Snapshots (Netflix)

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Situation

  • Netflix productions use Disguise hardware/software on set to create video backdrop looks on LED screens or projection surfaces.
  • The users operating the disguise software take cues off directors and DOP's about how these backdrops look. Looks are built via a timeline and in a linear fashion it is an iterative process. Looks are the combination of sequencing of video or generative content and effects or adjustment, which are projected to a 3d visualization of the stage within the software, which in turn is then mapped to the real world through and outputted through the disguise server to projectors or LED screens in the world.
  • Often users are asked to return to a look or previous iteration of a look by a director or DOP wishing to compare or contrast in order to make creative decisions about the work they are doing. Current limitations often force users into unmanageable workflows or workaround in order to accommodate this change in work. These workflows include:
    • Importing/Exporting groups of individual timeline and stage objects from an earlier time, forcing the user to remember what was in their earlier looks - Prone to make mistakes and extremely slow
    • Using 1 timeline as a master track and using other timelines to create versions of looks, the exporting and importing and exporting those looks into the master timeline - Prone to make mistakes and extremely slow
    • Closing the software and reloading an earlier version of the project which can take up to 15 mins per load. This method causes much frustration on set and halts production which can be extremely costly.
  • As part of a contract creating features specific for their TV/Film set workflows Wyatt a contractor at Netflix requested the ability to be able to take snapshots of a projects at any point in time and be able to restore those snapshots in a quick and easy way.
  • Due to a extremely short lead time (1 Month) UX design and development of the feature had to begin in Tandem.

Task

  • Worked with a developer to design and develop snapshots feature as part of a contact with Netflix.

Action

  • Gather information from stakeholders who recorded the original request and input from the product and technical teams.
    • In addition to the original requirements we learned from a the technical team that on site multiples of users can be working the same project all with different work streams. This means if you were to return to an earlier point of time work other users behind the scenes may also lose their work, this would need to considered in the design.
  • Plan and track UX tasks needed to create the feature.
    • Re-framing customer and stakeholder requirements as user stories.
    • Using user journey mapping to understand optimal flows for sub features within Snapshots.
    • Use user journey mapping to identify UI elements needed to understand and operate snapshots
    • Create lo-fidelity wireframes to test out concepts with the wider team
    • Agree on a MVP and work with developer to create a software prototype.
    • Dogfood for UX feedback with internal team (Internal team includes many disguise software users)
    • Send beta to the client for feedback.
    • Push for stretch goals to deliver the most value for the client.
  • Work with developer to implement and deliver feature.
  • Create design documentation
  • Align QA throughout the process so they can create test cases for the feature.

Result

  • Delivered snapshots feature to the customer in version 17.4 release of Disguise Designer