Bring low-cost, rich YouTube content to the low-bandwidth markets via the Accelerator cache appliance
Status › Launched in 2016 · Role › Lead UX Designer
In 2016, Google announced the YouTube Accelerator project with the goal of eliminating endless buffering by caching YouTube videos on local networks. The Accelerator pilot was conducted in a handful of public venues across the Philippines. After connecting to Wi-Fi at participating locations, users would have access to 100K of the most viewed YouTube videos instantly streamed to their device.
I joined this project after an initial pilot, and focused my research efforts on evaluation methodologies. I worked with quantitative researchers to define and measure meaningful engagement with accelerated videos, and subsequently conducted interviews in our pilot locations to validate our hypothesis.
If you build it, they may not know
While we were able to validate a high satisfaction ranking from users who consciously engaged with YouTube Accelerator, more than 50% of participants missed the opportunity entirely, or could not identify which videos were accelerated. Despite several discovery features within the UI, users were often dismissive of common onboarding patterns, including banners, tooltips, clings and badges.
Show, don’t tell
Among users who did stumble across accelerated videos, an “ah-ha” moment often occurred when they noticed a branded buffer bar zoom across the screen during video load. “The blue loading bar loads quickly and play smoothly.” Users were more likely to pay attention to a product value, in the moment that they could experience that value.
The goal of this iteration was to use contextual and targeted UI elements to make accelerated videos on YouTube highly discoverable. Rather than attempt to educate first time users once, I designed a strategy to communicate our value proposition over two separate viewing sessions.
Session 1: Educate first time users
Subsequent Session: Reengage familiar users and reiterate product value
This project also required an informative UI for ISP partners to ensure a frequently updated cache and a quality viewing experience. The goal of this interface was to enable quick navigation between venues and to illustrate performance metrics clearly.