DTS UX Asset Library

As I worked on many DTS apps and app concepts, both internal and for studio and device partners, I quickly learned the value of creating a library of reusable assets. Working in cooperation with my graphic design coworkers, we eventually built up a extensive library of visual assets that we could quickly drop into wireframes and screen mockups.

This UX Asset Library provided multiple benefits. First, it allowed us to speed up our visual design concepting by eliminating the need to repeatedly search for this kind of content online. Second, it eliminated the risk of copyright infringement. All assets were either original works or used licensed images. Third, it avoided the risk of alienating partners. For example, when showing concepts to Studio A, we wouldn't risk their ire by showing concepts that featured movies or artists from Studio B.

My Role: Creative director. I guided the graphic designers with requirements and art direction. The graphic designers created these visual assets. Additional information about this project is available for discussion upon request.

Faux Music Artists

As an audio technology company, most of our wireframes and screen mockups included album art or still images from music videos. The first collection in the UX Asset Library was album art for about a half dozen "music artists" that we completely made up.

I created most of the list of artist names and genres, and gave each artist a list of album and song names. Later, we found stock images using the same models to give the impression of stills from their music videos. These were used in phone, tablet and automotive HMI app concepts.

Our faux music artists included:

  • Ada White: Miami Limited Blues
  • Alex Keyes: Totally Thinkable
  • Ana J. Michaud: In the Lonely Hour
  • Burson: Where It's At
  • Katie Kilpatrick: Hometown Pride. See the artist app concept.
  • Mark Bennett: The Missing Karma
  • Vickie Purdie: The Best of Twenty Days in New York

Alex Keyes Album Art Alex Keyes Video Still Katie Kilpatrick Album Art Katie Kilpatrick Video Still Ada White Album Art

Faux Movies

The next collection we developed in the UX Asset Library features a half dozen faux movie posters and stills. We created this set with the first set of concept movie streaming and video on demand apps we designed.

For each of the movies, we gave them a list of actors and a director, plus other meta-data like duration, which we used consistently in our UX deliverables. These were used in phone, tablet and Xbox app concepts.

Our faux movies included:

  • Addicted to Dance: Romantic drama
  • Biofire: Sci-fi
  • One Thing About You: Romantic comedy
  • Sweet December: Romantic drama
  • Precognition: Sci-fi
  • Viking Clan: Fantasy drama

Biofire Movie Poster Biofire Movie Still Sweet December Movie Poster Sweet December Movie Still Precognition Movie Poster

Faux Brands

Over time, we developed a handful of faux brands, as well. The one we used most often was "Humbolt", a faux brand for audio products such as headphones and speakers. For each of the faux audio consumer electronics brands, we gave them a list of products, mostly headphones and earbuds, including product names and licensed photos or 3D device models.

We followed this strategy to avoid alienating any of our real audio product partners. We couldn't show up at a sales meeting for Company A showing screen mockups for an important new audio initiative that featured Company B's products. That kind of a situation needed to be avoided.

We also designed a logo for a faux competitor to DTS rather than putting, for example, Dolby's logo in the screen mockups. The faux Phoenix AccuHD logo would be shown as an option in an PC or Xbox app as one of the user's choices. (And naturally, the user would choose DTS!)

In addition, we created a list of faux brands for streaming music, movie and video on demand companies. DTS sells audio enhancement SDKs directly to such companies, so it was useful to create wireframes and screen mockups to help partners imagine how they might integrate DTS technologies.

Fun side note: We created all of these faux brands using DTS brand colors, naturally. These were used in phone, tablet and Xbox app concepts.

Our faux brands included:

  • Phoenix AccuHD: Audio technology competitor
  • Aco: Audio consumer electronics (CE)
  • Humbolt: Audio CE
  • Naut Audio: Audio CE
  • Nira: Audio CE
  • TNKR: Audio CE
  • Athena: Streaming music service (the owl design). See the related app design concept case study.
  • Kino: Streaming video
  • Moko: Video on demand
  • Nena

Phoenix AccuHD: Audio technology competitor Humbolt: Audio CE Naut Audio: Audio CE Athena: Streaming music service Kino: Streaming video

Faux Radio Station Logos

While working on a new automotive infotainment HMI system for HD Radio, we needed to add a new collection to the library: AM, FM, satellite, podcasting, and similar station and content logos. For each of the faux stations, we gave them call letters, tag lines and genres to provide coverage for a wide range of wireframe and screen mockup contexts.

Concepts for the HMI for HD Radio's new Connected Radio service focused mostly on FM HD Radio scenarios, along with some DAB scenarios in the United Kingdom. (DAB is the digital radio standard for much of Europe and other regions.)

One lesson learned: To improve portability between U.S. and U.K. radio usage contexts, we ultimately removed the frequency numbers from the station logos. In Europe, the FM frequency is less important to consumers compared to U.S. listeners. We also needed to add rectangular versions of each logo for automotive HMI use cases in Europe.

Our faux radio station and audio content logos included:

  • 94.5 FM - The Answer
  • 100.1. FM - Beam
  • 612 AM - SWEL
  • 1550 AM - Hook
  • Satellite Ch. 33 - Fresh Pour: Alt rock
  • Satellite Ch. 123 - The Call: Sports news and talk
  • Story Zoo with Chad Smith: Podcast

94.5 FM - The Answer: Square Logo for FM and HD Radio 100.1. FM - Beam: Rectangular Logo for DAB and Europe Satellite Ch. 33 - Fresh Pour: Square Logo for U.S. Satellite Ch. 123 - The Call: Square Logo for U.S. Story Zoo with Chad Smith: Podcast: Square Logo for U.S.