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Air

A new generation of digital asset management tools for enterprise teams.

Air Labs was founded in 2017 by 2 Stanford grads with a track record of successful projects focused around streaming video. Early iterations of the platform focused on consumer experiences and limitless video storage, but the focus shifted to team collaboration around both video and photos.

I came aboard as first hire in March 2017 and immediately began a discovery process with the founders to figure out messaging and how we wanted to position the product. For months, we researched, sketched, and wrote before beginning to mock up what a more robust digital asset management app could look like, starting with onboarding and authentication.

Authentication screens, Air for iOS

As more React devs came on board, we collaborated to build a custom camera, asset galleries, and collections that used in-house transcoders, plus additional UIs for adding tags, description, and other metadata.

Camera, gallery, floating action, player, asset details

As we transitioned to an enterprise self-service model and picked up more users, we built out the web experience which included customized Boards for presentation, dashboards, and image recognition. With enterprise came the idea of team workspaces with membership management and granular permissions.

Login, Sign up
Asset gallery, dashboard

As designs matured, our design system became more codified and I focused on issues like process, vocabulary, and communication with dev teams so that the system could facilitate handoff more easily.

Partial pattern library in Figma

We also used Storybook to create public-facing documentation that defined everything from brand guidelines to writing voice, SVG icons, and common UI components with the goal of syncing Figma with Storybook and Github for more seamless deployment.

Excerpts from Zephyr design system

Darren is one of the most thoughtful designers I know. He thinks in terms of reusable components, always finding ways to build consistency and efficiency into his designs and design system. I can't recommend him strongly enough.

Tyler Strand, CTO of Air

Beatport Live

Live is the lastest product on the Beatport roadmap, a streaming DJ platform to broadcast live sets.

In 2004, Beatport began as an online store and news hub for electronic music culture. When it was purchased by SFX in 2013, it became part of a larger umbrella that included ticketing, live events and streaming music. As more energy was being placed around large festivals, SFX strategized how to develop tools to deliver the live experience to fans around the world.

In January 2015, I came on board to create a distinctive theme and overall design language for the new product that would be consistent across many contexts: streaming channel pages, branded events, DJ dashboards, ads, and a Mac desktop app. My first challenge was to design the web-based channel pages that would capture the frenetic feel of a live event:

While working with developers to build out artist and event pages, I also began sketching the forthcoming Mac app. The app uses native audio and video sources for livestreaming events, queuing upcoming streams, and tracking stats in real time. I worked closely with a Mac developer to design and build something consistent with our web products and still feel native:

Login screen, Beatport Live for Mac
Live
Control panel window, Beatport Live for Mac

In parallel with Mac app designs, I also put together a marketing page to promote new features and invite DJs to be whitelisted for early access:

Marketing and download page, Beatport Live for Mac

Results: in 6 months, the Live product has evolved from a wireframe sketch to a multi-platform service with a web-based dashboard, Mac app, branding partnerships and successful streams for international festivals like Tomorrowland which attract up to a half-million simultaneous viewers. Live content also factored into the 2015 deal with Spotify.