Eros Now is the streaming service of Eros International – the largest producer and distributor of Indian cinema.
After failed attempts to get Eros Now off the ground in India, Eros International looked to the Silicon Valley to build a team. My long time colleague, Shampa Banerjee, gave me the opportunity to do two things: 1) Use my knowledge of UX to uncover behavior of a foreign market and 2) design a complex service (music, music videos, tv, and movies!) for every major OTT platform on the market.
Understanding a diverse group of Indians and NRIs was an area I knew very little about, but it was a challenge I was ready to take on. I knew nothing about how Indians used their phones, how telcoms operated in Dehli, or what Indians in Canada wanted to watch. Through online surveys, product feedback, market research, and face to face interviews, we made informed decisions and set out to make our core Android project.
I built the UX team and process from the ground up - empowering our designers (both local and remote) with Sketch and Invision. We conducted basic interaction testing remotely, through usertesting.com. Face to face testing was conducted in India to help build personas and learn about their needs. Analyzing data and employing A/B testing (Apptimize) software to fine tune our products.
In less than two years, we went from only web to a multi-platform offering with over 54 million users. We identified the demand for certain features on our Android and iOS products long before our competition. We also were awarded best Apple TV app in India.
We are constantly experimenting and fine tuning our onboarding experience. When I started, users felt they were being misguided through a 15 minute movie preview that was followed by a sign up form. A/B testing, focus groups, data analysis, and deploying to sample audiences helped us make informed decisions and better our communication.
We identified early on that Indian users were mostly limited to wi-fi connections for watching movies; and that most data plans were to expensive to justify streaming a movie. We introduced downloading long before our competition.
Regional languages are very important in India and people want their content localized. We also learned that our users wanted editorial playlists, so they could find something quickly that matched their mood. Card sorting excercizes were employed to determine what moods and themes we should lead with.
Bollywood fans are perhaps the most dedicated in the world. Gatherings of fans (in the hundreds) happen daily outside star's homes as they wait for their morning greeting. Needless to say, we saw value in providing our users with special access to their big screen idols. We wanted to keep our user's happy and keep them coming back to our service, so we aggregated our existing content an added a new feed of exclusive material.
One thing we learned from research was that there was an opportunity to capitalize on a movie before it's release. We came up with a Title Destination screen that a user could follow and get updates as soon as there was new artwork, backstage photos, music releases, trailers or other exclusives.
I was hands-on in creating many assets for our products, including: custom iconography, a video intro for AppleTV, iOS stickers, print advertising, promotional materials, email campaigns.