guba-lines
GUBA.com homepage

About this project

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.

Javascript, jQuery, XHTML, CSS3, Facebook API, Java, JSTL, Google App Engine

My Role

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.

Brand Development

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.

Thousands of titles

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 GUBA Player

Playback simplified

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.