IMDb - iOS & Android Tablet App Version 1.0

Date: 2012
Client: IMDb
Role: UX Designer

IMDb hired me twice. The first time was to extend their already popular v1 of their iPhone app to coincide with the launch of the iPad. Designing for an OS that I had never interacted with was an exciting design challenge. During Steve Job’s iPad announcement speech he demoed the YouTube and a few iOS native apps. I watched and re-watched that video many times in order to understand the gestures and the design patterns of this new device. At one point I mussed that I was going to build a cardboard version just to get the feel of how one might hold the iPad. Would a user want to hold it horizontally? Or would vertically be the most comfortable use case? I really didn’t know. I worked diligently with a small team of developers and a product manager to get the app out in time for launch. In Job’s next keynote for iOS 4, he demonstrated the app stating, “... this is a fantastic app...” After millions of downloads the app is in Apple’s iTune’s Hall of Fame.

A year later I returned to design IMDb’s first Android phone app and Android Tablet app. Not being an Android user and the Android tablet not being released yet made this project another challenge, but I was able to get my hands on Android devices to familiarize myself with the platform. At this point Amazon was about to announce it was launching its own Fire Phone and tablet, but at the time I wasn’t even allowed to see one of these devices because I was not a “blue badge” at the time. I enjoyed the challenge of piecing together the puzzle of an interface that worked well across many different Android tablets of multiple aspect ratios. I was very proud of the result, as was the client, IMDb. And by the way, it was my call to change the app to have a dark, more cinematic background, something the next versions of all the mobile products adopted.

"On Android, the app’s interface is slightly different, and slightly more graphics-based. But it shows the same comprehensive showtime data along with all movie details and extra features like previews. I actually prefer the dark theme of the app on a Nexus 7 to the stark whiteness of the iOS version. The (Fandango) app is designed to be easy to use, but it’s a little clunky and ugly compared to some of its peers — especially the IMDB app. " – New York Times

 

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