Design Thinking: Creation of a Video App

Video App icon.

The product we were asked to create here was an app that would display movies to users. This kind of interface has been done MANY times but we had a bit of a different approach. To start, we wanted to ensure that the movies were the centerpiece of the viewing space and not the colorful branding of the app. We chose to use white/black as the “canvas” for the movies. Since movie preview icons come in almost every color, we needed to use these neutral colors to ensure the viewer could focus on the content and not the design.

Video app to enlarge Now here’s the tricky part. Displaying thumbnails in a grid has been done to death. However, we put our own spin on the design by walking between a skeumorphic approach and a “flat” approach. Here’s a great primer article on the difference between skeumorphic and flat design. In summary, digital skeumorphism is when design tries to resemble the vestiges of the physical world (depth, shadows etc.) and flat design removes those dimensions completely.
Simple-looking designs of the video to enlarge


Besides this view, there are four global actions that appear on each screen at the footer. In order: Live TV, Catalog, My Movies, and Search. The goal here is simplicity. We made sure each icon directly correlates to what the action is and that each icon seems familiar to the user. We gave the icons rounded, soft edges to give the icons a small dose of “cuteness” which makes the user feel comfortable and eager to use the app. The overall goal here was to achieve a balance of pure presentation of content and ease of use.

As you can see, even the most simple-looking designs have a lot of thought put into them. In fact, that’s the point. Our goal as designers is to create an experience where you’re not focused on the design but on the product itself. Finally, to make sure everything looked great on all devices we used our favorite preview app called Skala Preview. Seriously, if you design or develop for mobile, this app is such a time saver. It instantly sends images from your computer to your iOS and Android devices. Yes we’re big fans.

Thank you for reading! Please leave us any questions or comments you might have below.