User Researcher on a team of 3 members
Research-related: field study, usability testing
Design: persona, user flow, wireframing, prototyping
Mar 2020 - April 2020
This was a UX project completed during my Master's program. The project aimed to design a web-based artists catalog on Spotify and allows artists to manage their albums, merchandise with fanbase.
Spotify is a well-known platform to connect music and people. The main focus has been on consumers and music listeners. However, not so much attention are on its artists. Lacking the ownership and recognition as music professionals, artists are having a difficult time to increase their presence on the platform. As the music industry evolves, it is also important to create a better experience for artists who product and share music through the platform.
This project therefore aims to redesign and improve the user experience for Spotify artists to engage with their fanbase by having a self-managed artist catalog.
After the user research, we learned that the process of getting music uploaded was frustrating for artists with limited technical knowledge. In addition, artists found it important to increase their presence by actively engaging with fanbase. Therefore, our solution redesigned an easy-to-use process for artists to manage their music catalog on Spotify. With advanced analytics tool, artists can analyze important data and make improvements based on fanbase' feedback. Furthermore, we also implemented an online store and real-time streaming service that improve the engagement between artists and fanbase.
We attended a local music festival where many artists gathered together and played music. We approached 3 artists who had used Spotify as their primary music-sharing platform and conducted an 1 hour interview with each of them. These interviews helped us build empathy with artists, understanding how the music industry works and what current challenges artists face in the digital age.
We then synthesized the interview data using empathy mapping where we focused on users' emotions associated with their behavior.
We used affinity mapping to organize user pain points into different themes, which helped us prepare data to build the Persona.
We created a Persona that represented our target users using the data from the empathy map and affinity map. This helped our team understand who we were designing for.
In order to find out the behavior patterns and goals that artists would have across different stages of interaction, we completed a user story mapping which helped us tell a story of how artists interact with each functionality within the design work flow.
We sketched out multiple screens for the artists' catalog with features that correspond to the design opportunities above. This helped us identify the number of user flows in the application and have a general understanding of the skeleton of design.
As we were building a catalog for artists that are manageable with different functionalities, we used Miro to create the information architecture to clearly organize what content in different categories. This practice helped us understand the structure of design and how information is organized based on functionalities.
In order to gain user feedback for iterations, we used our wireframes to conduct three usability tests with the targeted users, following with a 45-minute interview to gain feedback on their user experience of interacting with the product. The test was moderated and we used share-screen to monitor and users' behavior. We also asked the users to think out loud so we could take notes of their mind-thinking process.
Below was one of the test activities that we asked the users to perform.
Based on the user feedback, we refined our UX writing to make sure users understand the instructions when interacted with the product. We also simplified the user flow by shortening the steps needed to complete a task. After the changes, we conducted a second round of usability test and received an average of 4.1 out of 5 user satisfaction rate and a 100% of recommendation rate. Below are some positive users' feedback we received after the iteration.
Things were smooth and clearly labelled now.
I felt like I am in full control of everything from posting music to seeing music.
After we made the changes based on user feedback, we delivered our final prototype. Click View Prototype to view the prototype in Figma.
Artists can take full control of their catolog by uploading music themselves. This gives flexibility for artists to customize their profile page and showcase a personal brand.
With our advanced analytics tool, artists can view and analyze a wide variety of data including fanbase demographics, online store revenues, and even set up a personal goal to drive self-motivation.
Artists can also sell items related to their music in order to build a strong brand and establish a closer relationship with their fanbase.
Artists can manage their live streaming channel and interact with fanbase through real-time conversations.