Cross-channel service for movie experiences

Information architecture, UI, UX, Design research, Information design

MA Information Design project

Brief: Design a new information architecture for a large database of content and develop an usable cross-channel digital service that explores new possibilities for structure, display and interactivity.

  • Explores the near-future context for the specific topic
  • Desktop and mobile services help users with different actions
  • The mobile app explores augmented reality functions available 
  • Understand how UX and context informs design decisions

The strategy proposed for MUBI involves a mobile application based on augmented reality search engine that could help users identify movies based on similar filming location through architectural features. This way movies relate to travel and to architecture, domains that help users browse information in a way that creates more serendipity.

 View internal project report PDF (with detailed content on information architecture, UX, user journey, touchpoints strategy, research methods).


Project background

The current MUBI website represents a platform that is highly curated and always presents quality films. Most of the users have a background in cinematography, fact that makes the folksonomy work well for rating and reviewing. People can count on the choice of other people and the community gets more bonded. 

Nowadays, technology helps people search and browse for different things in futuristic ways. For example, more and more virtual and augmented reality applications start to appear on the market and the searching methods become more sensorial, through image and voice recognition, just to mention a few.


 Through market research and user-oriented methods like task-flow analysis, in-store observations, competition analysis and persona developing, some key insights have been identified in order to improve the information architecture of the MUBI website:

  • the mobile application of the service could be more helpful and could help users discover great films in creative ways that involve social activities
  • in-store observations identified the fact that people tend to trust the reccomandations from formal institutions, such as festivals and production houses; this observation could lead to an improvement of the website structure with the addition of a category dedicated to festivals

Near-future context

The new digital platform is an augmented reality mobile application for phone and tablet that helps users search and browse for films, cast, festivals, lists and movie locations in a very detailed way with the help of a very faceted search system and OCR camera with GPS system. More metadata is pulled for this kind of search, integrating image recognition that helps users identify movie scenes by architectural features detected with the help of the augmented reality system. The real-time view allows users to identify film locations and save them.


On a desktop, the scenes discovered could be browsed in a map mode and involve visualizing the discoveries that other people made in a creative way. Some pattern could be identified and the folksonomy could get very efficient. Users could also search by image input and could save scenes and locations to a private dashboard, like a journal.Technology offered today provides the elements needed for the platform to perform this kind of searching system and can get better, by learning, in time, from users. Clicking on a scene moment takes the user to the scene page where he could see where the scene was taken, who took it, what film is it similar to and what other users say about it.

  • Storyboard

For the client-facing document I started to develop a storyboard that would tell the near-future context and the whole story in a more clear way than words. I based my scenario on Irene, the film critic that travels and likes to take note of every little details she can find related to films. She writes articles about cinema and likes to find details that nobody noticed before. 


User journey


Information architecture for the website

The system would work based on relational databases. My strategy for accessing information was based on an interesting article about information architecture that introduces search-enhanced information architecture, Beyond findability (in Journal of Information Architecture, 2(1). []).


The schemes presented in the articles showed how different attributes are mapped are sorted based on the groups of topic they take part of. Different groups of topic could be browsed as a whole, based on generic faceted filters, while other in-depth information might be search by specific attributes. 


Persona created for the mobile service

1. Launch screen of the app when the user starts the mobile service

2. Inspect mode (AR view) is used to search if any film scenes are added

3. The map version displays results that lets the user identify if they are at a real or alike movie location

4. Getting to another cool location, the user takes a picture of a new scene that reminds him of a specific film

5. The second step investigates the kind of architecture class the shot might have: group, facade or a detail. The user selects the zoomed version

6. The next screen allows the user to input his own film that the scene reminds him off but also can browse the suggestions offered by recognition

7. To finish the uploading process, the user reviews the shot, adds comment and specific tags, next to the ones already suggested by the app, that relate to architectural features of the building

8. The scene page displays the scene shot, the related movie, tags and comments from users that help users get a sense of the type and credibility of the image


Persona created for the desktop service

The homepage integrates the new service, On Scene, into their main categories and the layout design offers it a rich space for displaying.

The user starts to browse for interesting movie locations and travel destinations by clicking the map available on the front page of the website.

On scene page involves a map with a highly detailed faceted filtering system.

The user filters the results displayed in a map mode by country, wanting to see only the results from Spain and also, only the ones related to biography movies.

The user now can see the map of Spain with a visualisation that implies real and alike scenes and the number of them.

Underneath the map, the user can browse the most popular scenes from Spain.

The information displayed on a specific page of a scene involves the image captured by the user, the type of it represents and the movie that relates to, in a comparative way.

The user can also browse comments related to the scene. He decides to finds out more about this film so he clicks the title of the movie and he is redirected to the movie page.

Movie page presents information related to a specific film contains a dedicated section to scenes.

These can be browsed as a unit or the results could be filtered based on the type of scene: real filming location or look alike environment?

The user adds the movie to his personal wishlist because he might want to visit these places one day.

Dashboard page is the page that can be found inside the profile section. Here is where the user can store and archive films, locations or specific film scenes.

He also has a wishlist where he can display the scenes he saved by location, so maybe sometime he only wants to see the Barcelona scenes because he will travel there soon and whats to involve in the scene taking activity.