Buddy.TV

An AI-Driven Video Creation Platform for Kids — Solidifying KidoodleTV's Leadership in Kids Entertainment and the AI Landscape

Date

May - September 2023

Role

Sole Designer
TV and Mobile phone mockup of the Buddy TV screens

Project Overview

In the dynamic realm of children's entertainment, Kidoodle.TV seeks to push the boundaries by conceptualizing BuddyTV — an innovative platform aiming to harness AI for customized children's content.

As the primary product designer and core contributor to this endeavour, I dove deep into design thinking, research, and prototyping to create a compelling user experience for the platform's primary audience: aunts, uncles, grandparents, and of course, the kids that love them.

Young adults using smart phones

Research & Understanding

To lay a strong foundation for Buddy TV, I began with extensive secondary research. The goal was to gauge market trends, identify gaps, and understand how AI could bridge these gaps to offer a richer, more personalized experience for young viewers.

Given the constraints around conducting research, I turned inwards. Engaging with our internal family — those who personified our target users of a video gifting service. Through these conversations, I distilled valuable feedback, understanding their expectations for the platform and the experiences they wished to gift the children in their lives.

Concept Development

The challenge crystallized: Marrying AI's potential with Kidoodle.TV's legacy of safe, joyful children's entertainment. How could Buddy TV provide that personalized touch, making every young viewer feel special? The blueprinting phase was vibrant. From initial brainstorming emerged concepts like a Streaming Entertainment "Concierge" to the finalized video gifting service. AI wasn't just an add-on; it was a core ingredient, ensuring that each narrative was as unique as the child experiencing it.

Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV
Concept sketches of Buddy TV

Project Goals

Lead in AI within the children’s entertainment landscape

Continue to promote kid safe spaces in technology

Bring a magical experience to kids and their families

Little girl holding a present
Mock up of a TV and mobile phone with the Buddy TV Screens

Bridging Two Worlds

Innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither would BuddyTV. One of the paramount challenges was integrating this new AI-driven service into the established landscape of Kidoodle.TV. The task was multifaceted: ensuring the service felt native to the platform while catering to two distinct user groups — parents and kids.

Design decisions were underpinned by two primary objectives: intuitiveness and seamlessness. For parents, BuddyTV needed to offer easy management, from account settings to curating content for their children. For kids, the experience had to remain straightforward and enchanting, with BuddyTV content woven into their viewing seamlessly.

The integration also involved anticipating potential user queries and roadblocks. Would parents understand how to curate and approve content? Would kids easily transition between regular content and BuddyTV video gifts? Each interaction, icon, and transition was meticulously designed and tested to ensure a harmonious blend of the two platforms.

Design Process and Prototyping

The design journey took shape through sketches, wireframes and mockups, driven by feedback and insights from our internal discussions. Balancing aesthetics with functionality, I endeavoured to make BuddyTV an intuitive and delightful experience. The interactive prototypes were essential for continued discussions and usability testing with our internal research cohort of aunties, uncles and grandparents.

Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV TV and Mobile webpages
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV Gift Builder
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV Gift Builder
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV Account screens.
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV Account screens.
Hi Fidelity Designs of Buddy TV Account screens.

Feedback and Iterations

Design iterations were primarily driven by feedback from our internal teams — a goldmine of insights and diverse perspectives—affirming some assumptions, challenging others, and even leading to breakthrough ideas like the pronunciation feature.

The key takeaway pulled from the testing, was the need to accommodate cultural or unusually pronounced names. This insight required consultation with our Machine Learning specialist, as well as the developer team to understand the requirements.

Each iteration brought the design closer to the envisioned user experience, reflecting the wants and needs of our target audience.

iPhone mockups of the Buddy TV video creation screens including the "Tap to Speak" Name recorder.

Handoff & ImPlementation

As the project neared its development phase, I began preparing for a seamless handoff to the development team, ensuring every part of the design was well-documented and ready for implementation. This process emphasized collaboration and foresight, aiming to bring it to life as envisioned.

Sign Up | Sign In Flow
Sign in and sign up flow for Buddy TV

Challenges & Learnings

Designing for AI integration into user-facing products presented distinctive challenges, spanning from interpreting user preferences to ensuring smooth interactions. Throughout this process, I encountered intricate design considerations that continue to evolve with the nascent nature of this technology.

These discoveries are shaping our comprehension of AI's potential to enrich user experiences, yet we're only scratching the surface of establishing best practices in this dynamic field.

Moreover, navigating a mid-project shift towards mandatory user account creation underscored the importance of flexibility and responsiveness in design. Each challenge on this journey contributed to my personal growth as a designer, reinforcing the value of approaching challenges with an open mind, embracing new ideas, and being part of a design community that is shaping user experience powered by artificial intelligence.

Reflection & Invitation

While my journey with this project was cut short before full realization, the vision remains clear. The platform has the potential to redefine children's content, making each video a unique journey. In a parallel universe, I see BuddyTV setting new industry benchmarks and continuing to evolve, always placing children and their imaginations at its core.

I invite you to delve deeper into the designs, share feedback, or connect for collaboration. As I tread new paths in design, the lessons from BuddyTV will always be a guiding light, and I'm eager to bring similar passion and innovation to future endeavours.

Grandparents blowing bubbles with grandchildren

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UX books scattered messily on top of each other.