Samsung maintains a TV demo area in large electronics retailers – like Best Buy and Costco — across the country. Before we got involved, content and controls were added to the experience every year on an ad hoc basis. Without a standardized model for the user’s experience, the system was hard for customers to understand and for Samsung to keep from breaking. Our goal was to design a simpler, more intuitive interaction model AND create an architecture that Samsung could replicate and maintain at over 1,000 locations.
The new “Samsung Entertainment Experience” is anchored by a touchscreen where users can accomplish their main mission at the store: to see how the picture looks in a side-by-side comparison. As opposed to the competing experiences in the store — where customers are faced with a choice between a pre-set content loop or a stuffy brochure on a screen — our model lets them choose exactly what content they want to see and which TVs to see it on.
Besides the TV comparison wall, other stations in the experience that highlight a constantly fluctuating set of features and accessories — everything from soundbars to shelf brackets. We needed a solution that didn’t distract from the main event and could be changed very frequently. Inspired by approach the paper prototypes I made alongside our hardware engineers, we designed a button panel that could be covered with a printed vinyl “interface”. Not only does this keep things subtle, store employees can respond to changes overnight by simply printing a new, inexpensive graphic.
To achieve these interactions and keep the experience in sync across 1,000+ stores, the whole system runs on a custom network built in-house by R/GA. Because of this architecture I was able to design a companion monitoring and content management web app. For the first time, Samsung has real-time visibility into the status of the system. Technicians get alerts exactly when and where errors occur. And Samsung is able to update content without incurring high costs and lead time.
See below for some shots of the experience and key screens from the dashboard web app.