get just five of them to agree to a brief interview then I should gain enough information to begin iterating on a working prototype.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 — User Interview Recruitment

After my last update, I used my newly minted “business” email address to reach out to the kind souls who shared their emails with me on the user surveys. Sadly, not a single person responded to what I believed to be an appealing invitation for a nice chat about Big Brother.

I decided to wait a week and see if perhaps somebody (or maybe even a few people) was writing a warm acceptance email, but nobody ever got around to it. At that point, I made two new plans. First, to try emailing the same list again but from my personal email address. Second, to scour some of the Discord channels for participants as they appeared to be the most eager in initial probes.

Fortunately for me, the first plan was all I needed as I immediately got four responses from live feed viewers who seem happy to help. On top of that, I was recently encouraged to reach out to other students at CareerFoundry to possibly collaborate on the project. My next steps will be to see if anyone is interested after I complete the user interviews this week.

April 21-May 5, 2021 — User Interviews

Things were going quite well after my last update as I immediately was able to complete two of my user interviews on the 21st via Zoom with a participant in Indonesia and a participant in North Carolina. I then conducted my third interview with a participant from Illinois the following day. Unfortunately, my fourth participant had a scheduling conflict on the 23rd and while we tried to reschedule a couple of times, I ultimately decided to move forward with the results gathered from my first three participants.

Each interview went well as I was careful to create a comfortable environment, mixed in some “lighthearted” questions to keep the air light, and avoided asking any leading questions throughout the sessions. Due to the nature of the subject matter, every participant was eager to engage and provide detailed answers for each question.

One exciting aspect of doing these interviews at this time is that FigJam was recently launched and I saw a perfect opportunity to give Figma another chance by doing an affinity map for these interviews on their new platform.

An affinity map was made with Figma’s new FigJam feature. The first step consisted of watching the recordings of each interview and taking categorized notes to be used for the affinity map.

In order to ensure that I would extract the best possible insights from the interviews, I set aside a large block in my schedule so that I could review them all back-to-back to take notes for the affinity map. Then I immediately began the process of grouping the sticky notes to gather insights.

Once the groupings were complete, I assigned each one a label and then recorded my immediate insights in a bulleted list next to the map.

User Interview Insights

These were the insights I gathered:

  • All participants watch BBCAN9
  • All participants have played Stock Watch game
  • 2/3 don’t understand how Stock Watch works
  • All participants watch every RHAP episode and Taran Update
  • 1 participant watches Taran at 2x speed
  • All participants watch Feeds in some capacity
  • 2/3 keep up primarily with Scenarios YouTube channels
  • All participants watch every episode each week
  • 2/3 try to watch BBCAN live when they can
  • Both American participants subscribe to Paramount Plus
  • All consider Taran to be their most trusted source “because it is his job”
  • Daily engagement with the show is dependent on other life commitments
  • All participants prioritize other aspects of life over keeping up with BB
  • All participants utilize Twitter to stay up-to-date on Feeds
  • 2/3 of participants engage with r/BigBrother community
  • All participants have experienced Feeds being “down” when tuning in
  • 1 participant “gave up” on watching Feeds this season because they were “always down”
  • All participants have used at least one website or app to keep up with live feed spoilers
  • All participants expressed a desire to know what is happening on feeds in a quicker way
  • 2/3 of participants stated that scheduling conflicts inhibit their ability to watch feeds
  • All participants have not watched BBCAN episodes due to their air times (starting time for BBCAN varies each night)
  • 2/3 of participants watch the show with their family
The final affinity map was completed by grouping similar notes and applying appropriate labels to summarize the overall message of each group. Immediate insights were also made by creating a bulleted list on the FigJam board after the mapping was completed.

Revisiting Research Goals

After completing the affinity map, I wanted to look at how my insights aligned with the original research goals before moving on to the iteration phase.

  • How much time do Big Brother live feed viewers spend watching the live feeds?

The answer to this question seems to depend on a wide variety of factors that are personal to each individual viewer. While one participant habitually dedicates at least an hour per day to the feeds, the other two expressed that most of their live feed consumption comes from watching YouTube clips (especially Scenarios/Scenarios Canada) and keeping up with Taran Armstrong’s daily live feed updates.

  • Do Big Brother live feed viewers currently check existing products for information about the Big Brother live feeds?

The overwhelmingly most popular resource for keeping up with the live feeds was by watching Taran’s updates or Rob Has a Podcast (RHAP) programs in general. Every participant expressed that they watch Taran daily and that they also engage with popular Twitter accounts in the community. Two participants said they frequently visited r/BigBrother for information and two participants reported regularly visiting Hamsterwatch.com and JokersUpdates.com to get live feed updates. One participant said they used an app called ‘Pocket Big Brother’ in the past and one participant has used BMX.tv to watch episodes or feeds in the past.

  • Do Big Brother live feed viewers use an existing product to check the current status of the Big Brother live feeds?

