Support to Research and Usability Testing
UX Bootcamp Project
Team of 4
In a team of 4 add a feature to a current website or mobile application that will improve its current offering.
Spotify is a Swedish-based audio streaming and media service that has a current user base of 286 million users as of 2020. Spotify already has the ability to connect with friends directly in the app and so we as a team saw the opportunity to elevate their in-app interaction.
(NOTE: This case study was for school purposes only and is in no way affiliated or sponsored with Spotify directly.)
A clickable prototype that showcases a new premium feature for Spotify called "Share in Spotify" (SiS).
The current state of most music streaming services is that there is no way to share music directly within the platform. The share function 99.9% of the time takes you out of the application to social share via SMS, Facebook, Instagram, etc. My team saw an opportunity to keep engagement within the application to not disrupt a user's listening experience by needing to be taken to another application.
We wanted to know more information on people's current music listening and sharing habits. Not calling out for Spotify users initially we sent out a survey that yielded 30 responses.
Subscribe to one or more music streaming service
Pay for the premium version of a music streaming service to avoid ads
Are seasoned Spotify Users using the app for 5+ years
Primarily use the android application
Spotify was the #1 answer. Youtube, Pandora, and Soundcloud were its main competitors. This proved our assumption that designing for Spotify was the right choice.
70% of our participants not only enjoy discovering new music but also like to share their music with others.
23.3% only like to discover music which showed us that perhaps we needed to design a solution for more than one type of user.
Up until 2017, Spotify had an inbox feature that allowed users to chat and also share music within the app but was later removed due to "low engagement and the high amount of effort to keep the feature active." Removing this feature also took away notifications that informed users of changes that were made to their playlist. Today if you share your playlist with a friend they can delete things off your playlist without your knowledge.
Our Share in Spotify feature would differ from the now removed inbox feature in that there will be no text-based chatting going on (but more on that later). We also saw an opportunity to help others not be so dependent on social media.
We realized we had 2 types of Spotify users both with different problems:
Ken needs a low-effort way to share music with Kayley that doesn't interrupt his music discovery experience by taking him out of the Spotify application.
Kayley needs a better way to receive music recommendations because she doesn't always remember who shared what song and on what social platform.
Users of Spotify share music recommendations within the app
View a shared history of music recommendations
Add those music recommendations to a collaborative playlist
We solve Ken’s problem by allowing him to send music recommendations to Kaley in-app without any 3rd party interruptions in 4-5 clicks.
We solve Kayley’s problem by allowing her to have a shared history of what has been sent to her all in one easily accessible place.
Sharing a song on Spotify
(Use the green slider to see the current and future user flow.)
Currently in Spotify, depending on which social platform you choose to share to you could be 6-12 steps away from sending your song (not including if you choose to edit or delete the auto message).
Our Share in Spotify feature allows for a smooth sharing process all contained within the app in just 4 easy steps!
We wanted to focus on icon creation because we knew if the icon was confusing or unintuitive Spotify users would ignore it and just not engage with the new feature. I lead a design studio session me and 2 other team members each came up with a couple of initial icon options
Icon Survey Results:
Design jam part 2 electric bugaloo, trying to make a more "Spotify-like" icon
One more quick icon survey followed by a usability test
My team needed to consider where this new feature would live within the Spotify application. We needed a place where Spotify users could access their shared playlists they created with fellow users.
We saw an opportunity in Your Library>Music to add a "Shared" section as we wanted to differentiate between playlists you save or create vs the ones you share with other Spotify users and the recommendations they send to you.
Usability Test #1 - 5 Participants
Send the song "Walk" by Pantera to your fellow friend Bielio's Spotify account
Find the song "6 Foot 7 Foot" by Lil Wayne in your Shared History list with Bielio and add it to your collaborative playlist.
Implemented a new button to make it easier to toggle between your "Shared Playlist" and the "Shared History" instead of accessing it from the 3 dots "kebab" menu which would normally take you to a more options page, not a new page altogether
Removed the confusing thumbs down/up buttons and just kept the heart icon while also recreating a heart icon they already had to keep brand consistency.
In our first iteration, we initially had a thumbs up, thumbs down, and heart react button with the intention that only the heart react would add the song from the "shared history" to the "shared playlist" while the thumbs up and thumbs down was just to give the users the option to let the other person know if they enjoyed the song or not.
Usability Test #2 - 5 NEW Participants
Send the song "Walk" by Pantera to Kayley
Find the song "6 Foot 7 Foot" by Lil Wayne in your Shared History list with Kayley and add it to your Shared Playlist.
In both usability tests, all 10 participants were able to complete Task 1 with ease. Most calling out they wished this feature did exist in some capacity. Task 2 however still has a few pain points we need to address and below are some next steps we'd like to take:
• For this project, I challenged myself to step out of my Adobe XD comfort zone and learn to create prototypes in Figma. I always pride myself in learning a new skill and learning it fast and so I was happy with what I could do in just 2 short weeks. I plan to continue to hone my Figma skills and in the future revisit this project to implement the next steps highlighted above.
• I wasn't a Spotify user going into this project but through research, testing, and 2 months of free subscription I became well versed in all things Spotify and their offerings.
• We originally had 6 participants in our 1st usability test. The results for our 6th participant had to be omitted because as I led the usability test I found myself hand-holding and helping the user go through Task 2 instead of just letting them struggle. This is something I now always remember in all my future usability tests and am so glad I could learn that lesson in this project.
As someone who doesn't want to be a slave to social sharing, I think Spotify could benefit from implementing this feature for those who don't want to send or receive a million messages as Spotify song links across different social platforms. If this feature were to be implemented we predict an increase of Spotify premium users, an increase in the number of friend requests sent out to other Spotify users, and an increase of engagement in the overall application.
What about you? Would you use this feature? If you'd like to view the prototype in its current form check it out here. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions don't be afraid to drop me a line.
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