5 Must-Know Smart TV UX/UI Tips for App Developers



Cameron Barrie


August 15, 2023

5 Must-Know Smart TV UX/UI Tips for App Developers

Smart TVs have revolutionised the way we consume content, providing users with a more immersive and interactive viewing experience. As of 2022, 76% of TV owners now own a smart TV. However, creating a successful smart TV app that caters to diverse screen sizes, resolutions, and user input devices can be a daunting task for app developers. That's why we've compiled a list of five essential smart TV UX/UI tips to help app developers create the most user-friendly and intuitive experiences for their viewers. From incorporating user input devices to providing customisation options, these tips will help developers stand out in the highly competitive smart TV market. So, whether you're an experienced app developer or just starting out, read on to discover how to create a seamless and enjoyable viewing experience for your smart TV app users.

Use Adaptive Layouts for Different Screen Resolutions

In today's digital age, app developers are racing to create the most user-friendly and intuitive experiences for Smart TVs. However, they are faced with the challenge of catering to diverse screen sizes and resolutions. A top tip for app developers is to use adaptive layouts that account for different screen resolutions. This ensures a seamless experience across all devices, which is crucial for retaining users. Additionally, using high-quality graphics and animations that scale well on large screens enhances the visual appeal of the app. As users become increasingly discerning, incorporating these tips into your Smart TV app design can set you apart from the competition.

LCD Resolution Chart

Source: https://support.xbox.com/en-US/help/hardware-network/display-sound/tv-resolutions 

Optimise for High-Quality Audio and Video Streaming

As an app developer, creating a visually appealing interface for your smart TV app is only half the battle. The quality of the audio and video streaming is equally important to ensure a seamless user experience. Based on a Nielsen report, 41% of Smart TV owners stream paid audio content on their TVs. To optimise for high-quality audio and video streaming, make sure to encode your media files at a high bitrate and resolution. Consider using adaptive streaming technology to adjust the quality of the stream based on the user's internet connection. Additionally, reduce the number of third-party ad integrations and limit the use of auto-play video content to avoid any potential buffering issues. By implementing these smart TV UX/UI tips, you can ensure that your app provides an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience for your users.

Incorporate User Input Devices

While it's easy to focus solely on the design and functionality of the Smart TV app itself, it's essential to consider the input devices that users will be using to navigate and interact with your app. Incorporating user input devices such as remotes, mice, touch and gesture controls, voice assistants, keyboards, and gamepads can greatly enhance the UX of your smart TV app. By designing your app to seamlessly integrate with these input devices, you can create a more intuitive and enjoyable user experience, ensuring that users will keep coming back to your app time and time again.

Ensuring Accessibility for Users with Different Abilities

When developing apps for smart TVs, it's important for app developers to ensure accessibility for all users, including those with different abilities. Incorporating features such as closed captioning, audio descriptions, and customisable font sizes can make a big difference for viewers who may have hearing or vision impairments. It's also important to consider the user interface, designing it in a way that is easy to navigate and understand for those with cognitive or motor skill challenges. By prioritising accessibility in smart TV app development, developers can create a more inclusive and user-friendly experience for all viewers.

man watching a movie on smart tv

Provide Customisation Options for Users to Personalise their App Experience

As an app developer, it's crucial to understand the importance of providing your users with the ability to customise their app experience. Smart TV users are seeking personalised and interactive experiences, and customisation options can help achieve this. Providing users with the ability to tailor options such as font sizes, colours, and themes can go a long way in enhancing user satisfaction and engagement. Additionally, customisation options can help users navigate through the app with ease, allowing them to have better control over what they see and how they consume content.  This can include features such as custom themes, personal profiles, and even personalised recommendations. Making your app user-friendly and customisable is one of the key strategies to stand out in the Smart TV market.

In conclusion, smart TVs have become an increasingly popular way for users to consume content, and developing a successful smart TV app can be a challenging task for app developers. However, incorporating the right UX/UI design strategies can greatly enhance the viewing experience and set your app apart from the competition. The five tips discussed, including using adaptive layouts, optimising audio and video streaming, incorporating user input devices, ensuring accessibility, and providing customisation options, can help app developers create engaging and user-friendly experiences for their viewers. 

At Bilue, we are passionate about designing and building TV apps that connect businesses with their audience. With our expertise in developing for Roku and tvOS platforms, we have worked with some of Australia's largest media companies to create engaging and intuitive TV apps. Our team understands the importance of customer engagement and acquisition, and we work tirelessly to unlock opportunities for growth for our clients. We take pride in our dedicated team of local designers and developers who work collaboratively with clients to bring their visions to life. Got a project in mind? Contact us today.

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Cameron Barrie

Founder and CEO of Bilue

Cameron Barrie

I help companies uncover opportunities and solve problems using Web, Mobile, APIs, and Emerging Technologies.

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