Two participants stated that they do utilize Twitter to find out if the live feeds are on. However, neither of those participants use Feeds_Bot to complete this action but rather they check their trusted Twitter sources to see if they have recently tweeted to determine if the feeds are on. One participant follows Feeds_Bot, but did not set up push notifications for it. Interestingly, two participants explicitly expressed a desire to know what was happening on the feeds before turning them on in the first place.

Overall, I would consider the user interview sessions to be a success despite the obstacles faced with recruitment and the unfortunate cancellation. The insights gathered in the interviews provide a great balance to the quantitative data extracted from the surveys. There was also an interesting correlation between the insights of the interviews and some of the desires expressed in the open-ended survey questions. With those correlations, it was easy to see how certain features could bring a lot of value to users if implemented correctly.

Another thing to note with the end of the BBCAN9 season is a recent thread that was posted by Feeds_Bot on Twitter.

Thanks to the work of Feeds_Bot, actual percentages of the times that the live feeds were on and off have been provided. Furthermore, they have broken down the time feeds were on into times that houseguests were actually awake versus asleep.

This season was by far the toughest on the live feed audience in terms of being able to watch the houseguests as much as possible. Not only were the live feeds down for 42.2% of the season, but in the 57.8% of the time that the feeds were on, the houseguests were asleep for 21.8% of the the time. That means that the BBCAN9 live feeds only showed us the houseguests playing the game for 36.1% of the time over the 58 days that they were turned on. The impact of this was obviously felt by my interview participants who expressed that the feeds were either down or “nothing was happening” most of the time that they tried to watch.

Finally, I have decided that I will be returning to Figma for the rest of this project for two reasons. First, it will give me an opportunity to familiarize myself with the most popular UX program through hands-on work. Second, with the prospect of handing this project off to other designers and developers in the near future, it makes sense to use a program with the best collaboration functions.

June 9, 2021 — HMW Questions, Upcoming Events

Recently, it was announced that Big Brother 23 would begin on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021. I have been waiting for this announcement for some time so that I could plan out my usability tests. I had flirted with the idea of trying to run tests in the off-season, but decided it was better to replicate real-world scenarios as much as possible. With less than a month to prepare for the tests, I examined my affinity map to determine what features should be included in my MVP.

One idea I had to determine the features to include was to write a few How Might We (HMW) questions and try to answer them.

How might we deliver real-time feed status?

  • Signifier on home page
  • Push notifications
  • Signifier on all pages

How might we provide information about stats and events?

  • Push notifications
  • “Events” page
  • “Events” section on homepage
  • Links to Jokers and HW
  • Twitter feed — Taran, HW, Jokers, etc.

How might we incorporate RHAP, Stock Watch, and Taran content?

  • Separate page
  • Promote RHAP content on homepage
  • Ask RHAP patrons

How might we make the product “spoiler-free”?

  • Give users option to toggle content
  • Give users control over push notifications
  • Spoiler-free homepage

While the features that I believe should be included haven’t changed drastically from the initial tech probe I created, the implementation of those elements will be iterated upon in the coming weeks. Something that I believe will be helpful for this process will be to complete competitive analyses on some of the products that were mentioned in the user interviews as well as analogous analyses on some sports apps that may give me a better sense of how to present real-time statistics and news.

The expected completion date for the MVP is July 7th with tests commencing the following week to take advantage of peak interest in the franchise and live feeds.

June 11, 2021 — Usability Test Task Flows

Unrelated note: Why does Medium make it so difficult to create lists? I see an opportunity for improvement!

In preparation for the prototyping of FeedsOn, I have made two basic task flows to wireframe and use as the basis for my MVP which will be used in the usability tests. Because the product’s main purpose is to alert users of changes in the status of live feeds, the first task will be to open the app as a new user and turn on push notifications. After that task is complete, I will replicate what it would be like to receive a notification from the home screen of the user’s phone. The success criteria for my second task is not just to view the new status, but to navigate to another page or feature of the app after they have seen the status change. I believe that this will help to show whether or not the UI is presented in a way that makes users want to engage with the app itself after they have achieved their primary goal.

July 5, 2021 — Protoyping for Usability Tests

Last week, we were finally introduced to the cast of Big Brother 23 which was the final piece of the puzzle I needed to start creating my MVP for usability testing. We have a four-day weekend in Prague that allowed me a chance to focus all of my energy and attention on this project and get ready for Wednesday’s premiere.

I have already made a few versions of the prototype to play around with the content that I might include, but this morning I began my day by wireframing my MVP on paper. Afterwards, I opened Figma back up and slowly started increasing the fidelity of my existing wireframes.

To finish the day, I implemented a menu and added the necessary interactions for testing. With the final two days of prep time, I will try to develop a style guide to refine the visuals while I start recruiting participants. At this point, I believe that week 2 or 3 will be the ideal time to test the prototype so that I can include real stats and events to increase the sense of realism for participants.

