Peace Chung
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Oath x Samsung: Bixby Home

Oath x Samsung: Bixby Home

Created and owned by Oath (2018)

Timeline

Q4 2017 – Q2 2018

Platform

Mobile (Android)

Role

Senior Product Designer


Overview

Oath partnered with Samsung to deliver exclusive content for Bixby Home, the left-swipe, or “negative-screen” experience of personalized cards, on Samsung mobile devices. We worked closely with the Bixby Home team to create custom templates or cards within the existing Bixby brand identity.

With a single swipe, customers stay connected through our core vertical super channels, including:

  • Comprehensive news coverage powered by Newsroom

  • Sports scores and live coverage, such as NFL and NBA games, through Yahoo Sports

  • Real-time stock quotes, investment analysis and trading from Yahoo Finance

  • Award-winning shows and features from go90

  • Engaging native ads within Galaxy App Store and Game Launcher experiences

The Goal & Challenges

Oath had an opportunity to partner with Samsung to introduce personalization within the new Bixby Home ecosystem. We conducted a kick-off meeting to share initial ideas of potential partnership opportunities.

The project presented a few challenges:

  • Working with an external team with varying processes and cultural differences

  • Working within changing Bixby Home style guidelines (their design team was simultaneously working on a complete redesign)

  • Pushing the limitations of existing template guidelines and proposing brand new templates in order to support personalized elements and crucial metadata specific to certain properties (e.g. a scoreboard on a sports card, stock information on a finance card)

Approach

To prepare for our kick-off meeting at Samsung HQ, we flushed out conceptual card designs on what “could-be” based on our knowledge of what information users care about most when it comes to news, sports, finance, and video content. We shared these initial designs with Samsung to help visualize the opportunity, while understanding that their team was in the middle of refreshing the UI of Bixby Home and developing their own style guidelines. We worked very closely to create new card templates to be added to the Bixby Home SDK, displaying information and elements that were not yet supported by existing templates.

After deep conversations between product, engineering, and design around the scope and timelines, we decided to break out the design effort into three phases (Phase 0, Phase 1, and Phase 2) to coincide with the launch calendar. My team specifically focused on Phase 0 and Phase 1 designs.

Spotlight 1

Phase 0 utilized an existing Bixby template to get finance news and general news out to market as soon as possible. Phase 0 launched in Q1 2018 on all new Verizon Samsung devices.

Spotlight 2

Phase 1 utilized five custom templates that would support new elements such as stock information, game scores, game schedules, breaking news, and vertical video content. We went through several rounds with Samsung’s design team to make sure these cards fit within the Bixby Home ecosystem. These new card designs were then added to the Bixby SDK. Phase 1 launched in Q2 2018 on all new Samsung devices, alongside the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices.

Note: I was responsible for Newsroom, Finance, and Entertainment card designs.

Impact & Learnings

Following the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Oath is now Samsung's premiere content partner on Bixby Home in the US, with plans to expand across global markets later this year. Our top mobile apps and native advertisements via Yahoo Gemini are now distributed across eligible Samsung devices.

It was my first time working with an external partner’s design team. I learned the importance of understanding and respecting a foreign work culture, exchanging design processes and iterating quickly for the successful launch with an external partner.

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