Plex

It's really hard to summarize more than seven years of work at a company like Plex.

I've done so many things I'm sure I'm going to forget to mention a lot of them, so I'm going to focus on naming at least a few of the highlights and features I've loved to work on during this time.

Role

Product Designer

Disciplines

UX / Visual / Animation / Research

Year

Since 2014

First thing: A full iOS app redesign!

Plex needed to do a whole revamp of their iOS app, which was designed with system components at that time. After the work I did on iShows, the idea was to mimic the same visual approach.

We wanted to simplify navigation and interaction as much as possible, although the number of options we offered to the user at the time was a stepping stone in the works. So after some exploration, research, and feedback from both Product and Engineer teams, we decided to go for a bare minimum approach and start building from there.

I loved that first project at Plex. It was a great opportunity to learn about the knots and bolts of the engineering process and was an amazing lesson on how to balance functionality and aesthetics with performance and usage.

Improving the workflow

When I joined Plex, I suggested a change of tools and flows to be more agile and more fluent communication-wise with the rest of the teams.

We dropped Photoshop and started using Sketch, along with some other tools like Zeplin. We decide to create a design repo to host all design files and, even at that time, we had something similar to version control for our Sketch files.

We created... Well, I came up with the idea but it was thanks to my wonderful iOS programming workmates that we developed a Sketch Plugin that populates our design components with real data from a special server with beautiful, curated content. That way, everyone who needed to create a mockup wouldn't have to worry about finding content for it since the plugin did all the work. Even Marketing used it to create imagery assets for Newsletters and other communication pieces.

Let's play

One of the benefits of working at Plex is that you can think, explore, and design for several platforms: TV, Mobile, and Desktop.

This offers a holistic way of thinking and solving issues while you need to think of the different design nuances that each platform has: Just have in mind about the different input of these platforms.

And that was one of the best challenges I had on Plex: Having to design the different players (both video and audio) we have across clients and platforms.

Our Design System

A couple of years ago, we decided to switch to Figma, mainly because it provided a workflow quite similar to what we had at that time (online repo, development handoff...) and also gave us a way to collaborate and co-design while we're on meetings, speeding things up quite a bit.

I'm not going to say that it was a smooth transition. We had to rebuild plugins and design system files, but we took it as an opportunity to change to improve our visual components and make them much more versatile and scalable.

Now we have an amazing Design System that supports any changes, additions, or tweaks in a simpler way, and provides a good balance between visual consistency across clients (TV, Web, Mobile) and platform-specific navigation and interaction patterns.

Goals Achieved

Working in a company means success is a team effort. Saying the contrary would be wrong. And the good thing about working as a team is that every one of us can develop our strengths.

In my case, I like to approach every new feature, interaction, and ultimately visual design, with a clean, minimalistic approach to simplify processes for the user. My experience says that everything could get more complicated quite easily so the cleaner and simpler the starting point is, the better.

I'm also pretty excited about animation as a visual layer, not only in terms of aesthetics but also as a narrative and informative component. I've had the chance to improve that experience at Plex as well, doing from preload and micro animations, to fullscreen intros to empower the brand.

As I was described in a meeting "He's our animation guy"... So I guess I can do birthday parties.

Other Works

Image Preview 5

Product Design

iShows

Motion Graphics

Moomios