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.
I got an opportunity to redesign DMA for Android just before launch, making it one of the first apps to adopt Material Design.
Senior Android Developer, Product Designer
Android Studio, Illustrator, Photoshop
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 at the same time.
Material Design examples introduced at Google IO 2014
I was excited about Material Design and did my best to update the UI where I could. My design contributions to DMA include the Chromecast client & receiver, the video player, and native interfaces.
I also refactored the app to use XML styles (Android SDK’s built-in design system). This made it easier to apply uniform design changes throughout the app.
DMA for iOS vs. DMA for Android
Many high-profile companies were releasing Android apps that looked like iOS knockoffs. Android users were frustrated about being treated as “second class citizens”.
The design for DMA was completed months before Google announced Material Design. As such, the design & product teams were reluctant to go back and make changes, despite the fact that their design was heavily influenced by iOS 6. (They were also all iPhone users.)
Six weeks before our launch, Google released the full Material Design SDK for developers. More important, they updated the highly visible Play Store to use Material Design.
As one of the only Android users on the team, Disney’s VP of Technology discovered the Play Store update, called me aside, and asked if I could mock up something similar.
Of course I could!
Google Play Store's first Material Design update, October 2014
Video Player: before & after slider
I branched the project and spent the next two weeks updating the app to use the new SDK. I applied Material Design as I felt best while considering time constraints.
My version caused some intense debates among the teams and stakeholders. But ultimately we implemented my redesign.
Android 5.0 with Material Design was released on November 3, 2014.
DMA for Android launched the next day.
As soon as the new SDK was released, I spent two weeks working on a proof of concept using the new Material Design component library.
My update caused some intense debates among the teams and stakeholders, but ultimately the redesign was implemented for the launch.
We received very positive reviews for the launch and the Android app ranked a full-star higher than the iOS release. In press reviews, the tech sites were overwhelmingly positive.
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