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iPad Companion Apps for TV Shows

iPad Companion Apps for TV Shows

Companion Apps for Long Arc TV Series: 
Supporting New Viewers in Complex Storyworlds with Tightly Synchronized Context-Sensitive Annotations

This is the presentation for the recent research publication available at:

Official Page: http://etv.gatech.edu/storymap/

Design Process: http://abhishek.im/projects/story-map/


Abhishek Nandakumar

July 25, 2014

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  1. Companion Apps for Long Arc TV Series 
 Supporting New

    Viewers in Complex Storyworlds with Tightly Synchronized Context-Sensitive Annotations 
 Abhishek Nandakumar, Janet Murray
  2. Digital affordances have allowed television to adopt complex + transmedia

    story telling.
  3. More characters, longer story arcs. Viewers expect greater consistency.

  4. TV via Internet: Binge Viewing by the Season

  5. 40 characters/episode

  6. Previously on… SECONDS 2 0 Retrospective montages 1 2 UPTO

    Individual Scene Excerpts SECONDS BETWEEN 3 0 How do we keep up?
  7. Distractions: Social Apps, Trivia, Polls SHOWTIME SHO SYNC INTO NOW

  8. HBOGo: Synchronous Non-Contextual

  9. Writer’s Room: Overwhelmed

  10. TV COMPANION APPS + Rich field for design Clear readiness

    for use
  11. Our Survey 98 Participants Male 63% 37% Female 17-30 31-40

    41-60 60+ 0 0.125 0.25 0.375 0.5 4% 23% 27% 45% Age Distribution
  12. Our Survey 81% used second screen while watching TV 86%

    looked up information about shows they watch
  13. TV show related Unrelated Communication Unrelated Consumption Social Media Gaming

    Only Watch TV Other 4% 5% 8% 20% 22% 16% 25% How do they use second screens? Our Survey
  14. Characters/Relations Plot Location/Events Products Trivia Other 11% 14% 9% 16%

    23% 27% What do they lookup online? …of 86% seeking info about shows
  15. None
  16. Character Map

  17. Annotations: Synchronized and On-Demand

  18. Video Annotations and Montages

  19. Relationships

  20. HTTP Requests playPause(video) Timecode HTTP Requests SyncCode current(scene) System Components

    for Syncing MySQL Database
  21. Iterative Design Tested episode 11 (of 13), not discrete scenes

    Changed relationships as show progressed (no spoilers) Distinguished Newbies’ needs from Returning Viewers’ Added richer context-sensitive information for characters and plot references Added 3 minute montages to introduce each character
  22. Tested comprehension against control group 5 4.5 4 3.5 3

    2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 without iPad with iPad Questions Characters Relations
  23. Preliminary Usability Study Participants expected to use it less continuously

    at home than in test situation and therefore less distracting 5.2/10 on “helpful” 7 of the 8 used words like “very helpful” and “extremely helpful” to describe it Most useful features: Synchronized relationships display and event montages. 3.1/10 on “distracting”
  24. “Helpful” Features Text Annotations Character bios Event descriptions Dialog Allusions

    clarified Key Event Montages “ABC doesn’t explain anything, HBO does…but you have to keep searching…” and “…you can even see characters change through the season”.
  25. Scene-level Context for character map, annotations “Helpful” Features Complete Character

    Map “visual overview tells me who plays a bigger role…whom to pay attention to”.
  26. Design Issue Length of montages 48 seconds longest paused interaction

    10-15-30-45 secs worth investigating On-demand after show: 3 mins may be appropriate
  27. Design Issue To pause or not to pause? New and

    veteran viewers watching together Automatic or manual? (perhaps a user setting) Separately from video – Sync by listening? Lack of pause – Bookmark to view later?
  28. Tentative Guidelines Companion App Design Opt-in to enable automatically pause

    Context-sensitive info, deep dive on demand Social context of shared viewing: Present text or silent/ subtitled montages or bookmarks Emphasis on character relationships Summaries: Key past events
  29. Design Issue Need for Authoring Systems

  30. Future Work Open Research Questions Capturing + supporting mental models

    of an unfolding story Other forms: Documentaries, reality shows, sports, news Visual standards for efficient communication of relationships Supporting narrative immersion + empathy for characters
  31. Thanks to the eTV team 2012-2013 Sergio Goldenberg Kartik Agarwal

    Tarun Chakravorty Jonathan Cutrell Abraham Doris-Down Harish Kothandaraman Michelle Linder Zuiena Kabir Bala Ganapathi Projects (past and present): http://etv.gatech.edu/
  32. Fin. @JanetMurray @xAbhishek