American Standard Television
My role: Lead Designer and Frontend Developer
AST was created with the vision of delivering live and on-demand international channels to a US-based audience, streamed entirely over the internet. As the lead designer / frontend developer, I created the full experiences for our set top box, smartphone remote app, and web platforms.
Our product was fairly innovative for the time – 2012 was still early days for live streaming TV – and was enthusiastically received by user testers and investors. Though we were aiming towards a launch and had secured content deals with networks in Korea and Japan, timing and other factors weren’t on our side and the product unfortunately never made it to market. I’m still proud of the work our team of about 20 created, and it’s been nice to see bits and pieces of the vision we had for a next-generation streaming TV experience come to life recently in products like YouTube TV, Sling, and DirecTV Now.
Designing for Hardware And Software
While we later pivoted to an app-based streaming model, we initially developed a custom OTT box built on Linux and Adobe Air for TV. It worked with both traditional remotes and our smartphone remote over Wi-Fi and provided a faster setup and easier experience than traditional cable boxes.
Our programming guide improved upon the traditional spreadsheet-esque guide, integrating show imagery and presenting time with a hierarchy that better matches users’ needs (Now / Next / Later). Our content was for foreign-born and multicultural Americans, so a fully localizable UI was essential for creating an authentic and immersive experience.
While the fun serendipity of channel flipping was still core to the experience, an easier and very visual and branded channel guide provided quick access to any network.
Our player was designed to elevate content and get out of the user’s way. As with all other parts of the experience, all text in the UI was localizable to the users’ language and subtitles were displayed beautifully in multiple languages.