Ustream is one of the leading streaming video platforms with tens of millions of viewers and thousands of broadcasters such as NASA, Salesforce, Facebook, Sony and, my personal favorite, TechCrunch.
As Director of UX, I led the 9-person product design team and personally designed many features of Ustream.
I joined Ustream to transform it to a design-driven, user-centered company. I was part of the directors and VPs responsible for defining and driving strategy, I took part in planning, defining OKRs and the roadmap.
The biggest challenge I faced was turning Ustream from the media-focused company into a SaaS business. This required major changes in the design goals and direction, and in the mindset of my team.
I sourced and built a truly great product design team consisting of 5 UX designers, 3 Awwwards-winner UI designers and a project manager.
As UX Director, my focus was to
I worked on all aspects of the product from the website through our mobile apps to our desktop applications. Here are a couple of samples from concepts and designs I created.
As part of the shift in strategy, I completely redesigned our homepage to effectively communicate the SaaS platform but still serve the needs of existing visitors that looked at Ustream as a media destination.
Here’s the wireframe I created for the homepage:
I designed the discovery and viewing experience that let watchers find and enjoy live and recorded content. A major innovation in the design was that users could seamlessly switch to explore new channels while the broadcast they were watching continued minimized. This interaction pattern was later introduced by YouTube as well in its mobile apps.
I conducted interviews, defined goals, created the concept, designed the information architecture, the layouts and the interactions. I defined activity funnels and ran dozens of A/B tests – some resulting in double-digit lifts in conversion.
Here’s a sample diagram from my analysis showing the main user flows:
Here’s a wireframe for the discovery experience:
And here’s the viewing experience:
Here’s another work sample, the grid for the modular containers:
Read more about the redesign on TechCrunch.
I also led the redesign of our broadcaster that allows people to stream live video directly from the browser. Based on the broadcasters’ input and behavioral data from Google Analytics, I reorganized the layout, made it responsive and improved the functionality. I designed new features (eg. Playlists), created and optimized upsell opportunities through a series of experiments.
As a result, we migrated most broadcasters from the old version and improved significantly our metrics (both usage and sales of Pro features).
Here are some of my wireframes from the broadcaster design:
And some annotated wireframes for creating Live Playlists:
I designed many other parts of the product like the sales funnel, the partner program, the pay-per-view flow, the log-in and onboarding experience. I was also heavily involved in all other design projects, like the complete revamp of our mobile apps, the development of the product marketing pages, as well as the introduction of many new features.
In the design team, I introduced an approach to continuously experiment and optimise alongside the design of new features and big-scale improvements, my motto being that a day without an experiment is a day wasted. A lot of these experiments greatly contributed to Ustream’s growth.
Some optimizations I did:
A main goal for the team was to continuously learn about our users. We did many interviews with US users, conducted polls and surveys, released beta features to gather feedback. With the help of our business intelligence team, we heavily analyzed usage patterns with Google Analytics Premium. We all did customer support from time to time to feel the pain points as closely as possible.
It was a great experience to be part of Ustream’s shift in strategy that eventually led to a successful acquisition by IBM.
During my time at Ustream: