History Vault

Hundreds of curated videos.
Learn more about the past and present.

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Documentary genre selector featuring WWII.

Background

I have worked on this product in various different capacities for the entirety of my time at A+E Networks. By starting my journey in production and marketing I had a unique perspective of the consumer of History Vault before starting to design its visuals. By being a part of all aspects of the app’s creation I streamlined processes to make the app easier to update and align with marketing. This was a massive undertaking that allowed me to design for various platforms like ios, web, Roku, and Apple Tv to name a few. While designing the HVault and LMC I led a team to further develop a design system for all of A+E Networks AVOD and SVOD products to streamline future development.

Overview

History Vault is a subscription-based product that delivers users all the old documentary content History is known for. History Channel brings you thousands of documentaries and series exploring the events and people that shaped our world, from ancient empires to modern warfare. I worked on this product through several rounds of iteration, the product is ever-changing in order to better suit the needs of a growing user base. 

History Vault platforms: IOS, Android, Web, and Emerging Platforms: Roku, Samsung Tizen, Fire Tv, and Apple Tv 

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Documentary topic images featured in the app. Left: The making of Mount Rushmore Right: Women's History

My Role

Lead end-to-end design through research, interaction design, visual design, prototyping, and cross-team collaboration. I redesigned the user interface on IOS, Web, Amazon Fire Tv, and Apple TV.

I worked closely with a UX designer to develop sound prototypes and developers to understand technical constraints and ensure design quality standards. Together with the Product Manager identified user needs and adjusted project goals as the project evolved and looked at analytics to identify areas of improvement for viewers.

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Opportunity 

With this redesign, History Vault had an opportunity to refresh its look and appeal to a broader audience. With users watching content more than ever before, History Vault wanted to capture new subscribers by offering a more premium viewing experience. With this upgraded experience the team added new features, recalibrated the content offered, and added to the volume of videos. 

We set out to solve our users' need for more classic History content, make it easier to find content, and discover the wealth of videos History Vault had to offer.

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Documentary topic images featured in the app. Left: Crime, Center: Drugs, Right: Conspiracy  

Goals

Business Goal: Acquire more paid subscribers, and keep them watching History Vault.

Design Goals

  1. Create an inviting experience where users come to for all of their Historical content needs. 
  2. Be an extension of the larger History brand and offer the classic History programming in an on-demand format.
  3. Encourage users to explore new content added

Measuring Success 

  • Amount of time spent in History Vault
  • Video Views 
  • Number of Subscribers/ Increase after release
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Discovery & Research

History Vault is a niche product that would be considered an add-on to a traditional cable package or other SVOD subscription, with the content provided and the price point it would appeal to the History enthusiast. With this positioning HVault would be comparable to Discovery go, Sundance Now, Crunchyroll, etc. Because the History brand is synonymous with Historical documentary series HVault has an advantage over this niche content.


As a small team that develops multiple apps and platforms at once, we needed a unified approach that we could apply to multiple brands. We decided that History Vault would serve as a building block to develop other designs like LMC or our AVOD apps. This way our design decisions could be data-backed rather than our choice.


We tested our hypotheses with users and identified some key insights that helped us prioritize features within this update.

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History Vault IOS app featuring Left: Series detail, Middle: Homepage, Right: Asset detail.

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Outcome

In the end the changes we made significantly increased our user base and were released at an opportune time in the wake of COVID-19. With more users looking for premium content, History Vault offered a range of newly refreshed products that answered that need. Our App store rating on both android and IOS went from 3 stars to 4. While the results were encouraging we also found ways to further improve the functionality and are currently working on new iterations to address this.

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Role:
Senior Product Designer 

Company:
A+E Networks

Year:
2018- Ongoing

Jackie Scarangella
Product Designer

Brooklyn, NY 
Phone: 858 335 4169
Email: hello@jacquelinescarangella.com
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