Finding the UX/UI Sweet Spot: Designing a template for VOD and Live TV services

Today’s viewers can enjoy a wide variety new digital video-on-demand and live TV services on a range of different platforms. At MaginePro, we enable content owners and service providers to effectively engage their viewers by offering a series of customizable UX templates that meet their business needs and user expectations. Our templated solutions are designed to provide the best possible experience for both sides.

In this post, we walk through some aspects of our design systems and cover how finding the ‘sweet spot’ enables us to define the template platform UI to meet our partner’s requirements and user needs.

User Behaviour & Content Discovery

User experience and behaviour differs considerably between linear TV and VOD services.

Linear TV services, for example, are low friction as users get instant access to live content; only needing to interact when actively choosing to change channels. As live TV events have a start and end point it’s crucial that users can find what they want to watch as quickly and as easily as possible. Finding content on a video-on-demand service doesn’t require the same level of urgency, but browsing a big library of content without any context can be overwhelming. Video-on-demand services require more interaction as users need to browse the content catalog in order to find what they want to watch.

At Magine Pro, we focus on building platforms that make it easy for all users to discover content that appeals to them. For example, linear TV service users can catch up on missed live shows such as sports events (when supported by content rights) and create a personal list of their favorite channels, making them easier to locate after signing in. Catch up and VOD content is also presented in modules (movies/genres/series etc), enabling users to interact and explore further details such as trailers, synopsis, and cast etc. This gives the user a deeper understanding of the content and allows them to make an informed decision when selecting something to watch. Curated recommendations on the start page, and recommendations based on previous viewing preferences, also make it easier for new and returning users to discover great content.

Design Approach

At Magine Pro, we frame every design problem in a job story, focusing on the triggering event or situation, the motivation and goal, and the intended outcome:

As an example:

“When there’s an interesting live sports event, I want to find it quickly, so I can watch it from start to end.” – Service user

Breaking this down there are three parts we need to consider:

  • “When there’s an interesting live sports event” –  This is the situation, it describes when this happens.
  • “I want to find it quickly” – This revolves around the motivation and why the user wants to do this.
  • “So I can watch it from start to end” – Users expected outcome and what we need to focus planning and design around to deliver.

Job stories give us context and enable us to focus more on user motivations. Having a clear picture of user behaviour and needs also prevents us from implementing unnecessary features that reduce the usability of the product. We work closely with our partners to assess the impact and only implement agreed features that don’t add complexity to the template or create friction for the user.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Video-on-demand services enable users to browse and consume a vast content catalog with great discovery features, such as recommendations and related content to boot. Because of this, providers and viewers are drawn more to building and using VOD over linear TV services.  At Magine Pro, however, we believe there is a sweet spot nestled between traditional linear TV services and full-scale VOD services. We combine the simple, elegant user interface of traditional linear TV with the power of choice found in VOD, creating a richer experience for users.

Our design approach is focused on creating true value for users and service providers. We leverage our experience and understanding of good UX to build products that successfully fulfill our partner’s needs and provide exceptional experiences for viewers around the world.


You can learn more about Magine Pro’s professional video solutions here. We would love to hear from you if you would like to discuss our products, find out more about our services or get started.