UX case study — Movie watching with fewer interruptions

Got 4 hours? This is what our team accomplished in 4 hours

Vid Zierlein
6 min readNov 12, 2022

UX case study — Movie watching with fewer interruptions


As part of our UX Mastery Course by Anudeep Ayyagari, we expected a question & answer session with Anudeep. Instead, we got ready for a mini Designathon! It was a full-fledged design thinking project packed into 4 hours: identifying problems, brainstorming ideas, prototyping and testing, and of course coming up with the solution. Wow!

Special thanks to https://medium.com/@anudeep108 who made us realise the importance of teamwork, collaborating remotely, the power of design thinking to solve problems and working with really tight deadlines.

The activity included the different stages of the design thinking process — EMPATHISE, DEFINE, IDEATE, PROTOTYPE & TEST


  1. Anudeep sent the announcement to join group Video Calls (VC)
  2. One person in each group created an empty Figjam file and share his/her screen on the VC. This teammate shared the link with others to invite them to join the design thinking process


The group together wrote down the journey (all steps included) of going and watching a movie in a multiplex theatre and getting back home.

We commenced with the given task with great enthusiasm. The journey started with leaving home by driving there or by some other transport, going to the mall or multiplex until the movie is over and then coming back home. It helped to understand that booking a ticket was not part of the scope of this exercise.

We started this task by discussing all the steps involved in the user journey of watching a movie in the theatre. We were able to discuss all the necessary steps involved. The notetaker in the team documented all the steps in a flow diagram below.

👇Flow diagram of the movie-going experience


After completing the user flow, we started by writing down the problems one would face while experiencing each step in the user journey

👇Usability problems with the MOVIE WATCHING experience. (👍Thumbs up represent the voting done for the problems we selected for the next stage.)

We selected a few problems out of 24 and then prioritized 3 problems based on voting. We further defined these 3 problems as why these problems need to be solved and how the solution is going to enhance the user experience.

👇TOP 3 problems selected

👇Reasons to choose these 3 problems

1. The bright light coming from the phone will distract the user’s attention from the movie. The hall is dark and a bright light on the eyes would be a distraction.

2. Users come to watch movies but it becomes a competition to get into the hall and a lot of people miss the beginning of the movies as scanning the mobile tickets takes time and we need to ask what happened in the movie before we entered.

3. User comes to watch movies to relax and people of all age groups come to watch movies, so the user needs good comfortable seating for a smooth and relaxing experience throughout.


For each of the three problems selected, we were required to come up with a minimum of 5 ideas to solve that problem. The ideas could be digital or physical.

These ideas had to be practical and something that the theatre management can implement with existing setup. They should not be for example, ‘change the seat orientation’ or ‘merge two screens into one screen’ or such magnanimous and obviously impossible ideas.

In this stage, we started with ideating and coming up with possible solutions. We were shocked to see the kind of possible solutions we could come up with limited time given.

👇Ideation and selection of the best problem to solve


We selected one idea from all the ideas that we had written and made a prototype sketch explaining the solution in detail.

1. Write down the problem selected

2. Write down the solution selected

3. Illustrate the prototype of the solution by making a rough sketch, but it should have a detailed explanation of how it solves the usability problem.


Users feel distracted when others are using their phones with high brightness and this would ruin the movie-watching experience.

Why is it important?

The bright light coming from the phone will distract the users’ attention from the movie and irritates others sitting beside them. The hall will be dark and a bright light on the eyes would be uncomfortable and distracting.


👉Place an NFC tag near the mobile holder (when the user taps it, the phone automatically goes to movie theatre mode). Movie theatre mode settings can be determined by theatre management.

Each group member tried making the prototype and coming up with ways we can showcase the solution.

👇 Prototype

Initial prototype


We presented our prototype as a group to the users who were level 2 mates who joined in. We showed them the Figjam flow and the prototype, they gave us their feedback on the prototype.

From the feedback, we learned a lot about how users think about the problem and the solution. Below, we documented their thoughts and experience.

👇We received the following feedback for our prototype

  1. What NFC is? we are not clear on the topic.
  2. NFCs are not available on every phone in the market.
  3. we can show an easy walk-through to make understanding better about NFC in some way because not everyone knows about this.
  4. We need to make this process easy so that people don’t have to think about it a lot.
  5. Security issue occurs when someone taps on an unauthorized sticker — we must build some way to show it's not secure and block that wrong tap.
  6. Users felt that having a sticker or something on the armrest would be uncomfortable.
  7. Users would get used to the idea of how to use NFC when they see advertisements of how to use NFC.
  8. Users felt that having a multiple-step process to activate the Movie mode would be frustrating.
  9. Users shared their experience of using Tap and Pay. Inference: There are similar interactions that the user may be familiar with.

👇Future scope

  1. A slide before the movie and during intermission showcasing the instructions to use the feature.
  2. Better illustrations for users to understand the instruction easily.
  3. Intimating users(vibration & notification) after tapping the tag that the ‘Theatre mode” is ON.

Key takeaways👇 -

👉With the help of the activity, we were able to learn how to do quick research.

👉The urge to be perfect was thrown into the dustbin and we worked on how we can get maximum results with restricted time.

👉As we were given time limits for each activity, we were able to understand the importance of time and how we can make the best use of it.

👉We learned how to consider business constraints to develop the solution.

👉Conducting user interviews and user testing was a hassle in the past. After this activity, we were able to understand the importance of taking feedback and improving upon it.

👇Discord session capture

A special thanks you, to Anudeep Ayyagari https://medium.com/@anudeep108 for scheduling this activity and being an amazing teacher and mentor

Thank you to my group members — Charan, Priyanka, Yeswanth, Saksham, Harish, Piyush and Poorvika — for all the hard work, dedication, teamwork and yes, fun!



Vid Zierlein

Freelance content writer and freelance photographer. I enjoy writing about and photograph diverse subjects.