August 4, 2021 — Final MVP and Usability Test Plan

A spontaneous but much needed vacation to Egypt taught me a valuable lesson about Figma — it is NOT available to use offline! While the setback wasn’t appreciated, it did provide some buffer time in the season to add a couple of weeks of content to the final MVP which only took me an extra day.

So with that, the ideation and prototyping phases are officially complete and now it’s time to focus on usability tests. Unfortunately, getting the word out on Reddit has been more difficult than it was for my user interviews but Discord and Twitter still have thousands of people to ask so that’s where I’m going for recruitment.

I have completed a full Usability Test Plan including the script I will use for testing. As of today, two people have expressed interest in participating so I am confident that testing should be finished by next week. At that point, I will present the concept and design to a few people who I believe will be interested in helping me get it into the hands of Live Feeders in the coming weeks.

August 19, 2021 — Usability Test Results

Recruiting participants for usability tests came with several hurdles, the largest one being the discourse that has recently befallen the r/BigBrother subreddit and its moderator team who politely refused to allow me to use the community for recruitment. In light of that setback, I ventured into various Discord servers and Facebook groups where I knew that Live Feed viewers liked to meet and was able to recruit three “superfans” to test the app.

All of the usability tests were conducted remotely utilizing the Figma prototype function to put the app in participants’ hands. Despite one minor technical issue, the sessions went very well. I was particularly happy with the flow of the conversations and my personal ability to avoid any leading questions or suggestive comments throughout the three sessions.

Upon completing the final test, I turned to FigJam to once again create an affinity map of positive quotes, negative quotes, observations, and errors from the usability tests. As expected, there were several points of overlap in the observable results once the post it notes were combined to create a single affinity map.

Affinity Map created to analyze results of Usability Tests.

Additionally, the insights gathered from the analysis of the affinity mapping exercise were combined with the results of the two Single Ease Questions to create a “rainbow spread sheet” which organizes all quantitative and qualitative data from the usability testing sessions.

Usability Test Insights

These were the most important insights gathered from the sessions:

Errors

  • Two participants did not understand what the numbers on the Stats page represented.
  • One participant did not understand the function of the notification toggle switches.
  • Participants were unable to navigate to player profile pages from their home screen pictures.

Observations

  • Participants understood and enjoyed the push notifications when the live feeds came back on.
  • Two participants expressed concern that they would receive too many notifications

Negative Quotes

  • “I don’t understand what the numbers mean here.”
  • “House Events doesn’t imply that I will see a Twitter feed.”
  • “It would be nice if evicted houseguests were differentiated from active houseguests.”

Positive Quotes

  • “The notifications are really great. They would be a useful addition to my other BB resources.”
  • “There is a lot of added value from the additional information on the app.”
  • “I would download this immediately!”

All in all, the testing sessions were a massive success. There were three major errors that need further attention and a few minor suggestions from participants that will be taken into consideration for the final iteration. I imagine the fixes won’t be a huge undertaking and expect to finish my final prototype this week.

My next steps will be to conduct quick preference tests on the revisions and to research the process of creating a native app. I have also decided that I will pitch the idea directly to the creators of Feeds Bot to see if they would be interested in collaborating on the final product. I am optimistic that I will find people who are also enthusiastic about getting this product on the app stores as soon as possible.

August 31, 2021 — Preference Tests and Developer Proposal

The final steps that I took as a UX designer were to conduct preference tests on two key screens. The first screen I was interested in was the Weekly Stats page where usability test participants were confused by the numbers indicating how many times players have won competitions among other statistics. The second screen was the Players Stats page where I wanted to find the best way to reflect each player’s current role in the house.

To conduct the tests, I began with the screens that were used during the usability tests and then created new versions of each screen to test them against. The Weekly Stats page originally just read “1” or “2” to indicate frequency, but the new version adds an “x” to the number to represent “number of times” (i.e. 1x, 2x). The Players Stats page, on the other hand, features an entirely new element on the page for the revamped iteration. Instead of using labels to indicate roles, colored borders and a color-coded legend were added near the top of the screen.

Once the new iterations were made, the screens were uploaded to Usability Hub to create preference tests. Initially, I only distributed the tests to trusted Big Brother communities but eventually opened them up to the public in order to garner more responses. Despite getting more than 15 participants for both tests, neither test yielded statistically significant results. However, the comments left by participants were insightful as to which elements were doing their job and which were not.

With the data from the usability tests and preference tests in hand, I completed the final design for FeedsOn. A final step that I took was to create a “dark mode” of the app as well. This was mostly done because it was requested by a Big Brother fan, but also gave me an opportunity to try adapting a design to a dark mode which seemed like a fun thing to do. I also created a style guide for developer handoff. However, this may need to be refined depending on who is willing to take the project to the next stages.

At this point, I have to say that my work as a UX designer for FeedsOn is done. However, my work as an app creator is just beginning because now I need to get a working product into the hands of clamoring superfans who have expressed their desire for the app. I plan on writing a formal RFP, but I also plan to take a more casual approach to established developers in the Big Brother world.

--

--