CASE STUDY

Firstlight Media

Business transformation positions tech company for future of streaming

With the help of DFFRNT, Firstlight Media is pivoting from managed services to licensing its technology platform. The new business model prepares this Canadian company to capitalize on the proliferation of digital entertainment and streaming video providers.

The Client

Firstlight Media provides an advanced technology platform that can deliver premium video content to any device over any network, paired with user engagement software. Its target market is Tier 1 operators of streaming video services, live events, media companies, and paid TV services. Firstlight purchased the Quickplay platform and managed services business in 2020.

“Moving from professional services to a product meant going from technical design and blueprints to anticipating user flows for the business objectives of someone using our product. I think that transformation – with the help of DFFRNT – is very visible in the way that our content management system operates today.”
– Juan Martin, Chief Technology Officer, Firstlight Media

As a managed services company, content ingestion, metadata enrichment, assigning policies, and publishing were all performed by Firstlight employees. When the transformation is complete, clients will purchase a license for various Firstlight applications and perform those functions themselves. This enterprise-level transformation requires a different perspective, redesign of the user interface, and modifications to workflows.

Family Viewing an online stream
Firstlight’s video streaming platform for content providers also provides user engagement data.

The Challenge

“The challenge we presented to DFFRNT was: how do you help a passionate engineering team, driven by developing features and technical requirements? How do you help them begin to walk the path of design thinking, of user-centric experience?”

“They did a series of workshops with our engineering team to introduce some of the concepts of user-centric design and help us shape the mindset from “we have code to deliver” to “we have a business problem to solve.”
– Juan Martin, CTO

Firstlight’s system and operating interface need to be redesigned for a new type of user. What was previously a tool for internal use is now becoming a flagship product for industry clients.

We are re-thinking the entire user interface, making workflows more efficient, and optimizing the structure and navigational architecture to improve the customer experience. At the same time, we are beginning the vision process for the next generation of the product.

We want to understand the flow of how users work so that the structure of the menus, the hierarchy, the taxonomy and the labels are all reflective of the way people actually think about their jobs. Using that understanding, we then design the user interactions for maximum efficiency within the technical constraints of the platform.
Dominira Saul, DFFRNT

The Solution

Good product design can have a massive impact on uptake and adoption by users. So, the fundamental strategic design question is: How do we help them accomplish their task quickly and easily, without friction?

We’re applying science; we’re applying best practices; we’re applying primary and secondary research to guide product design because these decisions about functionality and workflow are too expensive and too difficult to change once they’ve been made.

“The reason that I chose to work with DFFRNT was that they had a strategic aspect to the way that they thought about user engagement, beyond the mechanics of just making screens. There’s a lot of UX design shops whose sole purpose is just to give you a few wire frames and call it a day. I thought that DFFRNT had a very unique value proposition, to be evangelizing the importance of human-centred design.”
– Juan Martin, CTO

Firstlight Solution
DFFRNT is helping Firstlight develop a suite of products that have evolved from its managed services business.

The Outcome

The result will be a product that intentionally focuses on satisfying the needs of customers and end-users by facilitating their interactions and simplifying complex processes. Thus, we relentlessly focus on the end-user experience to create a best-in-class product.

“We’ve completed a lot of the screen design review and the workflows, but it has not yet all cascaded into the actual product in the market. But, I will tell you, qualitatively, I think that the CMS looks better and performs better and, and it shows well in our customer pitches and presentations.”
– Juan Martin, CTO

The redesign of Firstlight’s video streaming platform and its business transformation is guided by regular interaction with users and a formal review process.

The Results

Stay tuned for results from this project-in-progress, coming soon.

The Tools

Get in touch

To discuss how strategic design and design thinking can help with business transformation, please contact DFFRNT.

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