AeroCinema The Aviation Channel.

CLIENT     AEROCINEMA INC.

DATE     2009 - 2016

SERVICES     UI, UX, EDITORIAL, WEBSITE, GRAPHIC DESIGN

AeroCinema is a online video platform dedicated to aviation history. As the in-house designer I was responsible for... well, nearly everything. From brochures to magazines ads, trade-show signage, DVD artwork, press kits, promo booklets, gift cards and a thousand other things.

On the UI side, I designed interfaces across desktop, mobile (phone + iPad) and TV (Roku, Apple TV etc). The biggest challenge was ensuring a consisten UI experince across seven platforms in total.

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UI Design

 

After launching the initial desktop and iPhone apps, we quickly realized that the future of video content lay in tablets and TVs. So we pivoted to designing UI primarily for these platforms (iPad and Roku serving as pilot projects).

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UI/UX Considerations

The iPad app was one of our three priority platforms, and it served as the test-bed for trying out new ideas. We conducted extensive research, concepting and user-testing before rolling out the final app. It consistently performed better than any other platform.

  • At AeroCinema I was responsible for all aspects of the design process - from from initial user research (personas, customer journey mapping) to wireframing , building functional prototypes and conducting usability testing.
  • We worked with an external
  • Around 2015 we realized that our audience was primarily using either the iPad or Roku apps, and that this trend would only contiunue. We decided to prioritize designing for tablets and TVs as our default platform, rather than desktop PCs.
  • Being a small team, we conducted extensive competitor analysis on the biggest players in the streaming video space - Netflix, Hulu et al. What they do well, or badly. How many films to they display at a time, and why?
  • In the end we saved ourselves a great deal of time and money by adopting industry best practices, and were able to launch a polished, high usable product(s) in a very short time.
  • We prioritized a consistent UI experience. The same buttons, typography, colours and layouts were used on all platforms, to give our users (the demographic skewed 50+) the easiest possible experience.
  • We eventually launched (and supported) 7 unique platforms: desktop, iPad, Apple TV, Samsung and Panasonic Smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Video Direct.

Desktop UI

Video Admin Interface

  • We tried every video hosting platform under the sun - Brightcove, Vimeo etc - and eventually decided that none of them quite measured up.
  • So we ended up building our own. I designed AeroCinema's Video Admin backend to be lightweight and easy to use - a single source for publishing videos to any platform. A single control-point for

Video Admin Panel

An early test version of the Apple TV interface

UI for TV Screens

  • We started developing AeroCinema's various TV-based apps during the first wave of mainstream video streaming - Netflix and Hulu - when it became clear that this was the future.
  • Starting with our Roku app, we expanded to Panasonic and Samsung smart TVs and then Apple TV.
  • Each platform had unique challenges, both from a front-end design persepctive, and on the backend. Thankfully we had a great relationship with two external devs teams, who helped us launch the apps.
  • One of our major challenges was administering the content on these various platforms from a single location. Hence why we built out Video Admin backend.
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AeroCinema's final Technology Stack

Technology Stack

I led AeroCinema's efforts at finding tech partners that would support our growing platform.

After trying many solutions, and discarding most, we eventually found a tech stack that worked for our unique situation.

The focus was always on delivering the best user experience possible, and in this effort we left no stone unturned - better payments, hosting, speed & performance, CDNs, membership, IA, video compression and more.

Title Cards


I designed posters for the 300+ films in AeroCinema's library. These were the first point of contact for users - we wanted each one to look striking, while giving some clue as to the film's topic. Each "title card" was then scaled to function across multiple devices and platforms.

Branding & Print

 

I created all of AeroCinema's branding and marketing materials, including promo bookletsfor both the company itself and for various special projects.

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Branding

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“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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©2022 Dan Lebl