STARZ’s platform-wide rebrand and brand new design system

User Stories
If your product team builds for a consumer audience, you’re likely used to catering to a wide range of user needs and preferences within a single digital experience. This is certainly true for the STARZ product team, with their platform hosting millions of daily active users as a major player in one of the most popular digital product categories in the world — on-demand streaming entertainment.
STARZ’s content library includes a growing list of 700 movie titles and 50+ TV shows spanning across every genre, and their team has to ensure a crisp and seamless user experience for all of it — for every subscriber on every device.
GIF of STARZ mobile app
Maintaining this volume of in-app content is just one of several product challenges their team regularly faces. They also have to manage intense app usage and competition: the average person is streaming eight hours of content per day and has logins for at least four streaming services! 📺
To strengthen their brand and visual identity in this competitive space, the STARZ team decided to transform their fundamental design principals — this led to them 1) building a brand new design system, and 2) updating the UI across all streaming device services. They were able to turn around this massive rebranding project in a short time and also see significant subscriber growth soon after — all while using Zeplin — which is why we’re happy to have recognized the STARZ team with a 2023 Harmony Award!
Here’s more about what went into the STARZ rebrand and the role Zeplin played in keeping their designers and multiple development teams working together harmoniously every step of the way.

The scale and impact of the STARZ platform rebrand

We all know doing a rebrand can be complicated and messy. For STARZ, the potential for complications was especially high, because their process involved writing a brand new design system from the ground up and applying it across the entire STARZ platform on iOS, tvOS, Android mobile, FireTV, WebTV, & Roku.
They had clear objectives for building and implementing this new design system, which included:
uniting the brand by addressing each platform’s unique needs
giving their UI a fresh, modern, usable facelift

Additionally, the new design system established a healthy mix of both loose and disciplined rules to allow the design to look beautifully cohesive moving forward. The new design perfectly modernizes the brand without looking unapproachable or inaccessible to users.

Kate Salkin,
Lead Product Designer at STARZ
Screenshot of STARZ app homescreen

Another huge achievement: growing subscribers by 50%

It’s already impressive to say that your team successfully rolled out a new brand identity across a complex, multi-platform digital experience. The results were even more gratifying for Kate and the STARZ product team, as they subsequently saw a 50% boost in the most valuable metric for any streaming service app like theirs — new subscriber growth.

Communicating complex design details with developers and non-designers

Zeplin was an indispensable tool for helping the entire STARZ product team collaborate efficiently as they implemented their new design system and visual identity platform-wide. They found it especially valuable for providing technical clarity for their multiple development teams working on different parts of the app.

When you have as substantial of an undertaking as the STARZ rebrand was, not having a tool like Zeplin to communicate to a diverse set of development teams with completely unique needs, expectations and code bases, is simply impossible.

Kate Salkin,
Lead Product Designer at STARZ
And from a broader team perspective, Zeplin has made it easy for them to organize, document, and communicate every design decision and detail that any person on the team would need. This enabled them to avoid the disorganized chaos that often happens when a product goes through a complete rebrand. As Kate says, “When a project has so many complicated moving parts, Zeplin does the communicating for us.”
Congratulations to STARZ’s product team on such a beautiful rebrand and the teamwork that contributed to its success — we’re honored to have been part of the journey!
Learn more about how Zeplin helps complex product teams communicate better and build more efficiently, or contact us.