Cable television providers have been faced with several new competitors in the media and entertainment space - from over-the-top alternatives to media storage and aggregation services. Time Warner Cable responded to these new challenges by innovating on the cable television experience.
In the last few years, any company involved in providing video content to consumers has seen its assumptions - and its business models - deeply challenged. In 2005, Time Warner Cable asked several firms to help it envision a very different future for cable television, in which programming has moved from a linear schedule to "everything on demand," and commercial programming merges with the user's own media and user-generated content from the Internet.
TWC purposely kept its brief broad and loosely sketched, asking each studio to draw its own picture of the future. Rising to the challenge, Method convened a cross-disciplinary team to compare assumptions about future technologies and brainstorm ideas for the new media interface. One idea that quickly emerged was that there would be no one-size-fits-all way to manage the influx of media. Method created three personas, based on a mother, father, and teenage son in a household, representing different styles of finding and scheduling their media (which we called the "programmer," the "troller," and the "hunter"). Writing a scenario based on a night at home with this family uncovered possibilities for different services, interactions, platforms, and media that would be used by each.
The interface we presented to TWC included personalization through profiles, allowing the system to recommend suitable content for each family member; different modes of finding content, via directed search, suggestions based on social filtering, or recommendations from friends; and personalized playlists, allowing users to easily line up their own programming. The interface model included quick ways to navigate visual directories holding thousands of options as well as ways to surface each user's favorite features and content. A team of visual and interaction designers worked together to create three sophisticated, integrated interface designs for the system.
Method's model for cross-disciplinary innovation helped TWC imagine - and start planning for - a future direction for its business. We continue to work with TWC on an ongoing basis, helping to develop and refine their next-generation interface.
Method offers a rational and intuitive approach to solving complex brand challenges in all traditional and digital media.
Having partnered with Method to launch ViewChange.org in 2010, Link TV reengaged Method to design an intuitive iPad news application that would allow readers to explore the rich library of international television news, raw videos, and documentaries curated by the seasoned journalists at Link TV.
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