Serhii Filonenko

I’m a multidisciplinary designer focused on interaction design and telling stories through digital mediums. I experiment with different tools and materials trying to develop different ways of creating immersive experiences. My concept of designing is based on a simple principle:

A good product is not only a beautiful or functional thing. It's a living organism that interacts with a person through an image, sound, and touch. An organism that has unique behavior and language.

Having a background in biology and the skill of system thinking I’m looking for opportunities to make designs that naturally interact with viewers and entertain them by surprise.



UX Research

Year: 2022
Role: UX Research

Researchers: Serhii Filonenko, Irina Malakhova, Myron Fyliak
Mentors: Iryna Kryvenko, Georgii Petrenko

The research case that we did for the largest entertainment OTT/VOD service in Eastern Europe.

This case study presents the research process and some of the results that we conducted for MEGOGO as part of the UX Research course at PRJCTR. The case is divided into 3 stages: development of a research strategy, recruiting and interviews, and finally, results.

Results in brief: We conducted 13 in-depth interviews, 4 diary studies, 5 usability tests, found 16 challenges, heard 10 values, and were able to formulate 13 jobs for which users hire the app.

1. Research strategy

During the kick-off meeting with the client, we defined the main task of our research and the aim of the product. In short: “How might make the mobile app the 1st screen compared with the TV for the user?”

The research strategy that we developed consists of four levels: product goal, business tasks, research questions, sources of information and used methods for each source. The main idea here is that receiving answers on low levels will highlight solutions for top levels to achieve the product goal.

Four levels of our research strategy.

The following general business tasks were formulated:

  1. Make the application desirable.
  2. Solve challenges that the user faces in the app.
  3. Go beyond user expectations.
  4. Provide the right features.
  5. Motivate users to use the app frequently.
  6. Make the app better than competitors.

Each business task has its own set of questions we should answer during the research and the methods we decided to use. Here it’s important to mention that “research questions” are actually questions for researchers, not for respondents. And questions for respondents were built based on research questions to get answers to them.

For example, the research question: “What motivates users to use the app?” can be transformed into a direct open question for respondents: “How do you understand that it’s time to open the app?”.

An example of business task decomposed on questions, method and sources of knowledge.

2. Recruiting and interviews

Based on our research strategy we have developed a screener to find people with specific experience: they have ongoing MEGOGO subscriptions and they use the mobile application more than 1 time per week. We found 13 respondents of different sex and age from 3 major Ukrainian cities.

During interviews we were asked about:

  • style of life;
  • context of application usage;
  • expectations that people had when they decided to get a subscription;
  • their motivation, why they use the app;
  • what challenges they face;
  • the value of the app and service in their life.

Many respondents previously had experience with competitor products, and some had an ongoing subscription to several products during the research. So we also collected some information about the pros and cons of competitors during interviews. And asked some of them to participate in diary studies, which means recording their sessions in MEGOGO and competitor apps for 2 weeks each time when they open them. It helped us in future when we compared competitors and highlighted common pros and cons across them.

During recruiting stage, we get interesting insights. Firstly in our questionary, we asked: “How often are you using the mobile app of service?” expecting to get people that use mobile app. Which is obvious as it may seem. But then we discovered that for around 30% of respondents who answered this question, “the mobile app” does not equal smartphone. Both the TV and smartphone applications for them mean “mobile app”. Later we changed the question to “How often are you using the app on your smartphone?”.  hope this case would be useful for you If you are a researcher. 🙂

Finally, in short, we’ve conducted:
  • 13 in-depth Interviews
  • 5 usability testings
  • 4 diary studies

3. Results (JTBD & other)

All the answers we got during interviews were structured using an interview map. A tool that we developed on the go. It’s a table where respondents are placed vertically, and research questions or additional topics are placed horizontally. This tool allowed us to structure valuable answers and don’t lose them in the course of further synthesis.

Interview map scheme.

Results were presented through JBTD framework. We defined 13 repeatable jobs. The titles for them were written in a generalized way, based on direct quotations from the respondents. Each job was decomposed into 5 forces to reveal its context. These five forces are:

  • Pushes (driver). Constantly existing situations that push for the emergence and relevance of the work for the user.
  • Pulls (driver). The ideal result I want to achieve.
  • Anxieties (inhibitor). Anxious thoughts surrounding a possible solution.
  • Habits (inhibitor). Habits that solve the same job or prevent it from appearing.
  • Catalysts. Situations that enhance all 4 powers.

Below you can see an example of a job that we defined. We would like to minimize distortion of our understanding of what respondents say, so each point inherits a direct speech or
a phrase of respondents.

Example of a job. There is no found catalyst here.

Except for JTBD we have also presented a list of challenges user faces and a list of things that are valuable for users of MEGOGO. We ranged this list and described each challenge and value using the direct quotation of people's answers.

Overall the whole research took about 2 months, and finally, we presented our work to the MEGOGO team. Here is what they said:

“We set the guys a difficult task: to conduct a high-quality research with users, organize the search and recruitment of respondents on their own, there are a lot of questions in the brief, and requirements for the sample in the design. After two months, we were impressed with the result in terms of the quality and quantity of the work done. The guys provided a clear and structured report, transcripts of all interviews, and most importantly - answers to our questions. We saw the contribution of each team member to the overall result and cohesive teamwork.”

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