VTubers Collaborative Live Stream
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Bettering People's Experiences in Virtual Spaces
Live streaming is a rapidly growing digital space. Catalyzed by COVID and people’s desire to connect, Avatech saw an opportunity to enrich moments and reduce friction in virtual-physical integration. My objectives for the team involved:
① Evolving existing technology into a launchable product
② Establish roadmap for a viable product
③ Incorporate people and product metrics in design
Early Demo Prior My Joining
Before I joined, the team built a demo that allows viewers to interact with Twitch live streams. Upon review, the demo had a few issues:
- Latency Issues: Live interaction has little tolerance for latency. Video lag can render interactive features usable to the audience.
- Streaming Behaviour: The behaviour of livestreaming viewers varies greatly across categories. Viewers alternate between passive and active watching throughout the stream.
- Tooling: Streamers and viewers juggle multiple streaming tools. For a tool to be adopted, it must have clear value propositions and integrate with their setup.
Re-establishing Our Understanding
After reviewing the state of the project, I advised the team to re-establish understanding of our users and market before investing further in the technology. The goal of the project is ultimately to create a livestreaming product people want to use.
We reviewed old interview data and interviewed new users. With a focus on “Just Chatting” type streams, we identified a niche segment of streamers, also known as VTubers.
A Complex Ecosystem
The nature of a VTuber stream requires complex coordination. In helping the team understand this complex ecosystem, I created a software ecosystem map. Due to its grassroots culture, VTubers has limited options in tooling and often stitch different tools together to realize their streams.
In creating a product VTubers want to use, I rapidly experimented with existing tools and collaborated with the team to simulate different product experiences. The team timeboxed effort and reviewed concept potentials together. I guided team members on concept development and supported decisions with research insights.
Filling the Gap
As our concepts matured, we tested demos in rapid rolling sessions. I guided the team in designing tests and analyzing feedback.
The tests unearthed potential in filling the gap in VTuber collaboration. We decided to continue its development, with an early UI that captured our core features.
With support from our Discord community, I helped the team ideate and prioritize features. The roadmap was built upon user activities and journey, ensuring what we built aligns with our users’ interest.
As the engineers develop the functionality of the feature, I collaborated with them on the interface and graphics, ensuring a unified visual story. Metrics such as adoption, engagement were monitored with each sprint iteration.
Some features developed in sprints include: Password-Protected Room, Layer Panel, Custom Scene, Effects Panel, and more.
Playground and the VTuber Community
We launched the product in 2022 and received encouraging feedback from the community. With a growing Discord community, we are humbled to be supported by enthusiastic testers, whose feedback inspire new features after the initial launch. Playground has since released subscription program from this initial beta.