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Apple TV UX: 8 Guidelines for greater Apps


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"The future of TV is apps."

The new Apple TV raises the bar for TV boxes. Especially the new remote offers a whole new "navigation-feeling" to the user.

But how do you build an outstanding app for the new Apple TV?

We worked ad are working on several apps for Apple TV. From these projects we derived 8 guidelines for greater apps

Published in: Design, Mobile, Devices & Hardware
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Apple TV UX: 8 Guidelines for greater Apps

  1. Apple TV UX: 8 Guidelines for greater Apps
  2. Best practice: Using the TV itself is super easy and almost the same for the past 40 years.
  3. Best practice: Using the TV itself is super easy and almost the same for the past 40 years. Even my grandma knows how to do it!
  4. Best practice: „The future of TV is apps.“
  5. Best practice: But how do you build an outstanding TV App?
  6. Best practice: CELLULAR’s 8 Guidelines:
  7. Best practice: „Already little deviations to the standard Apple TV UI, can eventually pose a bigger challenge for the development than an iOS app.“ SVEN JANSEN , DEVELOPMENT CELLULAR STICK TO THE APPLE GUIDELINES
  8. Best practice: Apple TV works different from other TV boxes. The all new touch remote changes the interaction with the box and implies new UI principles. STICK TO THE APPLE GUIDELINES Best practice: Showtime Recommendations If you decide to deviate from the guidelines, your layout needs to create a new value for the user Use interface elements from UI Kit
  9. Best practice: MAKE FOCUS OBVIOUS „The speed of the Touch Remote is one of the best features on the new Apple TV. Therefore, a clear focus is essential for a good orientation.“ TARA WESTON , CREATION CELLULAR
  10. Best practice: While using the Apple TV, the user sits at a distance and needs to have a clear view on what he is doing and where he is navigating. Additionally, he is able to skip through content extremely quickly. MAKE FOCUS OBVIOUS Best practice: ZDF App Recommendations Therefore content needs to be clearly visible at all times Add certain information when your item comes on focus. Apple for example is adding the title Don’t let other content distract your focus
  11. Best practice: „Don’t see the focus as a limitation, but as a chance.“ JOHANNA OPPENHEIM , CREATION CELLULAR DISCOVER THE FOCUS AS A VALUE
  12. Best practice: Focus gains a totally new and higher significance on TV and needs to be rethought. DISCOVER THE FOCUS AS VALUE Recommendations See, that focus on TV gives you a whole new level to show information Know, that focus on a TV Box works completely different than a mouse over in web and is of way greater importance Distinguish which information need to always be shown and which on focus Best practice: Airbnb
  13. Best practice: „The remote does not support diagonal directions. Therefore you should avoid diagonal routes for your user.“ THORSTEN JONAS , CREATION CELLULAR NO DIAGONAL NAVIGATION
  14. Best practice: Even though the touch remote invites the user to make diagonal touch gestures, the Apple TV does not support diagonal navigation. NO DIAGONAL NAVIGATION Best practice: Movies Recommendations Build a structure that is easy to use with up, down, left and right navigation Arrange contents in vertical and horizontal lines and avoid dimensional grids If that’s not possible, change your structure and stay with one of the templates
  15. Best practice: „Finally I can touch the TV without having to get up from the couch.“ JÖRN SIEDENTOPP , CREATION CELLULAR USE THE TOUCH PAD WISELY
  16. Best practice: The new Apple TV remote works completely different than all other remotes. It has a touch pad, which enables a much faster navigation and uses a floating instead of a fixed focus, for example. USE THE TOUCH PAD WISELY Recommendations Make use of animations as a result to an user interaction to explain context whenever possible Support the users feeling of touching the interface by providing teasers with parallax effect
  17. Best practice: „Simplicity and reduction need to be the guiding principles during the creation process.“ SIMONE BRAUNER , CREATION CELLULAR REDUCE
  18. Best practice: The Apple TV impresses with its light and airy design, which only works without overloaded screens. Furthermore, no one wants to read long copies on TV. REDUCE Best practice: Airbnb Recommendations Detect the essential information Know at what point which information is relevant for your user Try to show as much information as possible by using images
  19. Best practice: „Latency in visual feedback to touch input can harm the user experience extremely. That‘s why we made every effort in optimizing the performance of the user interface.“ KAI HUPPMANN , DEVELOPMENT CELLULAR PERFORMANCE DEFINES THE QUALITY
  20. Best practice: The new Apple TV lives through its fluent and vivid navigation. Every jiggle strikes even more attention than on mobile devices. People are used to having their TV work perfectly at all times. PERFORMANCE DEFINES THE QUALITY Best practice: Plex Recommendations Technology builds the basis Improve the performance of your app and make it work perfectly for your user Performance is a feeling - Use structure, UX, UI, and technology to generate this feeling
  21. Best practice: „TV is great, because it is getting personal.“ GUNNAR HAMM, CREATION CELLULAR BE EMOTIONAL
  22. Best practice: The TV is the flagship for big and beautiful visuals. Make every screen a cinematic experience BE EMOTIONAL Best practice: Yummly Recommendations Don’t try to fill every empty space Use rather less content and arrange it generously Avoid tiny artwork, but use fullscreen images to support the cinematic feeling
  23. Best practice: A TV app should be as easy to use as the TV itself. Naturally this leads to one principle:
  24. Thank you. CELLULAR Hamburg, Germany Thorsten Jonas Head of Concept Tara Weston Concept Constantin Rueff Design Credits: Apple TV Product Photos by Apple, ZDF App Photos by CELLULAR