Case study - BT – TV Everywhere

Technical product management, strategy and planning of a new digital product

Overview

As another collaboration with Ostmodern, I worked on the planning and strategy of a project for BT, based around a new and rather secret product that they were to launch – TV Everywhere.

Ostmodern were providing all UX, design, and strategic services, with front- and back-end development planned to be done in-house by BT. There was a considerable impact on infrastructure due to the wide-reaching, cross-platform nature of the project – the concept was to span all kinds of devices, PCs, set top boxes, and had plans for the future that also needed to be factored into our work.

My role was as Product Manager within the Ostmodern team, working as a liaison between the client’s business needs, their technical teams, and the Ostmodern design and UX teams. My work involved the following:

The project

The project itself involved a new proposition for the BT TV services in the form of TV Everywhere. Over the last few years BT had created an ecosystem of assorted apps, websites, and customer offerings, but this project was intended to do something very different.

The concept involved creating a new entity to be able to support the watching of TV from many sources and channels (live, TV on demand, subscription) across all kinds of viewing platforms. It involved an entirely new brand and strategy, a responsive design process, and extensive documentation and communication to convey information through the BT processes to their development teams. Our work needed to consider both a responsive website, supporting native apps for iOS and Android, plus a tie-in with BT’s set top box. There were also plans to extend consumption methods wider in the future.

Several user testing sessions were built into the work being done in order to validate both the proposition itself as well as the work being created. Initially an Axure prototype was created, but I worked to scope, manage, and help the lead developer with the coding of an AngularJS HTML-based prototype which was created for the second session. Using an HTML prototype was much more time effective, and gave a better representation of the end product’s responsive nature than the version in Axure.

Dedicated project space

Above: dedicated project space (pre-office move) whilst in discovery.

AngularJS planning for the user testing prototype

Above: AngularJS planning for the user testing prototype.

User testing observations

Above: User testing observations.

Software and processes

The Ost team held daily stand-ups, and managed the work through sprints intended to overlap with the start of the in-house team’s development work. There were twice-weekly meetings (often more) with the BT team, from senior stakeholders and decision makers, to their UX and dev teams. As the project included teams all around the country, often these meetings involved a mixture of face to face discussion and screen sharing with remote participants.

The project was run using Google Drive and Trello, with code held within a GitHub repo and documentation done through BT’s Confluence system.

Using a wiki for documentation was new to both BT and Ostmodern, and I helped to establish the structure and features that were relevant, as well as giving sessions to explain how it all worked. Within the documentation, information was broken down into ‘atomic’ components, which were detailed individually and related through to the high-level templates and pages that contained them. This was intended to aid the communication with the development teams – they could build the individual components rather than being provided with complex full page layouts.

Our prototype used AngularJS, Sass, and Grunt, and Axure was also used by the UX team. Design was done in Fireworks.

Contact me

If you'd like any more information about what I did on this project, or would like to talk to me about doing something similar in the future, please get in touch.