Turning Customer Feedback Into Great App Experiences
Lori Hylan-Cho, Director of Engineering for the Xfinity Stream app, discusses development, user experience and her favorite ways to use Xfinity's flagship TV app, which relaunched as Xfinity Stream in early 2017.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m the director of engineering for the Xfinity Stream App, so most of my work involves making sure the development team has everything they need to build new features while preserving and improving quality, accessibility, and usability in every release. I read the feedback we get through in-app surveys, in the forums, and on Twitter on a daily basis and try to find patterns that might indicate we have an issue—whether it's in the apps or in the services and video delivery infrastructure upon which our apps depend. I like connecting dots—and teams—to try to solve real-world problems.
What’s your favorite feature of the Xfinity Stream app you wish everyone knew about?
I'm a fan of little features—the small things that make the experience more intuitive, more usable, more polished. The 15-second skip buttons (and the double-tap gesture that serves as a shortcut even when the player controls are not showing) are probably my favorite feature, as they give me the ability to skip backward to re-hear missed dialogue or skip past certain segments on recorded shows.
What’s your primary use case for the app? Where do you use it most?
In addition to hockey, both live and recorded (as an east coast fan of a west coast team, I often fall asleep mid-game and watch the end in the morning) I watch a lot of classic movies, live news, house-hunting shows like Hawaii Life, and series such as The Americans while doing other things around the house. When customers ask why I use the Xfinity Stream app when I have a big-screen TV, I tell them about how cool it is to be able to watch TV in any room: in the basement while doing laundry, at the dining room table while doing a puzzle, or even by the bathroom sink while getting ready for work in the morning. And when I’m winding down at night, I’d rather prop a tablet on my nightstand and watch a show or a game with earbuds in than on the TV 10 feet away. I can even set a sleep timer without missing a scene or a play thanks to Picture in Picture, which kicks in automatically when I switch to the Clock app.
What was the most valuable piece of feedback you've received on the app that was turned into a real-life update?
It's almost never one piece of feedback, but rather a bunch around a common theme that is most valuable. When we got a lot of requests to add Search functionality on iPad, for example, we realized that people weren't finding it in the left navigation area—and we moved it to the top right corner, where customers expected it to be. Where issues are on the content or service side, many different teams here at Comcast have an opportunity to jump into action right away to get things working. I give thanks every day for the customers who write in with specific details about what's not working for them so we can get them a better experience as quickly as possible.