Design logic, Folders and smart folders

Hi James & team,

I hope you don’t mind in this posting i will make many assumptions about your ideas and where you want to go. But i do think its important that you share a little if you agree or not since it would help me and other beta testers not only to find bugs put also possible solutions that don’t break your idea of how the product should behave.

Infuse vs the rest on design :

Looking at aflash and now infuse it seems you try to follow apples design logic and more or less extend the appletv with features that they didn’t have. This is 100% different than many other products out now that either seem to follow xmb/flex kind of way or make up something all by them selves. For me and i am guessing many others this is what i feel is a massive advantage you have but also means that like apple you have to add new features slowly and with the same care as apple. The goal of your designer (correct me if i am wrong) is to make sure that appletv user feels ‘at home’ as if the app was designed by someone in the appletv design team.

Hidden design problem :

This is not talked about much with but apple is very good in adding complex features over time without changing the way it works for people who don’t need or don’t know about the features yet. The result is that if you give a iphone 3gs user a iphone 6s he/she still feels at home and knows what todo even if there are many poweruser features hidden for people who want them or are ready to learn of be helped. Examples are folders, 3d touch, notifications all are designed in such a way that if you don’t know they are there your life will be fine and you can use the iphone as expected but if you do it opens new doors. My guess is since you want to follow apple moves with tvOS and be the mediaplayer that normal users can use (unlike if you ask me flex style apps) but do want to add more powerful features and people will demand them mostly in the organising and searching area where once infuse on the appletv gets used more people will get more content and as a result need solutions so work with it (you can’t have a list of 2000+ movies).

So long intro to a idea i have on how to resolve searching and grouping of content, Please tell me if i am on the right track or not.

Folders :

Apple with the new tvOS release will add folders so we can group apps, they do this in a ‘hidden’ way like on the iphone and ipad. If people don’t know how todo it thats fine but once you know how to ‘wiggle’ and drag you are all set. All apple users will feel right at home and the problem is solved. I think you should follow their lead and allow us on the main/first screen to have folders with content selected from any of the shares.

If you do this people can ‘design’ what they want per folder from people making folders for their kids to folders for their adult content, but also if they have too much time per genre (since you store links not real files to shares). If you do this when people first use infuse its still the same and easy to follow but once they start making these folders they can create as many ‘top’ level folders they want and organise the content how they see fit. But this is very limited and doesn’t solve the search on genre problem.

Smart-Folders :

Apple has for years supported smart-folders on osx, they are folders that don’t have a fixed list of files in them but show the result of a search query the best example is ‘recent’ folders that always shows you the files you created the last 24hours or the color tags folders that allow you to tag files and if you open the orange folder it shows you all these files. You can make very complex smart-folders that would be perfect for infuse. a few examples :

  • folder with movies between 1900 and 1920
  • folder with movies genre action
  • folder with short movies (for kids)

This way people could ‘design’ their own folders to navigate through their content. And more important you split the task in setting these up from using them. You only need one person in the house to make them and grandma/kids only need to use these folders. This gets more fun if you like apple with smart folders allow multiple filters.

  • folder with action and thrillers year between 1960 and 1980 with a playlength of max 90min (its already 22:30 so i don’t want >3 hour movie).
  • folder with kids movies we have not seen in >120 days (you all know why you can only handle the the little mermaid so much).

This allows everybody to have their own interface but also solves a more important problem in keeping the end result interface simple. For example if you would add genres in any other way how many genres would you add to your search pulldown 5,10,50 ? would you allow for filter search etc etc.

The next problem is how do you create selections if nice folders since the above will work but the user has to spend some time making these smart folders. Say they want 10 genres they would have to create 10 folders and set them all to filter one genre at a time. But this can be solved/helped by adding wizards later that help them create these folders and maybe even siri can help once that interface is open up :

‘siri please make a folder with action movies from the 1980’s’

Lastly i think it would be possible to grow this into a sharing concept where people could share these ‘folders’ almost like playlists in spotify and you could reuse that for new users to quickly get started.

I know if you read this all it sounds complex but if you check it step by step you will see it follows the apple rules and concepts they will be adding anyway. Also its a ‘hidden’ solution each step can be added by the user if they want and if they don’t thats fine the interface will be the same as before.

I could supply more ideas, designs, flow diagrams etc etc but would prefer some feedback first from you and other beta testers. I also fully understand that this is a ‘big’ features and this will maybe still take 6 months but searching/organise has to be solved at some point and it would be very helpful to know what direction you want to travel. So some feedback would be helpful.


PS: i can now also upload pictures in the forum did you turn this on or did i overlook this before ?

James since you decided not to reply even with a short remark am i to assume that beta-testers sharing ideas is not wanted ?. I think its a pity if you guys don’t share some hints to how you are thinking with us on ‘big’ problems and features. I ask because i have some much smaller requests/ideas for how to make zoom much better but if you as a rule don’t reply on these types of posts i won’t post them.

Not really upset but wonder how beta-testers can help more than simple bug reports and tests.


Sorry - I saw this when you originally posted it, and meant to reply but must have gotten distracted. I appreciate all the thought and detail you put into the post, and your effort definitely deserves a response.

Anyways - we are definitely planning to implement something like this, and in fact it will be much like what we had in the later versions of Infuse on the ATV2 (if you ever had a chance to use that). In essence, it will let you create a Favorite from just about anything. This could be a folder, a category, a genre, a release date, or even a search phrase.

The search/favorite option was the most powerful, as it meant you weren’t limited by categories that someone else decided and you could create a favorite for virtually anything. Want to have a Favorite for the Harry Potter Series? Done. How about movies starring Tom Cruise. All set.

Granted, at this point Infuse for iOS and tvOS is light years different from what we had on the ATV2, so it will take a bit of time to reimplement this - but the idea is the same, and should work even better once Apple decides to open up Siri for apps like Infuse.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

PS - Yes, the attachment option was added in the last week or so. :wink:

Ok no problem just wanted to make sure it was not a rule that you followed only to reply to bugs (which i would understand btw being in the same position sometimes). I have/had aflash for AppleTV never knew it also had a infuse release can i still have access to this to see/compare might be helpful. If i would have known i would probably compared it to that and not tried to explain the whole idea about smart-folders. But i have to admit i mostly posted it to see if you wanted to take this direction because the last thing i want is 999 visual options (say for genres) like some other interfaces.

I know this topic is a huge one and it will time to implement so ill share a simply idea for zoom this weekend that should be simple to implement and makes that function more powerful.

Have a nice weekend,


Just wanted to agree with both of you by adding that Daniel’s Smart Folders request would be a killer move!!

I’m also still a big Infuse on Apple TV2 user, so James… it excites me to know that the Search/Favorite is a possible feature sometime in the future…