Date: October 12, 2015 Author: Monica Parra



With the release of JW7, we had an exciting opportunity to leverage our new skinning model for a new skin design as well as to reassess the user experience of the player overall. Here I’ll recap the creative process that led to the new “seven” skin and what’s next for the design of the player in our upcoming releases.


A Spectrum of Risk

Working closely with our product team to strategize our approach for the design of the new skin, in fitting with the JW7 theme, we decided to begin with 7 design directions benchmarked against the concept of a spectrum of risk. What was the safest design direction we could implement? What was the riskiest user experience we could give our users? And what did the in-between look like?




As we entered into the design exploration phase, we had a few questions that served as our guiding stars.

What we asked ourselves:

  1. What redundancies could we remove or simplify for the viewer?
  2. Is there value in disrupting the layout of our player to surface the timeslider in a different way?
  3. How could we minimize obscuring video content?
  4. How would our decisions drive the mobile viewing experience?
  5. Whatever the design or layout of the player, could it still feel like a branded customer experience?



7 design directions from the spectrum of risk


So 7 design directions we did…and we iterated…twice. Ultimately we worked through 3 rounds of design concepts before choosing to move forward down two paths: one safe, one risky.


Video States and User Interactions

After we felt confident we had two solid directions to pursue, and that each could be customized easily to ensure a fully branded experience, we moved to the next phase: how each design would play out in the context of our player interactions and features. The goal here was to ensure our skin could behave organically and adjust fluidly to different configuration settings and user interactions. Could we solve for certain interactions easily or would it further complicate the engineering of the player? Of course we could design and build it any way we conceived but was that the most valuable approach for our users?



Exploration in player states and interactions for both design directions


Responsive Behavior

When discussing user interactions, the most common concern today is about the mobile viewing experience — a legitimate concern when 30% of video is viewed on mobile devices and we’re seeing that increase year by year. The switch to a full CSS skinning model increased the flexibility of our player for our customers and for our developers. It allowed us to easily switch all our icons from PNGs to SVGs and pixels to EMs. With those changes to the build of the player, we became inherently optimized for various screen resolutions and mobile devices.
While considering usability, we also considered relevancy. With limited space for features on smaller video players, we now display the most relevant features for users and roll the rest into a secondary menu. This avoids cluttering the player controlbar while maintaining the integrity of usability.



Exploration for small player UI

From Design Exploration to Execution

Moving into the execution phase, we considered the implementation complexities of each design. One direction would be less complex to implement and had existing data verifying its usability. The other would be more complex to implement with no data to inform its value. Based on that evaluation, we ultimately chose the safe design direction for the initial release of JW7. As we begin to gather more customer data and test more complex design concepts, we’ll have a greater understanding of where to take the design for the next skin we release.


What’s Next for the Design of JW7

We continue to iterate and build out responsive behaviors for more features and we’re exploring responsive grid layouts for a wide range of player sizes. With our new related content overlay, you’ll see the number and size of thumbnails respond to specific player sizes to enhance the viewing experience.



Responsive layout for the JW7 related content overlay


We’ll also explore how to enhance large viewing experiences as well as small. We’re already seeing a positive reception of the new skinning model for JW7 with great interest in customizing the player to fit each brand. Customers now have a larger sandbox to play in and we continue to see exciting examples of developers flexing the muscles of our player.



Date: October 7, 2015 Author: Andrew Prelusky

There has been much ado in the news lately about Chrome and its active pausing of smaller Flash-based content. A recent post regarding this behavior was published when our VPAID 2.0 support was launched. We’re now happy to report that our latest release, JW Player 7.1.4, goes a step further. We’re now able to provide a better experience for viewers by intelligently reacting to Chrome’s Flash throttling.

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Date: September 24, 2015 Author: Shannon Copfer & Angela Dobbs

Caption Editor Image


With nearly 15 billion plays each month globally, JW Player understands that our customers’ wide-ranging, diverse audiences are key to any successes in the ever-expanding world of online video. In some industries, especially for our customers in the public sector, video captions are even the law. Whether for accessibility or for multi-language support, video accessibility has become table stakes for anyone serious about online video.

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Date: September 23, 2015 Author: Umut Topkara

At JW Player our analytics pipeline currently receives 4M pings per minute at peak times, providing the basis for insights to the publishers on our dashboards. Recently we have moved some of our offline classification processes to the beginning of our real-time and batch pipelines, which required us to optimize our string matching implementations. We employed finite state automata, rolling hash functions, and bloom filters to achieve 6x and 3x speedup in NSFW classification and ad classification respectively. In this article, we will discuss these classification problems, then the algorithms, implementations, as well as evaluation of our solutions.Classification_omni

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Date: September 17, 2015 Author: Jeroen Wijering

Thanks to our friend and investor Ian Sigalow, Co-Founder and Partner of Greycroft, for the excellent mention of JW Player in his recent blog post, titled, “The Great Deflation”. He shares the story of JW Player’s origins and growth, and discusses how its unique data set will help to assure the company’s future. Below is an excerpt from the piece, which I encourage you read in its entirety, as Ian offers a valuable perspective on the current landscape of the software industry:

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Date: September 16, 2015 Author: Eric Boyd

JW Player 7 now supports VPAID 2.0, the IAB standard that allows interactive video ad units to play in HTML5 without the use of Flash. VPAID 2.0 allows a video player to render a JavaScript creative provided within a VAST tag. These JavaScript creatives add interactive elements, allowing the viewer to choose their own experience or to get additional information about the product advertised. These creatives can also be used to communicate with an ad server to better target ads to the viewing environment.

vpaid 2.0 html5 and JS Read more

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Date: September 8, 2015 Author: Andrew Prelusky

In this article, we’ll explore the basics behind CSS and why JW Player chose CSS for its new skinning model. In addition, we’ll also explore some interesting modifications that can be done to the player’s skins.

banner (1)
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Date: September 3, 2015 Author: Henry Lee

The JW Player mobile team is excited to bring you the latest features for building a native iOS or Android video player in your apps and monetizing your content. Our newest releases have focused on adding features for advertising, including Google IMA, and adding streaming support for MPEG-DASH. Please read on for more details.

android mpeg-dash

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Date: August 21, 2015 Author: Eric Boyd

The developer teams from Chrome and Firefox1 have announced core changes to how they will handle Flash applications. Despite being an HTML5-first video player, these changes can affect video playback through JW Player. The announcements indicate that the browser itself will decide whether or not a Flash application is core to the viewer’s experience. If the Flash object is small and outside of view, the browser will throttle or add an overlay on top of the Flash application, stopping it from fully rendering2. This functionality is aimed to help reduce power consumption and increase battery life. Applications that use HTML5 and native <video> tags will not be affected.

Chrome Power Saving

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Date: August 10, 2015 Author: Eric Boyd

I would like to introduce JW Player 7 — our fastest, smartest, and most customizable player yet. JW7 was reengineered from the core API to the visual interface to provide the best online video experience no matter what device, browser, and rendering mode is used to play your content. We have added MPEG-DASH support which will help transition away from Flash based streaming protocols. The player is also completely customizable now with CSS. Alongside JW7’s launch is also a brand new dashboard to make publishing and configuring JW Player even easier.

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