DTS "Athena" Music App Concept (2014)
The DTS Headphone:X immersive audio enhancement technology could be integrated into a third party app, such as a video retailer or streaming music service. I created multiple concepts for third party apps to discuss a range of ideas for integration, including this one for a faux streaming music service. By making up a streaming music service, we can have realistic conversations with companies in that space without alienating anyone. In addition, I can control the conversation to illustrate important story points which help to showcase a range of possibilities. Posted here are screen mockups created by the graphic designer who worked with me on such projects.
Note how this concept highlights a faux recording artist named Alex Keyes. Working closely with the graphic designer, we created a half dozen faux recording artists, giving each of them backstories, album art, and even finding stock photos to use as stills from music videos. This work became the foundation for a large library of such reusable UX assets that we could quickly and easily incorporate into app concepts and screen mockups for internal use.
My Role: Lead UX designer and art director. Deliverables included concept designs and wireframes. The graphic designer executed the high resolution screen mockups shared here.
In this concept, there are four different featured stories at the top of the Home Screen in a carousel, one of them being a track from the (faux) artist Alex Keyes in a playlist called Hipster Cocktail Lounge. The section underneath shows the names of several mood-based playlists, then a list of recently accessed channels.
Home Screen - Side Navigation Panel
The side navigation panel provides access to additional major features in the app. At the top of the panel, it shows the name and picture of the authenticated user.
DTS Headphone:X Audio Options Overlay
When the user touches the "dts" icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then the app would display an audio options overlay. This overlay allows the user to identify which headphones are connected for the most optimal audio tunings, as well as try different stereo virtualization effects.
DTS Headphone:X - Headphone Selection Panel
Because smartphones can't automatically detect the headphone model when connected by 3.5 mm audio jack, the user must manually identify what is currently connected for the most optimal audio experience. In this concept, the app includes 5 generic audio tunings, plus any additional models the user has added to a personal collection (e.g., the faux Humbolt Commander model). When headphones aren't connected, a different set of audio enhancements would be active.
Now Playing Screen
An engaging design for an easy-to-code Now Playing Screen. The screen features the album art and the typical set of music player controls. Touch the "dts" icon just above the volume slider to display the DTS Headphone:X Audio Options Overlay.
Listening Profile Template Screen
This concept app also features the DTS Headphone:X personalization features. To enable the personalized audio enhancements, the user completes a hearing assessment process called the Listening Profile. Each screen is based on a template design and repeated for a total of 4 times. The user hears a special audio tone for each step at a different audio frequency, and is asked to dial down the volume until she can barely hear it any more. After completing these four steps, the DTS Headphone:X technology can estimate a user's hearing range and optimize the audio for that user. It's pretty cool as the audio sounds richer and more dynamic, with clearer spoken dialog. As one might imagine, this screen needed to adhere to strict psycho-acoustic requirements.
Stereo Preference Screen
This screen allowed the user to try out different stereo virtualization effects. The description and orange animation displayed with the headphones helped users better understand each option. During testing, users almost universally said, "Wow!" when they came to this screen and heard the effects live.