Android Design & Development
Disney Movies Anywhere (2014) allowed users to link Disney films purchased on iTunes Store and other digital services into a unified library.
Material Design was introduced at Google IO in 2014 as a revolutionary design update to reinvigorate the platform. It would be part of the next Android OS update coming out that fall.
Disney Movies Anywhere was scheduled to be released around the same time.
Material Design examples introduced at Google IO 2014
Thanks to my unique designer / developer role, I was free to update the UI of the product features for which I was responsible.
Initially, I redesigned the Chromecast client & receiver, the video player, notification controls, and parts of the toolbar. I also refactored the app to use XML styles (Android SDK’s native design system) for UI consistency throughout.
Six weeks before our launch, Google released the Material Design SDK for developers and updated the Play Store to use Material Design (Oct 2014).
The VP of Technology was the only Android user among the design team and key stakeholders. He called me aside and asked me to explore a redesign using the new SDK and design standards.
I created a new branch of the project and spent the next few weeks updating it to use the new SDK. I applied Material Design as I felt best, while considering time constraints.
Soon after, some of the other developers in my team determined that they needed the new SDK to resolve a few critical issues. There was concern it would push back our launch.
I shared with them that I had already completed most of the necessary SDK updates in my branch, but it also included my Material Design makeover.
After a few debates among the teams and stakeholders, they decided to merge my branch and use my redesign for the official release.
Android 5.0 with Material Design released on November 3, 2014. DMA for Android launched the next day. Online press and user reviews were very favorable.
Video player (before & after)
“The app does feel purely native to Android, using Google’s design language throughout.
It doesn’t feel at all like a quick and dirty port of the iOS app.”
“The Android app is bright, bold, and very close to the new Material Design guidelines… in line with Google's vision.”