New Apple TV Design

I started a design for the apple tv as I think it will/can work. One realization in the process is that TV itself is less important.. what a more important (and difficult) problem to solve is the remote – working on it, but the core element of that will be that it’ll be a gestures based control with only 1 other button – so that’s the constraint  I’ll work with. So more on that to come, here are the screens from my Apple TV designs in progress.

Hardware Design

Simple, end to end glass in the from. A simple stand like iMac.

Launch: Just an Apple logo which appears and disappears softly. I think apple might want to call this one iTV (as it is no more a “hobby”).

Home Screen: The core ideas here are:

a) Most commonly people would want to view one of the main categories (TV Channels, Movies, iCloud Content, Apps) or from what the channels recently saw or movie they left half way. I debated the idea of favorites and it seems less useful.. instead making the product understand the preferences if a better model. So no separate favorites list.

b) Navigation is simple left -right and up and down.

c) Search is missing right now, need to find the best way for that but that also ties to the remote design.

TV Experience

A simple full screen experience.

TV Channel Menu

As one taps on the remote, a panel opens from the left. The reason for left is that content is more readable this way. It has following components:

a) Search on the top – to jump to a channel
b) Tabs – with Info,  Full channel list (which will have categories like sports, news etc) and DVR/History (always per-recorded, no user action required)

Information about the channel (under Info icon). This displays the name of the channel, channel number, duration (need to also show how much is over), and star rating (source to be defined), and description.

The DVR I think can be super simpler , where user does not need to record anything but Apple records every show on every channel (HD and Non-HD) and keeps it. Now one can just click the History Icon and view a list of everything recorded. No head-aches of setting a time to record, or not being able to record one or the other.

The DVR would be advertisement free. Again, all navigation is left-right and up-down.

slide up to access search, or left and right to move across tabs.


This core design pattern now scales to apply to all other sections.


User selects movies from the Home Screen, and sees all movies available from one or more services they subscribed. For example if I have subscribed to Netflix and Apple’s movie services, I see a catalog from both. I can choose to see only from one or see from both. This way I focus on movies and not go from service to service.

The left panel here would allow access to search and different movie genres.


The left panel allows access to my music, photos, movies, games in iCloud.

Overall this model scales very well and works with a trackpad based remote.

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