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Customer Feedback Makes the FiOS Guide Even Better

by ‎04-28-2011 12:53 PM - edited ‎05-02-2011 08:41 AM


Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blogger, Brian Roberts, has been the Creative Lead for the FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide from its inception. The Interactive Media Guide is the navigation system (that includes search, browse and menu options) for all content available on FiOS TV. Brian has had the time of his life working intimately with partners in marketing, development and usability to bring each release of the Interactive Media Guide to life and into customers’ homes.  Above all else, Brian is a consumer and technophile and is told that he is addicted to “things that plug in.”


By Brian Roberts


Designing for the FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide is literally about making millions of people happy.  We know that FiOS TV customers will have to use it to navigate an ocean of entertainment every day, so we strive to provide an unobtrusive and delightful experience that will appeal to the majority.  We want customers to feel excitement and pride about their technology choice while others are green with envy.  We would never get the experience right in a million years without putting the customer first and understanding their expectations, needs and wants of the entertainment service that they put their trust in.


With this latest release of the Interactive Media Guide, we set out to enhance the FiOS TV experience with the top features customers had been clamoring for.  We wanted to rekindle the passion between FiOS TV and our customers, so we refreshed the look to be breathtakingly different and to visually reflect the spirit of innovation.


We have always done our diligence with rigorous usability testing and focus groups to make sure we are architecting an experience that is universally appealing.  In particular, my colleagues (like Anil Guntupalli who talks about our work with customers here), were pleasantly surprised by the partnerships we forged with our customers who are active in Verizon forums





We tested prototypes with significant changes in the experience with customers for usability and acceptance, but we still couldn’t possibly know how real customers with the 1.9 release in their homes would react to it.  We needed a more participatory feedback loop with our customers to be part of our design and development cycle.


The Sneak Peek Trial invited a group of customers to try the new guide in their homes before it was finished.  Participants had the opportunity to candidly discuss issues with each other and Verizon to directly influence the final product and even test the changes they suggested.


I remember reading the initial feedback from the Sneak Peek Trial.  Anil, or AKG on the forums, was running the trial, monitoring all of the feedback coming in and tracking each issue.  I asked him for more information about one of the color/contrast issues that had come my way, and Anil suggested that I ask the customers directly.  This blew my mind.  I was able to directly engage our customers to better understand their experience!  I jumped right in and was able to find out, at last, details on the customers’ setup and the specific elements of the user experience that were creating issues for them.


There were many insightful conversations with the trial participants, but two stand out the most to me.  Hawkman,

provided useful feedback about readability of the redesigned Full Guide.  I was able to discuss the issue he was seeing in his home and make improvements later that same day that he would be able to see with the next code push.  We also had the opportunity to candidly discuss the rationale behind the big change in color palette, which was initially a bit of a jolt for Hawkman.


Another trial participant, nascar, oversaw that program information was useful and consistent and pointed out somesignificant differences between info from TV Listings and Recordings during the trial.  I had undertaken numerous iterations of the display of information with varied priorities for each element of metadata, but when I saw nascar’s proposal, it was a fresh perspective that just made sense.  We finalized “Program Info” for TV Listings and Recordings as nascar proposed.



The positive experience of the Sneak Peek Trial suggests a new standard for participatory product design and development. We are currently exploring ways to introduce this collaboration all throughout the product development process. We strive to innovate responsibly and to continue improving and enhancing the product experience for our customers.  We are listening.  What’s next?





by petejr81 on ‎10-26-2011 10:13 AM - last edited on ‎10-26-2011 11:16 AM by Moderator

I gotta be honest, I absolutely hate fios. I think its the worst cable/internet company ive ever had. Im satisfied with verizon wireless but fios, NO. My tv turns on and off by itself, the volume sometimes works the internet is slow as {word filter avoidance}, then every month my bill seems like its 10 dollars more!!!!!**bleep**

Honestly, im too lazy to cancel it probably wont but want it to be known I think Fios is SOOO overrated. My on demand hardly ever works. The techs have been to my hose 3 or 4 times already!!! I never had theser problems with optimum and its not available where i now live. Even the customer service sucks i believe. I had a 50 dollar "complimentary" card that can only be used for installations, that I happened to get AFTER my installation and verizon wouldnt honor it. They are too big a company now to give a {word filter avoidance} about anyone. Just keep the money coming in.

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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with Fios since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

Alberto Canal

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy Fios quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

Deidre Hart

Manager -- Media Relations

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Deidre is a member of the consumer PR team and loves to talk everything Fios and everything football. She’s also a happy Triple Play customer.

Phil Santoro

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Phil has been extolling the virtues of Fios ever since he had his Triple Play installed and can’t image how he ever managed without it. He writes about developing technologies that enable him to fuel his addiction to movies and sports whenever he wants, no matter where he is.

Caroline Wilson

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Caroline manages the Verizon Fios Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the Fios conversation.

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