Dude Perfect:
A Mobile│TV APp

Streamlining Dude Perfect's Digital Presence — Elevating the Role of Kidoodle.TV in Safe Influencer Collaborations and Kids' Entertainment.

Date

December 2022 - September 2023

Role

Lead Designer
TV Screen showing the Dude Perfect loading screen.

Project Overview

In an age where streaming platforms reign supreme, the partnership between Kidoodle.TV, a leader in safe streaming for kids, and the YouTube sensation Dude Perfect aimed to reshape the digital entertainment landscape. Our goal was straightforward yet ambitious: to craft a white-label app that could be a safe haven for fans, transcending the boundaries of YouTube, and appealing directly to Dude Perfect’s massive audience.

As a Product Designer at Kidoodle.TV, I became the lead designer and found myself at the heart of this endeavour, tasked with ensuring our design met stringent kid-safety standards (COPPA regulations) while still being engaging and intuitive. This venture aimed not only to streamline Dude Perfect's digital presence but also to position Kidoodle.TV as a pioneering force in safe influencer collaborations within the realm of kids' entertainment.

Project Goals

Boost Brand Unity

Integrate Dude Perfect's energetic style with Kidoodle.TV's reliability, forming a balanced digital environment that offers the best of both worlds for our audience.

Broaden Audience Appeal

Create a compelling platform that captures the interest of Dude Perfect fans of all ages, guaranteeing an engaging and immersive experience that appeals to everyone.

Future-Proof Scalability

Create a white-label design, laying the groundwork for seamless collaboration with diverse influencers. The goal is to establish a scalable framework, facilitating the potential expansion of partnerships while maintaining adaptability to changing industry landscapes.

A Family Enjoying time together watching Dude Perfect on the TV
Three tv screens portraying research by YouTube
TV shorts concepts explored and researched by YouTube

Research & Understanding

Our research endeavour was both extensive and enlightening. Leveraging Kidoodle.TV’s data and insights provided by the Dude Perfect team, we promptly identified our primary user segments: boys aged 8-14, their families, and the older dedicated fans.

Given the magnitude of this project, research and testing were ongoing tasks, and we placed a high priority on direct engagement to validate our hypotheses. Our testing of the interactive "GamePlay" feature revealed that while children were enthusiastic, they also sought a purpose behind collecting points.

Moreover, individual interviews with super fans and parents unveiled that our app would not only compete with YouTube in terms of Dude Perfect and related content but also in building trust. Parents expressed a clear preference for the Dude Perfect app over YouTube, emphasizing their desire for a safer digital environment for their children.

Secondary research played a pivotal role as we delved into the realm of shorts in streaming platforms. Our findings, supported by YouTube’s own research on shorts' behaviour on TV, guided our design decisions, ensuring that users maintained control over their viewing experience.

Ideation & Conceptualization:

Our ideation process was a collaborative endeavour, with sessions centred on sketching potential designs followed by collective discussions to refine and finalize them. An early design feature was a multi-functional banner – envisioned as a dynamic tool to highlight events, merchandise, and live content. However, as priorities shifted and the scope evolved, this feature was shelved.

Our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) was clear: an app that reliably played content and intuitive enough that children could use it. Beyond that, our design decisions were guided by the need for differentiation in the crowded streaming space and frequently handed down directives, often resulting in shifts and course corrections.

3 iPhone mockups of the Event Marketing Banner on the Dude Perfect App.

GamePlay: The Interactive Challenge

One of the early hallmarks of the Dude Perfect app was the integration of GamePlay, an interactive content experience. An early partnership with a 3rd party was envisioned to bring a unique, engaging touch to the app, allowing users to immerse themselves further.

Initially, GamePlay was intended to be accessible to all, with sign-in features facilitating point collection and leaderboard viewing. The customization of the 3rd party product to fit our specific needs was a challenging task. While the objective was to seamlessly integrate the solution, we found ourselves constrained by time and faced challenges in aligning with their deliverables.

Despite dedicating significant design hours, collaborative efforts and user testing, this anticipated differentiator couldn't be fully realized. Consequently, the scope had to be pivoted, leading to the temporary shelving of GamePlay.

Hi Fidelity Designs of Dude Perfect
Hi Fidelity Designs of Dude Perfect
Hi Fidelity Designs of Dude Perfect
Hi Fidelity Designs of Dude Perfect

Design Execution & Challenges

Designing the Dude Perfect app presented a unique challenge: bridging the familiarity of platforms like YouTube with the premium feel of services like Netflix, all while maintaining the Safe for Kids brand that Kidoodle champions for families.

Every design decision was scrutinized through the lens of user experience, informed largely by the behaviours and preferences of our primary user segment, who predominantly consumed Dude Perfect content on YouTube. For every design or interaction, we reffered back to YouTube and Netflix, questioning the need for divergence and striving for intuitiveness.

Pivoting became an essential aspect of our journey. From app store regulations to evolving requirements from stakeholders, our design had to be flexible and adaptive. A significant pivot was acknowledging and incorporating the Dudes' vision into the design late in game. This was due largely to their busy tour season which prevented input along the way. This led to the addition of a hero video feature atop the mobile app interface, aligning with Kidoodle's native autoplay feature for TV platforms. While this had been a feature I'd initially championed, it faced initial resistance, underscoring the evolving nature of the project and the necessity for adaptability.

Mobile & TV:
Synchronizing Experiences

Designing for two distinct platforms - mobile and TV - presented its own set of challenges. We aspired to leverage the functional elements from Kidoodle.TV, adapting them to align with the unique requirements of Dude Perfect. The goal was to offer a fresh, new mobile/tablet experience while ensuring that the TV version resonated with the same design language. Striking this balance meant extensive design modifications to ensure both platforms felt like extensions of the same ecosystem.

Provider Portal: Designing for Data & Safety

In addition to the primary app, and working directly with engineers, I took the reins as the lead designer for the Dude Perfect app content portal. This essential tool was envisioned as a conduit for the Dudes (and potential future content providers) to upload content, manage metadata, and monitor critical metrics. Drawing from my experience in designing Kidoodle's portal, I curated a design system for the content portal that reflected Dude Perfect's brand ethos while ensuring functionality and user-friendliness. The result was a portal that not only met the operational needs but also stood true to the overarching design language of the app.

Leading & Collaborating

As the project progressed, I transitioned from being part of the design duo to spearheading the design efforts. This shift was not just about ownership but also about streamlining decision-making processes and workflows. My relationship with the development team evolved into a seamless partnership. Despite the rapid design-develop cycle, our shared understanding and effective communication facilitated faster executions.

Key Takeaways & Reflections

Navigating the complexities of the Dude Perfect app was an exercise in perseverance, adaptability, and innovation. By prioritizing user-centric design principles, we crafted an experience that seamlessly blends familiarity with innovation. Reflecting on this journey, the significance of thorough research, direct user engagement, and adaptability becomes evident. While challenges were plentiful, they served as catalysts for refinement, highlighting the pivotal role of design in addressing user needs and elevating entertainment experiences.

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