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OVERVIEW

This project was part of Designlab’s UX Academy course. I was challenged to research, strategize, and design a sharing feature for Spotify’s mobile app.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

Spotify, a leader in streaming music, wanted to build a stronger bridge between us and music. This would be a new social capability in favor of human connection, primarily centered around music.  Spotify wanted to improve their engagement and retention in the app. The focus was to design new social features that smoothly embed within the current Spotify mobile app.

TOOLS USED
Procreate
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Sketch
InvisionApp
Typeform
Principle
Board and Markers
Sony a7rII
MY ROLE
Product Designer

music
is for sharing
with people

solution

As the product designer, I provided strategies based on the analysis of tangible data I collected from my research. Then focused on human-centered solutions to develop creative pieces built with the utmost attention to details. Finally, I designed five engaging, practical, and cohesive features placed within the app.

process

RESEARCH

User Interviews

Follow-Up Interviews

Literature Reviews

STRATEGY

Persona
Empathy Map
Storyboard
POV Statements
Crazy 8s Ideation
Crazy 8s Storyboard

INTERACTION DESIGN

User Flow
Wireframe Sketches
Responsive Wireframes
Prototype
Usability Testing

UI DESIGN

Responsive UI Design
Prototyping
Usability Testing
Iteration & Implementation

01
research

I created a research plan based on the vague idea of making a stronger connection between people and music. I built a foundation by conducting user interviews to learn about people’s habits when listening to music. Then I analyzed the results and formed new goals for the follow-up interviews. This time, I asked specific questions regarding the participants’ experiences and feelings with sharing music. Lastly, I solidified the data I’ve collected by adding a literary review about Spotify and its impact on society.

user interviews

The goal was to discover people’s thoughts and experiences regarding music and Spotify. There were five participants ages 21 – 34 years old.

Key Findings

•  Spotify is an essential app in their daily lives.

•  The majority don’t share music as much because not everyone has Spotify, the sharing features are complicated, and their taste in music is personal.

•  When people share music, they go to Youtube and share the link. It’s a lot easier and can be sent to everyone.

follow-up user interviews

problem statement

To improve Spotify’s engagement, do we make sharing music easier or tackle the harder problem “What stops people from sharing music?”

key findings

•  Collaborating/sharing music would be more meaningful in social settings.

•  Sharing music seems to be a more in-person activity.

•  People tend to listen to a new artist when they hear about them from a friend.

literature review

Data has shown that the emergence of free online streaming music such as Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, has made an impact on the decline of illegal peer-to-peer music file-sharing activity. People prefer easier access to music and music streamers such as Spotify offer a boundless range of music to listen to in the most convenient way. The most unexpected information I found on the impact of streaming music to people is privacy and isolation. People, especially the younger generation, seldom listen to music with their friends, and also rarely recommend music to their friends or receive music recommendation.

the key takeaway

People highly depend on convenience when listening to music and having that available created a major change in people’s lives, especially the music industry. These results provided a better understanding of people’s needs when it comes to music. It gave focus on finding genuine solutions to sharing music in hopes that it could result in a positive impact in people’s lives.

02
strategy

The following persona was created based on the evidence gathered from the user research. Sophia Gold represented our key users which were people who consider Spotify as a daily essential, people who enjoy spending time with their friends and family, and people who value their private time alone with music. The empathy map reflected her feelings and how her environment could influence her decisions. She was someone who enjoys music for the emotional connection they bring her.

persona

empathy map

How might we...

I listed POV statements to explore solutions. I came up with fifteen statements then narrowed them down to three.

01

How might we provide a quick access to sharing music within the app?

02

How might we best accommodate non-Spotify users?

03

How might we enhance the environment of people’s events/get-togethers/hangout with music?

crazy eights

Using the clear and defined POV statements, I strategized further by challenging my creative thinking using the crazy eights method. This method involves filling in 8 large writing spaces during a series of 6-8 brainstorming sessions which lasted 5 minutes with 5-minute breaks in between each session.

ideation

•  Gesture sharing/ swipe sharing

•  Tasks available when items are press hold

•  Airdrop like sharing

•  Geolocation access

•  Sharing feature similar to Snapchat

•  Integrated invites through notifications

storyboard

Results from the ideation session were used as the main focus to expand in the second round of crazy 8s.

“Friends hanging out at a special event (party, road trip, dinner, game night, etc.) and the music complements that moment by enabling everyone to share music they like in a collaborated playlist. They have easy access to the playlist because they are in the vicinity of the playlist creator.”

03
interaction design

Bringing all the ideas together, I’ve organized the following user flow visually to determine if the solutions were feasible. I’ve explored five different scenarios for sharing music and created simple solutions for each and how they could smoothly integrate into Spotify’s mobile app.

user flow

wireframe sketches

The Spotify app structure served as the main guide in sketching the wireframes.

high fidelity wireframes

With a defined user flow on all the features, I illustrated the following wireframes. At this stage, the emphasis still remained on smooth integration and functionalities rather than visual design. This ensured that the final design met the users’ needs.

prototype and user testing

I created the following task scenario for users to evaluate the prototype.

“You are having a small get-together with your friends at your house. You want to complement the night with some music that everyone can enjoy and participate in. Please follow the tasks below and seek advice if you are confused or unable to complete the task.

1. Create a new playlist and add your friends to the playlist.

2. Share an existing playlist with your friends.

3. Join an invitation to a playlist your friend created.

4. Join the event playlist set to public.

5. As a non-Spotify user, join an invite to the playlist from a link sent to you.”

 

key feedback 

• The prototype flow gave them some challenges that interfered with the design feedback.

• The notification page was confusing and difficult to access. It should’ve been on its own page not in the “Your Library” section.

• Screens should all remain within Spotify’s mobile app pages, instead of starting outside of the app.

04
ui design

Spotify holds their brand and style in high regard. With this in mind, the interface design remained true to the app’s design. Using the feedback from the previous usability test, I designed the following pages.

mobile ui design

prototype

prototype

Similar to the wireframe prototype, I had usability testing sessions with seven people both in-person and online. I had a combination of Spotify users and non-Spotify users. The results were as follows:

Feedback

• Search button in the browser wasn’t clear enough

• Notification fonts were too small

• Neat feature to be able to add songs/search music within the playlist page. This saves a lot of time in adding music.

• Everyone thought the Nearby Open Playlists feature is a really good idea.

• Non-Spotify users found most of the task difficult.

success and experience graph

in retrospect

Further iterations and testing can be implemented to improve the features. Although the project brief did not require this many features to design, I feel that it was necessary to address every scenario as much as possible for sharing music. I believe they can stand as a strong foundation for sharing music and find further improvements as more people use it.