It's safe to say that devotees of the Star Wars franchise may be the most intense movie fans of all. So when Disney came to me to design a companion app for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was excited to create a tailored experience for a captive audience. But the turn-around for this project was incredibly tight to coincide with the pre-order of the movie. The challenge was clear: How do I efficiently design an app for the fan that already has everything?
Despite a quick turn-around, I still deferred to research to frame my challenge. I discovered that Star Wars fans may have instant access to the latest news and leaks, but movie-watchers opting to stream were missing out on bonus videos and exclusive clips available only on DVD. Furthermore, there was no distinct set-top experience — arguably the optimal way to interact with the film. I decided to design a mobile and Apple TV experience that allowed for pre-orders and highlighted bonus content.
By integrating the app with the iTunes store, users can order all the Star Wars movies. To encourage new fans to purchase, I designed a "Collection" page that displayed the movies needed to complete the series. Using visual cues like a lock icon over the play button, bonus content from unowned movies were enticing to watch. Finally I designed the video player to auto-play bonus content for a fully engaging experience.
I took advantage of the latest Apple TV guidelines by creating a "galaxy" feel for the 10-foot experience. The TV experience shares the same capabilities as the mobile app, but I recreated the video newsfeed as a grid floating in space. This carried this immersive space design throughout the app.
In less than a month, I designed an iOS app and a 4th generation Apple TV experience that aligned with the pre-order of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not only did the designs entice users to purchase the movie by highlighting bonus videos, but the app encouraged fans to complete their entire Star Wars collection.