HBO Go: Delightful, Albeit Inefficient, Exploration. And That's Fine By Me.


Below is a screenshot of HBO Go's iPad App. It's gorgeous, fun and highly dynamic. It represents the shift of paid content to mobile: HBO Go, ESPN Watch, Netflix, Hulu, etc. And it represents the visual opportunity presented by the touch-based device (smaller screen, different format).

And lastly, it shows the design similarities with e-commerce iPad apps like Gilt and eBay. Why do the apps look similar? Sure there could be some flattering mimicking... but more importantly: e-commerce and digital media hubs often struggle with findability within huge universes of product / content. Big visuals and touch-based exploration are a good way to conquer.

Specifically within the HBO Go app: it is interesting that 95% of the screen is dedicated to dynamic, visual tiles. Buried at the bottom is a persistent navigation footer: category, title, etc. In a world of funnels and tools to drive efficiency, HBO has made the clear choice to value exploration and engagement.