June 04, 2010

What would Google TV mean for website design and development?

First off, it means that the community aspect of TV viewing and the search-is-king, personal aspect of the Internet is coming together. On the face of it, it might seem like the slapping together of paradoxes - privacy and the lack of it. Chalk and cheese. But only time will tell for sure.

Meanwhile, what does it mean for us in website design and development?

Primarily, like all things new, it would mean cutting out the frills and ambiguity and being simple. The frills can come later as a process of evolution.

Content will still be king

But instead of an individual centric build, you will have to consider how groups might use your website or application. You will have to consider how individuals could use your site or apps in a living room setting.

On a practical level, TV screens are wider than computer screens and the colours look different. So you will have to incorporate TV standards into your website. Highly saturated and very bright colors might not be the order of the day. You would also need to consider text - make it readable from a distance. And sound would be an integral part of the whole experience.

Simplicity will rule!

Successful TV interfaces are simple in both concept and design. Very simple in fact. You will have to see how well you can integrate habits people have developed on the web into those developed on TV. So the first thing that goes out would be abstract icons. Next would be vertical scrolling.

Navigation will have to be as easy as on TV

Users will quickly abandon a screen whose navigation frustrates them. Apart from a QWERTY keyboard, Google TV navigation would mostly be limited to up, down, left, right, and enter. (It's all about simplicity and a bit of familiarity, remember?) Users would surely be looking for interactions that are fast and easy to do - at a distance, with one hand, in the dark.

One would have to know how to take advantage of the widescreen. TV screens and computer screens differ in canvas size, aspect ratio, safe areas, resolution, cropping, and pixel shape.

There's also text size and presentation, sound (appropriate to the living room environment), handling of crashes and errors, coding and other details one needs to consider.

Read all about it here. FAQs are here.

But consider the prospect: Web developers can start taking advantage of the big TV screen. Yup! Google TV will bring developers into the living room!

1 comment:

marshall said...

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