A+E NetworksProduct: Mobile Apps + Over-the-Top
Role: Senior Product / UX Design (Contract)
Description: A+E Networks produces nationally televised content for an estimated 98 million viewers
I was contracted by A+E Networks to lead the design of their suite of branded content apps on all platforms. The design and development of the apps had been brought in-house for the first time and they needed an experienced designer to ideate and implement new features as well as spearhead the shift in thinking on how to redesign and update them
- Ideate new feature implementations
- Create interface templates to faciliate faster development
- Audit the user experience and remove pain points
- Lead the design, research and pre-testing phases
ProblemThe A+E apps had all been designed individually with custom bitmapped graphics, a non-responsive design layout and outdated interface elements. In addition new product features needed to be added to an already crowded and broken experience and interface.
I updated and streamlined the interface layouts with templates to make content updating more consistent. The previous versions relied on individually art directed elements based on the show which slowed down development.
Although there were three different channels with different brand shows there was no compelling reason not to utilize a consistent layout for each branded app. In addition A+E adopeted new brand identities that relied on changing colors.
The new approach to the UI consolidated the look and feel of the apps across mobile platforms and the over-the-top box experiences.
The addition of live TV streaming and Chromecasting were two of the major features I was assigned with exploring and designing.
Live streaming required a viewer guide interface that needed to feel seamless from phone to tablet. Discovering the right design was complicated because of the requirement to allow both landscape and portrait orientations.
There was limited actionable user data and behavioral insights inherited from the previous production company so I had to create user personas to work with.
Testing to Shipping
I was part of the Test Flight build testing and completed my contract once the updated apps shipped on the App Stores.
Particular metrics and event tracking were used to gauge adoption of the updates by the user base.
LearningsThis project had a huge scope and very aggressive timeline. One of the lessons learned involved adopting new productivity practices. I got to wear many hats and partner closely with the developers to streamline the delivery of assets.
- How to consolidate design templates across a suite of apps
- Best practices for designing around content management systems
- Efficient ways to streamline asset hand-off across multiple platforms