A sync-watching app for long distance relationships
Despite the popularity of Netflix and the likes, it is surprisingly inconvenient to share this bonding experience while being apart.
Chills looking to fill this gap in the streaming culture, by enabling users to watch movie together simultaneously despite their physical locations.
Ideation, UX/ UI design, interaction/ visual design
Even before COVID, I have been away from my fiancé for several months. Watching movies together is one of our favorite activities, as it momentarily suspends the 8000 miles separating us. However, as we quickly found out, there is currently no convenient way to stream videos simultaneously. Also, we're are certainly not the only ones looking for solutions.
There is even name for this phenomenon, sync-watching or "obsessively synchronized media consumption", as a New York Times article called it.
"They use more technological firepower than was required for the first moon landing: two laptops, two iPhones, iTunes, Skype and FaceTime."Source: For Couples Split by Distance, Two Screens Can Blink as One - NY Times
How can we create
Unsurprisingly there are a dozens of possible solutions however, none of them really adequately resolve the issue. I evaluated five competitors bases on content, interaction, flexibility and mood. I want to extract their qualities and adapt them for our target user.
Before jumping into the visual design, I outlined the main structure of the app using content mapping and user flow, prioritizing :
1. Discoverability of content and playlist personalization
2. Ease and flexibility of watching experience
3. Interactive communications between users
A streaming app that focus on
From the competitive analysis, it is clear that a wide selection of contents is highly desirable. However, a great collection of movies and shows mean little to users, if they cannot access the content in an intuitive way. I see tags as way for users to personally their experience and discover new related contents, in addition to the typical categories of titles, genres, etc.
Chills offers users flexibility on how to best express themselves. An serial texters, sure! Emojis and GIF fanatics, we got you! Catch each others' reaction to your favorite scenes through video chat. Or all of the above, the choice is yours.
Each users might have different references when it comes to watching videos. Some are perfectly content with watching a show on their phone while others prefer something more immersive like a 40 inches TV. Users get to personalize their watching experience depends on their own devices while neither compromising viewing pleasure or interaction with one another.
It was a tremendously helpful experience to take this project beyond a personal issue, through further research and brainstorming possible solution and at the end crafting a cohesive experience. These are a few interesting problems I have encounter through the process:
While the app's main users are long distance couples, how can the design caters to their needs while not alienating other groups such as friends and families?
I personally would be happy to pay a monthly subscription for this app. Alternatively, I also see it being financed by all the content platforms (Netflix, Prime videos, etc) and is free to users. They then will have to link their own Netflix or Prime videos account to our app.
While the app is mainly focus on movies, it is important to consider other content type such as episodic series and even live events.