IS&T 2016 Intern Summer

Reference: Jaylon Lam

Tools: Axure RP, Adobe Illustrator

Update: The idea behind this app concept was used in creating IS&T's Phantom application


In the summer of 2016 I was a UX design intern on the AVCN (audio video content network) team under IS&T. The AVCN team is in charge of all internal video streaming and conferencing across all departments of Apple. I was given total creative freedom on a project I ideated, prototyped, and helped execute. At the end of my internship, I presented this idea and clickable prototypes to a panel of higher execs of IS&T.



I began my project by establishing a clear goal -- To design an internal application to deliver targeted, relevant, and accessible live & time-shifted video and rich media articles on the  TV to Apple employees globally. After specifying a clear goal, I defined what each word meant and what features of content would be associated with them (such as trainings, NPIs, an emergency alert system, and Apple Web articles).



To understand the relationships within the task domain, this entity relationship diagram shows how user and program demands can be translated into input and interpreted by the application.


Once I broke down the application into its various features and how they relate to each other, I mapped out various scenarious of how a user would interact with the application.



Step 4 in the process was identifying our user group. A user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of a hypothesized group of users

After interviewing with various people on different teams, i identified some pain points that they have with their work in general to try and see how i could help accommodate them through my application (for ex. Clark really wants to keep up with trainings, but circumstances seem to be out of his favor when it comes to attending them).

But, for some reason i was finding it extremely difficult to make personas because with the variety of features I wanted to have on the app, the user could really be just anyone, which is how we realized our goal was just too general and unfocused



As amazing it would be if I could please everyone in one single app, it's just not possible for an app with focus and trying to do this would just have produced a lot of unnecessary features. That being said, I needed to refocus my goal in order to design the most impactful and intuitive project. My new goal was as follows -- 

To foster an environment where teams are encouraged to passionately engage, and where curated livestream and team targeted, time-shifted video on the Apple TV becomes the center for discussion.

The Breakdown

In simpler terms, my new goal meant means creating an application where teams can easily access relevant and organized videos. So instead of starting by going through and defining each of the key words, I looked towards the bigger picture. 

In my new goal we really wanted to put emphasis on the fact that this app will encourage team viewings and I divided that up into three features:

  1. Channels (one for content available to all Apple employees based on what team you’re on and what videos you would have access to).
  2. A curated livestream.
  3. Then, ultimately added a home page to keep everything easily accessible and organized and also for personalization, such as having a favorites and recommended video section.



I began with 3 main designs for this app concept.



I wanted to take a colorful and playful approach to icon design for recorded videos listed on the application. I went with a literal illustrative approach to the design.



After I designed the prototype, I had to consider that all internal Apple video content needs to be authenticated, so came up with the idea for second screen iteration.

  • iPhone application downloaded via Switchboard 
  • Input verification code shown on  TV into iPhone app
  • Informative feedback provided on both iPhone and  TV showing that the user has logged in 
  • Disclaimer to put more responsibility on the user for keeping their private content away from other unauthenticated or undisclosed users


Links to download video recordings of both the final design and second screen iteration can be found here via Attaché.

The file(s) will be available to download until Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 23:59 PM PDT.


As for next steps, I came up with some things I'd want to explore if I had more time on the project:

  1. Fine-tune the UI design to fit more closely with Apple Standards' look and feel guide
  2. Usability testing on our TVML beta version of the app, seeings how intuitive the app is to an outside user
  3. Summarize data gathered from the usability tests
  4. Lastly, refine the prototype



As IS&T gets bigger, ability to keep people informed is crucial. And making video accessible and delivering personalized / relevant content is a great form of communication

Not only this, but Apple TV as a platform, especially in the conference rooms in AC2, changes a screen experience from something you do by yourself on a computer to something you do with a team and the knowledge gained through collaboration and even a sense of camaraderie is pretty unparalleled.

And lastly, it’s also  not just the content that we are delivering, but the intuitive experience this app provides will keep people coming back.


Key Takeaways

As frustrating as it was to realize that my original goal and the preparation that followed wasn’t realistic to continue to pursue, I came to terms with it and was able to come up with another, more well focused project to execute that I think will make a real impact.

  • Accept and grow from constructive criticism: be open to listening to other people’s opinions on your work because it will only help you see things from another perspective and ultimately improve your work
  • Consider limitations of platform: I had actually never touched an Apple TV before coming to Apple. Making sure all gestures fit with the appleTV remote was definitely something I had to constantly remind myself 
  • I really appreciated the support my entire team gave me during my 3 months at Apple & especially my manager, Ryan's encouragement for me to continue being creative and pushing boundaries. And, although i think it’s important to consider the limitations of your platform, i think it’s equally as important to be unconventional too because thinking outside of the box is how innovation happens.

Thank you AVCN team for an amazing intern summer!