YouBulleTube

BACKGROUND AND OPPORTUNITY

“Bullet Screen”, or "弹幕" in Chinese, is an emerging feature used by video streaming platforms in China and Japan. With this feature, users can read and share real-time comments, which fly across the screen like bullets, while watching a video. In addition to real time sharing, the comments would be saved with the video. Viewers who watch the video later on are still able to see all previous comments scrolling across simultaneously with the video content. Compared to traditional ways of video watching, Bullet Screen provides a more entertaining and interactive watching experience. It is an excellent example of how media channels can adapt to user behavior.

Bullet screen originates from a Japanese video website Niconico, targeting a subcultural user group who likes ACG (Anime, Comic and Games) videos. In recent years, many mainstream video websites, even several movie theaters in China have incorporated this feature, which significantly increases the number and diversity of the user group. Bullet Screen became phenomenally popular with the younger crowd as it provides a unique "social viewing” experience by combining texting and watching online [1]. According to many Bullet Screen proponents: the point is often not to watch the actual video in many cases, but to spit and joke around about the silliness of the video [2].

Despite its popularity in China and Japan, Bullet Screen is rarely known globally. Given that user experience has been shown to have a significant impact on the growth of website usage [3], we thought Bullet Screen might have a great potential for growth in the U.S market.

SOLUTION

YouBulletube is a Chrome plugin. Once installed, it enables users to view and post real-time comments which fly across the screen like bullets during a video. It provides an entertaining and interactive social-viewing experience with live users.

MY ROLE

UX and UI Designer;

Software Engineer: Yuhan Lin, Zhenguo Chen

UX Research & Design: Hao Jiang, Yun Liu

Tool: HMTL / CSS / Adobe Suites / RealTimeBoard

Time: Nov.2018 - Jan.2019

RESEARCH

To identify our potential users, we started the user research with 3 major questions:

  • If there is potential need for bullet screen among Youtube users.
  • What are the motivations and pain points of existing users.
  • How to incorporate bullet screen function into Youtube considering users with different cultural backgrounds.

To learn more about our users, we employed the following research methodologies:

PRIMARY RESEARCH

we conducted semi-structured INTERVIEWS with 8 potential users. Then we distributed a QUESTIONNAIRE to further identify our target user groups and their characteristics. We received 76 responses in total. Among them, 75 responses are effective (excluded one survey with conflict answers)


INTERVIEW FINDINGS

We designed our interview trying to find out:

  • How & why are people using barrage on different websites
  • How people are using youtube
  • What are people's opinions on incorporating barrage for youtube

Interview notes are categorized into four theme shown as the AFFINITY WALL below.

According to the interviewees' description on how they usually use barrage, we identified 4 major USER BEHAVIOR types


SURVEY FINDINGS

To further explore whether there are potential needs for barrage on youtube as well as identifying which of those four video watching behavior groups our target users might fall in, we distributed this questionnaire and gained following insights.

1. ATTITUDE TOWARDS BARRAGE ON YOUTUBE

More than 70% of the people are willing to try Bullet Screen on Youtube, whether they have heard barrage before or not.

2. WATCHING BEHAVIORS OF POTENTIAL USERS

Most of the existing Bullet Screen website users only watch other people's comments and won't change the default setting.

Most of the existing youtube users that are willing to try Bullet Screen wish to watch movies / TV shows, entertainment and ACG videos with Bullet Screen.

Most of the existing youtube user use laptop to watch Youtube Videos.

3. CONCERNS ON BARRAGE

Too distracting to have text all over the screen.

Atmosphere is bad (too much quarrel, abuse, ads).

There might be spoilers.

Special concern for barrage on Youtube is “how to deal with different languages”.

4. TOP REASONS FOR USING BARRAGE

For companionship and a sense of shared watching experience.

Check others' opinions and compare with their's.

There might be spoilers.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

o find out whether existing video sharing websites are successful/unsuccessful incorporating barrage functions, we conducted a COMPETITOR ANALYSIS to evaluate features of existing apps/websites that frequently used by people for making travel plans.

OBSERVATIONS

  • Main-stream video content providers in China like Tencent and Aiqiyi adopted barrage-related function in recent years. As the biggest video content provider in the world, Youtube might also be benefited by including barrage function.
  • For all video content provider with barrage, there are certain universal settings that user can adjust or control barrage display and posting effects.
  • The quality of the barrage posted on the video can affect the experience of watching the video. Bilibili has a higher requiement for its members to post barrage in terms of barrage knowledge and experience, thus it has a more responsible user group and it enables users more freedom to control the barrages. Whereas because Tencent and Aiyiqi allow any member to post barrages, they only provide limited settings for posting to ensure the watching experience.

RESEARCH SUMMERY

DEFINE TARGET USERS

Integrating insights from previous research, we determined our major user groups and created these PERSONAS.

IDEATION

Based on our research, we quickly did a brainstorm on our design and performed user tests with our paper prototype to test our idea and revised our design based on users' feedback.

CRITICAL FEEDBACK

1.The info architecture within overall setting of the plugin is not structured clearly, Setting of the same category should be grouped together.

2.The filter button is not used as much as the customized view setting button. It would be enough to only put it under the overall setting of the plugin.

FINAL DESIGN

Full Screen Mode

DEMONSTRATION VIDEO