Observe, explore, prototype, test, repeat.

Proposal for a dedicated Podcasts App on the Mac

iTunes integrates Podcasts in the shadows of the much more profitable content types Music, Movies and TV Shows. Despite the significant growth in podcast consumption, Apple has hardly improved the experience around listening to them. Apple offers a dedicated app for iOS. Podcasts for iOS exceeds the user experience of its counterpart section within iTunes by far.

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This is a proposal for a designated Podcasts app on OS X. This design introduces features such as synchronisation of playback positions through iCloud, cards known from Mail App, prioritized streaming over downloads, custom controls for navigating and controlling Podcasts and replacement of the store with a directory that encourages discovery of new shows to enjoy on your next commute.

    My Responsibilities:

  • Product Concept
  • Wireframes
  • Visual Design
  • Prototype

Browser for UNESCO’s collection of intangible cultural heritage

UNESCO hosts a database of intengible cultural practices submitted by several countries. The submission process and the resulting presentation are highly bureaucratic and hardly seem to support the greater mission of preserving the amazing cultural artifacts that are at risk in the age of globalisation. Being of intengible nature, these artifacts are as good as lost if they can’t be discovered by anyone.

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The proposed browser puts imagery and instantly playing preview videos first, making serendipitous browsing a primarily visual experience. A masonry grid ensures that source material is not being cropped in distorting ways. Not teasing titles and origin of any practice intends to invite browsing behaviour of a flâneur (refering to Peter Nas: The urban anthropologist as flâneur). Interested users can filter for categories of activities and respective sub categories. A geographic filter can be used to filter for continents, regions and countries. A toolbar at the bottom along with grid size options give the user control throughout the whole collection.

Depth of detail is given by adding layers of content on the z-axsis. This results in three layers of detail from thumbnail representation on the grid, an instantly playing preview video along with meta information that is being displayed on hover, and finally a full detail layer that holds all available image and video material as well as descriptive texts and further meta information. The user can continue browsing while staying on the detail layer, moving to next and previous practices as odered on the underlaying grid and its applied filters. Exiting one practice detail view, presents the user width the respective position on the grid which is moving to keep the respective practice in center.

    My Responsibilities:

  • UI Concept
  • Visual Design
  • Prototype

Responsive website for splash! Festival

Splash! Festival is a legendary Hip Hop Festival in Germany which I used to attend myself for several years. The new identity for their twentieth anniversary, which is dominated by skewed shapes, led me to combining atmospherical photos with a layout that gives content a lot of space to breath and that feels somewhat epic, just like the festival feels being Europe’s most important gathering of the Hip Hop community.

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One interesting challenge in coming up with a whole new website has been finding a way of catering to two very different audiences. One are young festival goers who are familiar with festivals and how they work. They are mostly interested in the line-up and are checking in frequently to learn about new updates. They want a direct link to the line-up and a quick overview of what’s new.

The other group are mostly parents who in some cases are ultimately making the final buying decision and are therefore a group of high value although small in size. Parents want to know that their children are safe at the festival which I’ve addressed by designing a separate section called "Guide". Here parents are guided from topic to topic to understand that there are in facts rules on a festival out in the wild.

As opposed to just redirecting fans to a third party ticket reseller, splash! lets you combine main tickets with extras which is the name I came up with to make "upgrades" sound less formal and less premium. A shopping cart system lets fans – or their parents – assemble a personal festival experience.

Rap being a very visually and personality driven music I used automatically playing background videos instead of hero images for each artist utilising the YouTube API. These videos are muted by default and can be unmuted by clicking the speaker icon.

Information around the festival location, infrastructure, some rules and other helpful bits for fans, as well as concerned parents, live on a almost separate website within the festival website. I called that section the Guide to splash! 20 as it is meant to let the reader walk through each topic similar like programmers navigate documentation sites. This approach makes this section easy to digest, lets editors link to specific topics as each topic has a unique link and the dedicated layout allows for a good responsive layout that might be helpful on the way to or being at the festival.

Another requirement has been making the website work well on mobile devices reacting to usage insights from analytics. During the festival, while connection is slow and battery time is valuable, the website needs to load quickly and therefore can’t rely on frameworks or heavy front-end libraries and dependencies.
This requirement made the decision even easier to design and build it in a mobile first manner making the layout responsive without compromising on content while keeping code as light as possible without compromising on look and feel of the website.

    My Responsibilities:

  • Project Management
  • Information Architecture
  • Visual Design
  • Front-End Development

A second screen experience for Boiler Room fans

Boiler Room offers a huge catalogue of live music performances from a variety of underground artists. Thanks to a strong editorial voice, recordings are already curated. Along with the archive, viewers can watch or listen to live broadcasted shows and participate in a live chat. The goal was to let viewers and listeners dig deeper, similar to what followers of good music would do at a record store.

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What Boiler Room differentiates besides from offering exclusive content, is their richness in content types that go beyond just the music. Editorial pieces, teasers for upcoming shows and the stories around them make for a mixture of related content. Lists of mixed related content right below the video or audio player lets the user get really into a artists and their scenes, without leaving the app at all.

Live broadcasted shows have mostly been consumed on desktop computers or via AirPlay to this point. I saw potential in the live chat to be used as a second screen experience on the phone. Especially when watching Boiler Room live shows at home, you might want to watch the stream on a big screen and have high fidelity sound through your speaker system. The missing part has always been a way to participate on the chat when watching laid back on TV. The app might act as a second screen, showing the chat which you can participate in using the keyboard you know. As a result, the video stream is not being covert by a chat feed and the viewer gets to chat, read related editorial pieces or share the show with friends without leaving the Boiler Room context which means longer exposure for brands in the case of sponsored shows at the same time.

    My Responsibilities:

  • Information Architecture
  • Visual Design

I shape the experiece of products and the organizations around them.

Projects that I have enjoyed most so far have been team efforts where designers and engineers have been working closely together. I like to use my front-end development skills to produce prototypes which can be used to validate assumptions. I’m a fan of the lean start-up and of agile methodologies in general.

The spectrum of ideas that inspire me is pretty wide at this point and often involves technological innovation that in some way has an impact on people’s daily lives.

Read my CV