Until closing in 2011, GUBA was a leading online video website that helped users browse, download, share, and buy user-generated content and hundreds of movies and TV shows. GUBA offered multiple file formats for download to the PC, iPod, PSP, and other portable devices. At a time when on-demand internet video was a new concept, I helped GUBA create a compelling user experience that made watching video online easier and more enjoyable.
As the Creative Director, I was responsible for redesign of GUBA and three sister sites, brand development, creation of GUBA’s video player, and optimizing the viewing experience through AB testing. I designed and implemented a video chat tool, on-demand video service, and helped to create internal tools for organizing content.
Playing homage to analog
GUBA stands for Giant Usenet Binary Archive; the most logical logotype representation was data flow, connections, interactions and interlock in a specific system. The GUBA logotype was featured on Logo Lounge's annual logotype trends report.
The color pallet is a play on the test card used in analog TV.
One clean interface
GUBA's homepage served as a showcase for new, premium content and popular, user-generated videos. I was responsible for re-architecting the website to surface premium content first and redesigning it for easier browsing, development, analytics, and optimization.
I developed several unique interfaces to help users search through content quickly and efficiently. Video thumbnails acted like live previews of videos, seek bars showed a preview where you were about to click, and an advanced search let users see clusters of tags and categories.
The website offered a mobile version for iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, and PSP, automatically offering the correct format for download to these devices.
The video player was an exercise in minimalism. I wrote the player in ActionScript 2 (to support our custom streaming and licensing protocol) and based the design on data about user behaviour. Many users skipped ahead when watching a clip, so I added a live seek preview when hovering over the bar.
Server logs showed that adding the live-seek cut server requests for partial streams in half.