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Sharing an Album
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Virtual Makeover
Excite Extreme

SGI/Cosmo Software
Cosmo Player 2.0
    Design Process

SGI/NTT Interactive TV
Cinema No Hako
    Design Process
U-Club City Guide
    Design Process

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U-Club City Guide Design Process

The Zoetrope ITV trial was based on the technology developed for its more famous cousin, the Time Warner trial in Orlando, Florida. NTT contracted with Silicon Graphics and AT&T to build a showcase ITV system in Japan. As the interaction designer for two of the applications, I was a member of the engineering team. I had the good fortune to be working with a very talented, well-staffed creative team that was brought together for this project.
The central question in the U-Club interface was how to enable users to find the events they wanted. This boiled down to a choice: we could lead them through each possible specification, or we could allow a more free-form entry of only the characteristics they were interested in.

I knew that leading them through would be easier for the first-time user, but I could see that in repeated use, having to specify every parameter would be thoroughly annoying. I went with the less restrictive "hub" interface, and the skeptics on our team held their breaths until user testing, when it came through with flying colors.

Click to see an early flow sketch

Click to see the final flowchart

U-Club was so extensive that many people working on it had a hard time remembering what each button meant. I created schematics for every screen, in both English and Japanese versions, and kept them updated as the design of the application changed.

Click to see these U-Club Schematics

The use of English in the actual U-Club interface may seem remarkable, but it was a considered choice - in Japan, English is "cool", and this gave the application a certain hip flavor. We carefully repeated any crucial words in Japanese so that the older generation would be able to understand.

Click to see U-Club City Guide screen shots

Also see my Principles of Interactive Television Design

Back to U-Club City Guide main page

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