About the Project
PATH 1 is a leader in the IP video broadcasting industry. They originally came to DDSTUDIO for help with the design of server hardware for their product line named PiXiE. After the success of the hardware design, PATH 1 decided to come back to DDSTUDIO for help with their PiXiE Player, a web based software video encoder and decoder for the PiXiE MPEG-DASH content. This is a fancy way of saying a machine that transfers high quality video content over the internet.
Name: Gabe Myrick
Occupation: Outside Broadcast Operator
Goals in using the interface: Gabe wants to confidently and quickly connect to the broadcast studio from his news van. Once a connection is established, he will start sending though the video that he has captured.
Tools or devices: The tools that Gabe has is his laptop with an internet connection.
Prior Experience: Gabe has plenty of experience setting up connections to the broadcast studio. He knows exactly what IP addresses to enter and can understand what a good connection looks like from various statuses.
Name: Josh Richcreek
Occupation: Uplink Destination Operator
Goals in using the interface: Josh wants to monitor the connection of incoming streams of video into his studio.
Tools or devices: Josh has a console in front of him in which he views multiple monitors and jobs at a time.
Prior Experience: Although Josh is familiar with setting up a connection he is best at seeing and trouble shooting connection problems as video is streaming in.
Gabe is very good at setting up his equipment, but is always looking for ways to be faster and easier. He is on an assignment and has just shot video and needs to quickly feed it back to the main studio. He wants to do this quickly because the faster he can do this the faster he can get to his next assignment.
Josh is best at monitoring and reacting to changes in the system. He is a busy man with multiple things going on at once. He knows how to setup a connection but he doesn’t have to do this very often. If he does have to reopen a connection then he wants it to be quick and painless.
In this Visual Inspiration Board we see lots of geometry. The client was really drawn toward a geometric, tech savvy feel. But of course that is only skin deep, when we really look at this board we see a restrained use of texture, high contrast, and specific material choices. The use of ambient and indirect light are in almost every image where as really direct light is nowhere to be seen. These are the visual clues that I used to build the concepts for the next phase.
The structure of the interface comes from basic media players. The top portion of the User Interface tells the operator information about the current session. Such as time, date and if the session is “playing” or has been stopped. The bottom half of the interface is separated in to three tabs. These tabs are status, settings and support. Here, the operator can easily monitor and make changes to the connection. The support setting offers various resources for troubleshooting and contacting PATH1 for help.
The Setup for the Pixie is a 3-step wizard. The first step asks for information that is critical to setting up the connection. The system will check to see if that information is correct and begin connecting while the user moves on to other types of information. The next two steps ask for information that will be important to the user during the session. This helps Gabe quickly move through the connection process while also giving Josh time to find the information he needs to complete each step.
The visual design is bold and geometric. Vivid colors help the user understand what state the session is in. The subtle textures and lighting help separate various panels of information from the background. Much of the interface is text so an open Sans-serif type face is used to give a modern look and feel.
The Pixie Player has launched and has gained attention in the industry for being a robust tool with a great user experience. PATH 1 has recently partnered with another company, Bitmovin a cloud trans-coding system and streaming solutions company, in order to fully optimize the playback of video content over the internet. Pixie will be the main tool that technicians will interface with as this technology moves forward.