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Sharing an Album
    Design Process

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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Cinema No Hako 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.
We started by working out the basic interactions and layouts. The biggest problem was putting video names and genres on the same screen. We had 640x480 pixels, but had to leave wide margins for "titlesafe" - the edges of a television signal can be drastically cut off by the edges of the tv screen. For readability of Japanese characters, our experiments showed that the minimum font size was 24 points. Combined, this left us with very little screen space in which to show a great deal of information.


I created a flowchart that represented every screen and every option on each screen. I considered it a great compliment that the developers used it as their bible. Every time we made a change in the application, the flowchart kept pace.

Click to see the full-sized
Cinema No Hako flowchart



Finding the right language to talk about renting videos was a particularly interesting problem. With the help of Japanese language & cultural experts on our team, I went back and forth with the NTT folks on the best choice of wording for the interface. After about 6 rounds and a user test, we found something that worked for all of us, especially the users. This took considerable diplomacy.

Cinema No Hako was designed as a template, so that different types of content could be presented with very little re-design. At the lauch, there were 3 "channels" of videos on demand: Cinema No Hako (movies), TV à la Carte (television shows), and Recipie No Kanzume (cooking shows).  

Click to see TV à la Carte

Click to see Recipie No Kanzume
Also see my Principles of Interactive Television Design

Back to Cinema No Hako main page

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