Today I came across This Article on Smart Tv's and a couple of other articles stating the new trend will be Smart TV's. I wasn't busy in the field of UX when the 'big' switch of mobile occurred, so I was wondering what the coming of Smart TV's will mean for the future of this domain.

To state this more in a few questions:

  • Is there any research on what will change for UX when Smart TV's get widely adapted?
  • How is the coming of Smart TV's comparable, or not comparable, to the coming of mobile?
  • To what extend will people practicing UX have to adjust to this new technology?

Any sources or prognosis of this would help a lot! I heard something in the corridors of the company I work for that they might want to develop for Smart TV's in the near future.

  • Couple of things you might want to look at: LEG WebOS UI - the old mobile OS has been adapted for TV and is probably the most well recieved Smart TV UI digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a573145/… 10-foot UI - a way of thinking about UI on a TV screen en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-foot_user_interface
    – Midas
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 14:20
  • This is too much of a forum discussion topic, not a question that has a correct answer. As a Q&A site such questions aren't really a good fit.
    – JonW
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 8:04

3 Answers 3


I did a thesis for my study on exactly this subject a few years ago.

My conclusion back then was that SmartTV wouldn't be very interesting in the near future. The current TV industry can be compared to pre-Iphone mobile industry. Innovation can technically be achieved, but nobody sees a good reason to invest. Basically, what iPhone did for the smartphone industry needs to happen to the TV industry. But if there's no innovation, there's no stimulant to be the first. Consumers have nowhere to go. (this is currently changing, but i haven't really been paying attention to SmartTV development after i was graduated)

A 10ft User Interface covers the most ground of all changes needed to user interface and user experience for a SmartTV application.

Google has a good overview of some design patterns for Google TV, but can be for the most part be applied on any TV app.

https://developers.google.com/tv/web/docs/design_for_tv https://developers.google.com/tv/android/docs/gtv_android_patterns

Aditionally, Samsung has some guidelines as well: http://www.samsungdforum.com/UxGuide/2014/01_principles_for_designing_applications_for_samsung_smart_tv.html#ux-01


They don't have touchscreens so either a more traditional approach or a smart touch remote is required. At present they have tried the worst of both world so you end up scrolling through a million on secreen buttons using a remote that is not ideal for repeated presses.


I don't think it will have a really big impact because a television doesn't require much engagement to enjoy it, the main purpose is watching television (opposed to smart phones or tablets that don't have one main purpose). The level of interaction is relatively low and I suspect therefor that interaction design is not very high on the priority list of television manufacturers. Looking at remote controls for the past 20 years, I actually hold this to be true.

Technology news site The Verge reported in June 2014 that LG bought WebOS from HP (which was originally developed by Palm as mobile operating system). Apple runs its apple tv on a modified version of iOs since the second version. So maybe you can speak of a trend where mobile operating systems get adopted for television. I suspect this is because mobile operating systems put lower requirements on the hardware (and thus lower costs), not because they are very suitable for televisions.

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