Rté player

UX Designer



I worked in a group to redesign the RTÉ Player mobile app. The group members consisted of Áine, Michaela, Jaesin, Michael and myself. The project spanned 11 weeks (part-time). We did not have access to data or analytics that RTÉ’s internal team had, so our design was based purely upon the research we gathered throughout the project.

Project management

We worked hard to ensure team cohesion. We shared our work in live collaborative files, research in Miro and design in Figma.

We each worked individually and collectively, coming together to move the project forward and make key advancements.

General frustrations experienced by students fell into six themes: exclusion and isolation, getting around, managing their schedule, empowerment, and accessing support.

Research methods

Our research approach was to quickly build empathy for users of the app through investigatiing online reviews, conducting user interviews and running a survey with open ended questions.

Quantitative data was gathered by a survey and RTÉ viewership reports. Compeditor analysis was used to establish base user expectations.

Online reviews

Reviews of RTÉ player made clear users’ frustrations with the current app. User’s utter contempt for the app bordered on comical. One user said that the RTÉ Player was “Hands down the worst app ever built.” General satisfaction was so low that people were deleting the app.

Users acknowledged the quality of the content on the app but were let down by the experience. The most frequent use of the app was to watch sport and boxsets.

Key online reviews from Apple app store.

Key online reviews from Google play store.

Key findings from reviews

People love the app’s boxsets.

User’s are frustratd that they cannot watch anything offline.

Channel 4 was mentioned repeatedly as a standout player.

People are deleting the app due to their frustration.

A lot of people watch live sport on the app.

Users found the search hard to use.


10 unstructured interviews were conducted the amount of qualitative data gathered. The interviews revealed that users streamed shows to relax resent the stress of trying to pick something to watch.

When users were tired, searching for something required too much effort to find something good to watch. Fresh content was something all users looked for, but users were loyal to a favourite show or topic that they consistently went back too. This, in turn, resulted in knock-on loyalty to the service.

I tend to bing tv shows and boxsets. I use it to relax after work.”

— Quote from user interview

I just continue the series I’ve been watching, or I have to browse, I hate browsing I find it so hard to pick.”

— Quote from user interview


Digital surveys gave us a large sample size quickly. and because participants are often more candid online than in person, as they feel a degree of anonymity online.

Key findings from survey

Digital surveys gave us a large sample size quickly. and because participants are often more candid online than in person, as they feel a degree of anonymity online.

Most people we surveyed had used RTÉ Player in the past but no longer used it.

Users looking to relax often watched shows in bed on their mobiles.

Most people streamed videos daily. When deciding what to watch, a recommendation from a friend was the most powerful influencer.

Viewership reports

Secondary reports found streaming is up 70% since the covid-19 lockdown. One or two shows attract disproportionately high viewership, for example, Normal People was streamed 3.3 million times. There has been significant growth in viewership aged 15–34; this became the primary user group upon which we focused.

Compeditor analysis

Our research found that RTÉ Player’s competitors went beyond matching services and included those that provided video streaming, current affairs, connecting with friends, live TV, and relaxation after work.

These included: Live TV, BBC player, TG4 player, All4 player, Virgin media player, Netflix, Disney Go, Mubi Now Tv, YouTube.

Analysis of the current app

A heuristic analysis made it clear that usability was seriously lacking. There is a lack of clarity in the hierarchy of the app’s content. Genres, themes, series and individual episodes are all at the same level. Highlight snippets from various series compete with the main series, and there is no clear visual link between individual episodes, each of which has its own page. Pages such as browse and home play much the same role, and the search bar is hidden away in browse.

There are issues with the apps information architecture. Many users interviewed were unaware of much of the apps’ quality content.

Another failing of the app is its inability to retain users. Many have used the app to watch popular series such as Normal People and Love Hate but discontinued use once they finished the series. A list of How Might We statements were created for ways to improve the app.

1. Make using RTÉ Player a relaxing yet captivating experience.

2. Gain new users, and boost retention of current users.

3. Create an efficient way for parents to amuse their children.

4. Help Irish abroad catch up on Irish News, TV and sporting events.

5. Supply people without a TV with the most recent up to date news and shows.

Ways to improve the app

Improve the general usability of the app.

Develop a hook model to encourage repeat use.

Enhance default effect within the app, allowing for a more passive experience, reducing the cognitive load required to use the app.

Boost accessibility throughout the app to avoid alienating users with visual impairments.

Identify or develop a unique selling point of the app versus competitors.

Building empathy

User types were plotted on a graph from essential to nice to have. After key users were identified, further research was carried out into each type of user before creating personas.

Stakeholder map

Young professional looking to switch off in the evenings.

I see watching a show as a form of relxation, a break from work”

Goals: Looking for something to watch to relax, and switch off. Regular binger, and background watcher, loves a boxset.

Worries: How will my data be used? is it safe?

Frustrations: Picking something to watch can often be overwhelming.

Customer journey mapping

As a group, we plotted user types from essential to nice to have; we focused on essential users because they would be most affected by our redesign. When we identified key users, we then performed further research into each user type before creating representative personas.

Jobs to be done

OJTBD were organised into five categories; browsing, socialising, rating, education and catch-up. We focused on three JTBD in particular:

When I am feeling lazy, I want someone to make decisions for me so that I can relax.

When I finish a show, I want to let Rté know that I didn’t like the show so that I can avoid watching similar shows in the future.

When I miss my favourite tv show, I want to catch up on it so I can avoid losing all the time that I’ve invested in the show.

To be user cycle

Our final use case scenario captured all stages of the experience using the app, from social prompts to watching shows to repeat use and personal investment.

Innovations on developing hook model to increase user engagement.

To be user cycle

Use case scenario

Information architecture

Early in the project, we realised the RTÉ Player app’s main shortcoming was users’ experience browsing the app and selecting what to watch. A content analysis was performed to allow us to redesign the apps information architecture.

There was little difference between the existing design’s home and browse tab. We decided to combine home and browse and create a new tab Search for when a user had a specific show in mind. We identified the search function as an important and frequent activity and so moved it from the top bar to the bottom nav bar so that it was consistently and easily available to the user.


Pick for me

Pick by mood

Continue watching


Show categories


Rté One

Rté Two

Rté News

Rté Junior


Rté One

Rté Two

Rté News

Rté Junior








Science & Nature





Kids mode




Key screens

Onboarding screen

Onboarding screen

Onboarding screen

Onboarding screen

Home screen

Home page scroll

Pick by mood trailers


Search results

Show page

Live chat

Live chat public

Live chat private

Review a show


Profile signed in

Final prototype

User testing

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we ran remote moderated tests using participants’ computers. We needed to test how users would react to our redesign concept to gather data on how our design performed and made improvements. Our goals were to:

  • Test natural use cases of the app and work with participants that represented our end-user group.

  • Develop a set of tasks and questions that would allow us to recover valuable qualitative and quantitative data.

  • Record participants behaviour and preferences to discover problem areas and opportunities to improve the design.

As it turned out, there weren’t many usability issues within our app, so we could quickly make changes based upon our testing.

Next project · ux design

Microsoft Teams

Redesigning a feature in Microsoft teams over four weeks. From research, paper prototyping to a final digital prototype.

View project