Tentpole Series



With the reimagining of what the Crunchyroll brand means as a whole, outside of ad placements, Crunchyroll's ability to deliver more than just video wasn't strong. The company wanted to promote their most watched series, as well as get fans hyped for hotly anticipated shows.


The company has been focused on delivering an all-in-on experience for our fans. Not just through video, but also games, merchandise, manga, events, and more. It is the idea that we can deliver experiences beyond video which engage our fans more with the Crunchyroll brand. This 360-degree experience is all key aspects of what differentiates us from other SVOD competitors.

When it came time to think about how we wanted to approach tentpole series designs, we wanted to integrate games, merchandise, news, related anime series, and more inside the Crunchyroll web experience. By doing so, we're able to hype up a brand new anime show that we know is going to do well, and show our licensors in Japan that if they want their anime to do well overseas, then Crunchyroll is the place to do just that.


While my main focus at Crunchyroll is to help designers with prototypes, I also became heavily involved in the ever-expanding 360-degree content experience. One important feature that I was tasked with working on was creating a brand new series page for what we call our tentpole shows. These shows are either our most popular anime series on Crunchyroll, or we are planning to push heavily with marketing and on social platforms.


Below you'll find a rough outline of the process that I've used when working on tentpole pages.


Understanding business goals and audience needs.

Business goals - more foot traffic on our most important anime IPs.

Audience needs - create a place where super fans can geek out and digest everything related to that particular anime IP.

Define & Develop

Explore possible ideas and solutions, and create designs and experiences that delight our fans. Work with user research for testing, and work with engineering and product to figure out requirements, making sure things are possible from a design perspective.

Jira tickets have been written up, and put into my design sprints. I understand the goals in mind, and so now I'll work on user flows and wireframes. I'm just trying to explore and figure out solutions to how we can engage our users, and make tentpole pages feel more cohesive.

Flows being made to figure out how new tentpole pages work
Flows being made to figure out how new tentpole pages work


Ship and support, rinse and repeat.

At this point, designs are considered "design done," and they've been uploaded to Zeplin for engineers to review. We'll either meet daily, or every other day to discuss the progress of tickets associated with tentpole designs, and if needed, we will go back at anytime to any of the previous stages to re-assess business requirements/ needs.


With the ongoing nature of this project, here are a few key ideas that have been considered must haves for tentpole pages.

About Section - In depth information about the show, characters, voice actors, and behind the scenes footage or artwork. There's a lot that's possible with the about section to give fans the opportunity to not just learn more about the show, but to be rewarded with content that they can either use or be inspired by.
Manga Section - In this area, I wanted to provide fans with an easy way to purchase or continue reading the manga version of the show. They would be able to purchase it directly from the Crunchyroll store, and once they do, open it up within the browser and start reading.
Community Section - Fan art, cosplay, music, whatever it is that our fans create for the shows that they love, we want to display it to the rest of the anime community! We know how creative anime fans are, and so giving them a place to show off their creations is an important part of what Crunchyroll has always been. (With their permission of course)
Merchandise Section - By integrating with the Shopify API, we're able to pull merchandise related to that particular show, and display it to fans that can then purchase if they so choose. This is a great way to get users onto our e-commerce store, without having to redirect them to the store itself.

There are so many other sections that could be added to tentpole pages. Such as integrating browser games related to that show, or live streams where folks can watch the premiere of a new tentpole series. These are all ideas that have been talked about, and may show up in future iterations.

Below you'll find some designs for what tentpole pages may look like.

Tentpole series page for The Rising of The Shield Hero
Tentpole series page for The Rising of The Shield Hero
Tentpole-First Viewing-Shield Hero.png10458.7KB

Tentpole-First Viewing-Naruto Shippuden.png10231.2KB