Xbox Apps

Delivering delightful content through 3rd Party Apps for enjoyable, educational and communal 10 foot experiences.

Working with external developers, I was responsible for both in-house designing as well as consulting for 3rd party apps on Xbox. Some of my in-house design projects include the Twitter for TV Miniguide, Miracast (Wireless Display) while design consultations include Vine, NBA, Showtime and ESL to name a few. We also did several explorations for potential apps that could provide a great 10 foot experience.

A typical immersion process for me is doodling. I like to think visually as I collect info about the brand and their existing apps. You will find me doodling a lot throughout the design process but this is where I take the time to process the data as well as have fun with it.

Consultations with the external community meant we needed to audit an app rigorously. A brand would submit their app screens to us and I would then lay out the screens and deconstruct the flow, interactions and the intended user behaviors.It was a great learning exercise for me as I would get a better at understanding of the nuances when designing for TV. Certain features could be done but were very expensive and the teams would be guided accordingly. Here are some examples of my Vine audit.

In-house designing gave us a little more creative freedom and this is where we would dream and push the boundaries as we knew the technical restrictions of the system. Twitter was originally conceived as an exclusive Snap App. It would be a first of its kind as no app on Xbox ever existed in only snap mode. The challenge of designing a companion app lay in a simple question “Why would anyone watch a twitter feed, when watching TV, movies or playing games?”

The variations in tweet density presented some interesting challenges as well. Text can be subtle but images and faces are extremely polarizing and could cause unwanted distraction.

An interesting avenue for defining a true companion app was for us to make Twitter more than just a feed. This exploration imagines a scenario where twitter could evolve into a guide when combined with its powerful trends. It would also secure its spot as a true companion across any app.

Every app would go through a rigorous flow audit and each screen was laid out in high fidelity. All screens were then posted on the wall for us and for our partners to explore and absorb. It’s one of my favorite moments (not putting the sheets on wall) to display our work visually and this exercise is something I try to mimic across other projects as well.

A quick walkthrough of the flow….

Often, some ideas are ahead of their times…a reality of the design process. 😉 It was decided that Twitter would serve a better experience in the Mini-guide and hence we had to go back to the drawing board. The new destination presented a real estate challenge and the app was simplified to a large extent. Here’s the challenge visualized.

And here’s some finished shots of the Miniguide flow…

Xbox, Microsoft

Works under Interaction Design,User Experience Design