Samsung has a plethora of consumer electronic products ranging from smartphones, wearables, home appliances to the internet of things. All these devices initially operated on independent technologies. To create a holistic and unified experience, there was a need for a platform that would integrate all these devices. This led to the development of TIZEN, an open-source, Linux-based operating system.
With Tizen Z1, the first smartphone powered by Tizen OS, Samsung envisioned:
an increase of market share in the emerging economies
achieve higher acceptance of Tizen
Tizen Z1 was introduced as a low-cost mobile device to cater to the needs of the budget users emerging markets like India, Bangladesh, and Brazil.
To design the experience of Internet App, Samsung's native browser that would come bundled with Tizen Z1 phones.
As Senior UX designer, my key responsibilities included conducting user research, competitor analysis, designing end to end UI, and conducting user testing.
Who are the users?
Based on the demographics of the target user group, user profiles were created.
The First Timer
Users who have never used any digital device such as cellphone, Tablet or PC.
e.g. blue collared workers
The Budget Conscious
Users who are familiar with digital interfaces but cannot afford high-end smartphones. e.g. home makers
Users who want to upgrade from bar phone to smartphone.
What they wanted?
We conducted a study to understand the internet consumption patterns of Indian users -
the meaning of the internet, the frequency of usage, favourite apps why and how they are used, etc.
One on one
Key findings from the user study and well as desktop research.
Design principles that defined the experience Tizen Internet app would offer the users:
Show Primary Information First
Keep the interface intuitive and simple. Especially for first-time users.
Ensure essential features are easily
available for the users
Understand and recommend content based on past usage
Multiple concepts that were aligned to key findings and design principles were generated. Their impact and technical feasibility were analyzed with the stakeholders. Pertaining to which, the final concepts were:
SHOW MORE CONTENT
Websites contain multimedia content. To provide a richer experience on a small screen, allow the user to view more content with a simple interaction. Scrolling down a webpage automatically hides the header and footer to accommodate more content.
SAVE FOR OFFLINE PAGES
The user can save a webpage and read it offline.
Add shortcuts to frequently visited websites on the launchpad.
No need for cumbersome typing. Popular websites can be accessed just by a single swipe from the home screen.
Allows users to privately browse on a shared device
User Interface Structure
In order to design the interface and interactions, it was necessary to understand the layers besides header and content area.
Pin favourite websites on the launchpad
Access popular websites just by swiping left from the homepage
Top and bottom bars automatically
hide on scroll to provide maximum real estate for content
Primary actions are placed upfront for clarity and ease of use
Clear distinction of windows
opened in secret mode
Secret mode for browsing privately
View and manage offline webpages directly from Homepage
1 Million phones sold in India within less than six months of launch.
More than 20000 devices sold within a month in Bangladesh
The Internet App is a native application that is
pre-installed in the low-cost Samsung TIZEN Z1 designed specifically for the users in emerging markets to create their internet experience more
simple and intuitive.