Design Brief for AT&T Universal Search

The task presented for us in our new class “Communication in Design”, was to create a design brief based off of a fictional scenario randomly given to small groups in the class. The purpose was to make a compelling argument which would provide confidence to the client about our process and approach to tackling design challenges.

The challenge I received was from AT&T to help dissolve the issues that surround a universal search option for Over The Top (OTT) content. OTT content bypasses traditional channels and provides media to the user via the internet. Think Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. This is massive emerging market and AT&T has found it’s way onto the playing field with it’s service called AT&T TV.

The goal for AT&T is to become the “go-to” provider for regular watching needs, such as live TV, news, and sports. It understands that Netflix and Disney+ are more specialized in the content, but that is not where it is choosing to attack. Instead, it’s maximizing it’s position as a traditional content provider to do the same in the OTT scene.

The challenge became clear when I started to think about the different type of content that can be provided in this scenario. Live television, recorded television, On-Demand shows and movies, as well as Premium channels like HBO that are incorporated int their platform. The search function will hold the responsibility of filtering through all of these titles and presenting them to the user in a way that is easily deciphered. This led to questions such as what visual cues will be given to designate each type of content? What kind of hierarchy will be set when a search could bring back options for shows On-Demand, but also live episodes that don’t run until 11pm tonight? The next question I wanted t incorporate into the design approach was how forgiving will the search command be? And lastly, with a database this big, how do you ensure that relevant and trending shows are prioritized and not forced into a deep dive by the user?

These questions all fed into the design brief that outlined the approach for tackling this scenario with AT&T.

IDSE302_Design Brief_v2_1.22.20