BBC iPlayer

Senior UI Designer. London 2015



Android Auto is a simpler way to use your phone in the car. Whether on your phone screen or on your car display, they designed Android Auto with safety and convenience in mind. With larger touch targets, a simplified interface, and Google Assistant, it's designed to minimise distraction so you can stay focused on the road.

The BBC approached Somewhat_ for a proof of concept to show what the iPlayer app would look like on the Android Auto platform and to analyse and assess what the capabilities and technology requirements would be.


Android Auto was officially released in June 2014 at the Google I/O 2014 keynote. The automotive industry was building in-car displays as standard in all new vehicles and so this was a great move by Google to evolve its Android platform. Because of this industry and the variety of laws associated with driving there were huge challenges to overcome and so it was imperative that I followed Google's Android auto guidelines meticulously. 



I spent a vast amount of time going over every detail of Google's Android auto design documentation, it was important to get every detail just right. The documentation was restrictive in what I could do with the design language, however I ensured that I styled the app to fit with the BBC's brand guideline as much as possible. 

Because of the complexities of designing for something with so many legal restrictions, I could understand why Google kept things very simple and unambiguous. For instance, apps had to use the system typeface Roboto, which was specifically for smaller screens, and colour could only be used on sparingly. Interactions were also very limited as these could cause accidents by distracting the driver.


UI components

After I had read the Google android auto guidelines, I then explored Material UI patterns and how these might work with the BBC iPlayer brand guidelines. As they limited me to what colours I could use, and typography, I had to ensure that I expressed the brand enough for the user's to recognise that it belonged to the BBC. I also had to ensure that it was a simple and effortless UI and experience so that there was no confusion caused for the driver / user.


Final concept

The final output is a blend of Google material design and the BBC iplayer visual language. It's stripped back to remove any uncertainty within the app and heavily focuses on minimal but utilitarian design.


Anthony Eamens 2020©

Anthony Eamens 2020©