Interactive video app

The past week has been an exciting one for the Axonista team. Not only did we have 8 of our remote workers in town for our annual team get together, but we also had one of our infamous Lab Days!

At Axonista, Lab Days are a chance for our whole team to come together to use our tools and create new innovative ways of interacting with video.

We get to interact creatively with our product, step out of our comfort zones professionally, and bond with our coworkers, whether over a task or a pint of Guinness after a job well done!

And the only thing better than Lab Day is Lab Day Holiday Edition, and with December 25th just around the corner, the holiday spirit was in full swing at Axonista HQ.

The challenge for this Lab Day was to create an interactive holiday video app that features festive traditions from around the world.

We wanted this project to feature our teams’ multicultural holiday traditions, and just like that, our ‘Festive TV’ app was born!

To complete this project, we would need to work on branding, scriptwriting, set design, video production, video editing, interactive media creation, costumes, photography, app development, app design, and more!

Here is how we made an interactive video app in just one day!

Prep and App Design

We kicked off with a planning meeting, where we figured out all of the tasks that needed to be done, and who would collaborate with who.

Our first task was creating a clear idea of the app’s format and design; it would inform every aspect of the project, including filming, set design, scripts, video editing, etc.

Wanting to build on top of what we had learned from previous lab days, we decided to base the design of ‘Festive TV’ on the framework of our last Lab Day project, “You Choose News”.

Ian would be reprising his role as the app’s presenter, appearing on the home screen to introduce an interactive menu containing four news items. Each menu item, when selected by the viewer, launches a prerecorded video story about one of our favorite festive traditions.

Within each video story, interactive elements enable the viewers to delve deeper into the history of the traditions mentioned in the story and even purchase some items.

We created these with Ediflo, our interactive video content management system.

Creating The Video Content

To have a video app, you need video content.

Creating video content requires pre-planning of set design, scriptwriting, costumes, and filming schedule. Creating interactive video also includes deciding when to bring interactive elements into the video.

Once we were set up, we got busy filming.

In total, we filmed fourteen separate different clips.

Four videos featured our team’s festive traditions, and the other ten were of our presenter either introducing the app, linking between videos, or doing outros for each video. We even managed to sneak in a surprise appearance of our ensemble cast!

Our content creation team was made up of a nine-person on-screen cast and a seven-person behind-the-scenes team handling set management, lighting, teleprompters, videography, and editing to make sure that filming went smoothly and on schedule.

After each scene wrapped filming, the clips were passed on to our video editor Thomas who’d get straight to work adding in backgrounds and photos to enhance the footage before passing it on to the team in charge of interactive curation.

Video Curation in Ediflo

While the content creation team was finishing up, the curation team was prepping for their next step — to use our interactive video CMS, Ediflo, to create, manage, and add interactive elements to the videos within the app.

A dedicated Festive TV account was added to Ediflo to allow the team to avail of the full product features. This would allow us to curate and prepare the content for the apps.

For each of the four main videos within the app, the team curated links to relevant articles, photos, or products that would be showcased within the videos to engage viewers.

Learn more about our product Ediflo.

Lab Days are beneficial to the team for so many reasons. Mostly it’s a great way to have fun and get to know our coworkers better. But it also builds empathy for our customers.

On an average workday, our team members are working to improve and build out Ediflo, but on Lab Day, we get to take a step back and experience first-hand what it’s like interacting with the product we develop.

App Development

Our app development team went above and beyond to create the Festive TV app, including creating our own Shopify store so that products could be featured and purchased from within our video content.

Now when viewers are watching my coworker Meaghan and I talk about her highly unusual obsession with eating canned cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, they can purchase a can from within the video and decide for themselves which one of us is right!

The Outcome

With the help of Ediflo, our talented team worked to create the Festive TV app available on iOS, Android, and Roku!

The final app features fun videos of our team describing Ireland’s Wren Day, the curious Caga Tio from Catalunya, our favorite Christmas decorations, and there’s even a video where I talk about my family’s overindulgent Thanksgiving meal!

Lab days allow us to step into one another shoes and build a stronger team. At the end of the day, we all have a better understanding of our team members’ roles, a new perspective on what we do as a company, a renewed empathy for our customers and our product’s users, and tons of innovative ideas about the future of video.

To learn more about working at Axonista take a look at our open positions, check out our past Lab Day projects, or book a demo of our product Ediflo!

The Cast and Crew

Andrew, Jenny, Claire, Daragh, Meaghan L, Meg M, Ian, Brendan, Francesco, Alexey, Marco M, Sandra, Ema, Lorna, Catherine, Ruslan, Marko K, Thomas, Darko, Kristijan, David, Luke, Sergey, Oleg, and Julien.