Hi again everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a comprehensive Infuse redesign—and I do plan on getting back to the tvOS one sooner or later—but for now I’d like to just drop some ideas I’ve been working on for a top-to-bottom refresh of the iOS app. I’ll try to keep the writing to a minimum, but I would be remiss if I didn’t note a couple of things:
- First and foremost, as per usual, this is a big work in progress. I’m still getting all of the already-available features ported over, and pretty much everything here is subject to change.
- Second, since I use Infuse primarily through Plex, most of this redesign assumes you’re using that specific user experience. I’d eventually like to cover every use case, but until I get feedback on how things work via Jellyfin, Dropbox, manual syncing, etc., I won’t be able to make any changes for those specific services.
- Third, I did my best not to reinvent the wheel—if Infuse does something well, I didn’t see any point in changing it. As such, the look and feel should be relatively similar to what we have now.
Okay, enough preamble. Onto the redesign!
The first thing I wanted to do with this redesign is consolidate the onboarding process into a single “Welcome to Infuse” card to better comply with Apple’s onboarding guidelines. I just pulled the text from Firecore’s own website, but it can be swapped out for pretty much anything. No more swiping through multiple tabs—just click continue and you’re good to go.
Home was the easiest thing to redesign since I borrowed pretty much everything from Infuse’s current UI. The only major additions are a new search bar (hidden by default), and the introduction of a new tabbed interface to help quickly navigate through the app. “Movies” and “TV Shows” function in the exact same way that “All Movies” and “All TV Shows” does now—pooling all of your movies and tv shows from all of your sources in a single place. Just tap, scroll, and watch!
For those that are a little more finicky about their library management, you can find individual sources, libraries, folders, files, and favorites in the new “Library” tab, which basically functions in the same way as Files now does. (I’m working on a way to pin favorites directly to the Home Screen, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve thought through its design.)
Keen eyes will notice that the top refresh button is gone. In this design, you simply pull to refresh! Still, I’m not opposed to bringing that icon back for those that want a dedicated button.
Additionally, the top carousel now surfaces recent episodes instead of seasons to quickly get you into the content you want—just tap anywhere on the Backdrop and the video will start playing.
Now available as a dedicated tab, “Movies” aggregates your entire movie collection in an easy-to-find, easy-to-navigate spot. It looks almost identical to what we have now—I didn’t really see that many problems with this section. I did take the liberty of toning down the accent colors a bit, updating the iconography, and adding a scroll bar on the side to quickly scrub your library alphabetically.
What is new is the landing page for the movies themselves. I’ve kept the large header image (since I think it looks really cool) but have shifted the background image to TMDB’s Backdrops instead of Posters. I also pulled a few other things from TMDB, too: custom logos are now used (if available), as well as links to trailers. If the movie is a part of a collection, it’ll show the collection as well (still working on that mockup!). And below all of that, I’ve prettied up the file information section just a bit.
Note that on the Home mockup there’s an Apple Music-esque bar which shows the currently playing video and its playback location. This was more of a throwaway thing, but a few of you have asked for a Plex-like remote built into Infuse to control playback straight from the app. It’s pretty bare-bones right now, but I’m hoping to add things like subtitle adjustment, and AirPlay/Google Cast location. Additionally, I’m hoping to make the little Info button in the bottom right provide you with quick access to chapters, a rearrangeable queue, and maybe even some trivia. Still working on this mockup too!
By design, “TV Shows” looks and feels similar to “Movies” in terms of design—and just like “Movies”, “TV Shows” now surfaces metadata for the actual show itself rather than just dropping you into the season picker. Trailers, Cast and Crew, Collections, and Information will be available for shows just like they are for Movies, but since I mocked up one, I didn’t feel the need to mock up the other.
I almost forgot! I also moved the download button front and center—Just tap the download icon and Infuse will start downloading without the need to dig into another menu. (You can tap again to delete a download, or manage all your downloads under Library > Downloads (mockup pending). To keep the language more consistent with other services, I’ve also changed the renamed Synced to Downloaded.
Because the big hero image is now at the tv show level, I’ve redesigned the actual episode list using a literal list instead of a carousel for easier navigation. I’ll admit that it’s a bit cramped right now, so I might reduce the episode thumbnails in a later iteration. If you’d rather download a season instead of a whole show, you can also do it with a single tap here.
The video player itself now uses an overlay that mimics the system-wide video player built into iOS. It’s pretty much exactly the same, save the skip back and forward being 30 seconds (I think that’s what Infuse uses?) and I’ve added an Advanced Settings section to the context menu in order to fine-tune audio, video, and subtitle settings (mockup coming soon!). The subtitle button you see here only allows you to choose subtitles—if you want to change fonts and backgrounds and size and whatnot, head to Advanced Settings.
Looking Towards The Future
That’s pretty much everything for now! As I previously mentioned, this is just a couple of hours of work over the last two days, so forgive me if things feel rough around the edges, or if your favorite features aren’t yet implemented. I’ve got some ideas in the pipeline and some other mockups on the way (like Settings, which I haven’t even touched yet), but I think for right now I’m just going to take a well-needed break before throwing myself into all of this again.
As always, feedback is welcomed, so please let me know what you think!