I came to DIRECTV to lead UX Strategy on a project that involved designing a voice interface for the main DIRECTV iPhone app. I worked on a cross-functional product development team and lead user research and product testing. 


We conducted an ethnographic study in which we observed users watching television in their homes and found that a major pain point was searching for a particular title. Using a remote control to navigate an on-screen keyboard was extremely frustrating, especially when searching for a complex set of keywords.

Our solution hypothesis was that a voice interface is much better suited for complex search terms. We wanted to enable searches such as "show me comedy movies on tonight starring Tom Hanks" that users can speak in natural language. The product we envisioned would use the mobile device as a conduit between user and TV; the user would simply speak their search to the phone, which would display results on the TV screen (or on the phone if the user was planning on watching on his/her device).

My responsibilities included product strategy, experience mapping, and early UX ideation. I started by facilitating a design studio workshop in Los Angeles consisting of internal teams (software engineers, UI designers, product managers, interaction designers, and project managers) and representatives from Nuance Communications, one of our software partners. The workshop focused on collaborative sense making to frame research data, articulation of a problem space, and generation of multiple solutions that can be tested with real users. 

I then performed a secondary research review of current trends and past research into voice user interfaces. My findings were summarized as a set of heuristics that designers used to guide their decisions. I then collaborated closely with designers while creating wireframes to ensure all strategic components were incorporated. 

Finally, I helped organize and facilitate rounds of user testing as a prototype was built, filtering those results back into the design process. 


This feature is now live in the DIRECTV mobile app on iOS and Android. Below are some screenshots of the feature in use:

voice iphone frame.png