Jade Milan  

Interactive Designer, Art Director + Artist

Work      About    Research

OVERVIEW


Continuously people encounter and spontaneously hearing new music or podcasts in passing during their day to day life. As they come to discover new tunes that they are interested to know more about what is playing or information about the artist, or just want to save it to listen to it for later. Audio Discovery is a feature designed to allow users to discover, search, and play any song or podcast to help users to recognize what is playing within their surroundings. Through the use of sound recognition to help users search results within Spotify's collective library. The audio discovery feature allows you to view a preview of your findings, view lyrics, get to know more about the artists, and save and share songs to your playlists within the Spotify app.
Role
Product Lead
UX/UI

Design Research


Research

I was curious about why Spotify didn’t have a feature that helps users find out the details of what is currently playing in real time within their environment and if I was the only person who would want some sort of feature like this built within the app.To get contexts of what kind of features users would want to have developed within the main application to store and listen to music and podcast.

Spotify Community Findings:


At the beginning of my search, my first steps brought be to explore what users posted through Spotify’s community board on what kinds of requests and feedback that they had on the app. I did come across a handle full of comments interested in having a sound recognition tool within the app as it would be helpful for them in various scenarios.

Competitive Analysis


I analyzed what Spotify’s main competitors are currently doing using sound recognition tools and get a better understand what is successful and unsuccessful on their apps in terms of search for a song and connecting them to user’s music libraries.

User Research + Interviews:


I have asked user’s who use Spotify and existing apps to get to know more about how they decide what techniques or steps to search for new music or podcasts that is playing within their surroundings.

Some questions I was interested in asking:
  1. If you hear a song or artists playing within your environment in live time and you don’t know who it is. How do you go about searching for the artists or title of the song?
  2. If you use a particular app, why do you use this app versus other similar apps that currently exist?
  3. Are you able to save the search result through the app or do you save it elsewhere? If so, where do you save it and how?
  4. Are there any particular features that you like within the app you use?
  5. Does your app connect easily to where you mainly store your music library or the streaming service that you use?

User Persona


From the information, I gathered from user's I created user personas that would help me achieve the right user experience and design to implement this audio recognition tool within the Spotify app.



Ideation


After analyzing my data and research, I began to strategize the best solutions for how users would access a sound recognition tool within the Spotify mobile app. As well has taken in the kinds of feedback that users enjoyed with other competitors.

My main goal was to make the users would have a simple experience, to be able to quickly capture a song or podcast if they are only able to hear part of what is playing. By creating a site map and user flows based on scenarios. I was able to define the organization, hierarchy, and general flow of the product. To visually propose the necessary features to include in the structure of the mobile app.


Spotify Site Map


User Flows and Scenarios

Wireframes


Next, I create wireframes to visualize the possible user flow I have mapped out. Mocking up sketches allowed me to brainstorm how user-friendly the new features could be integrated within the design. Additionally, this helped me visualize new CTAs or other elements that could be designed to incorporate into Spotify's design systems to highlight the sound recognition tool.



Mockup


Next, I designed high-fidelity mockups of the Spotify app with the new feature. I wanted to map out the visual interface to be able to test the effectiveness of the visual hierarchy and flow of using the new feature.

I explored two different ways to bring a visual components to the layout of the feed, while maximizing the amount of details included. Each way visually emphasized different aspects of the experience:

Focus A: Designed the feature to be located with multiple areas of the app to be easy access to allow the user to tap and have quickly start their search. To be able to visually emphasize where on the site the user can click a button with displayed text or an icon that informs them to start the search.



Focus B: As the recognition tool becomes activated to calculate its results, it then highlighting the title and artist. Once finished, the user will land the detail page for more information based on their findings.



Focus C: Create an automated playlist and recommendations based on a user's sound captures history. Also, add a feature to archive a song from their list. By implementing this feature, users can still view their full history and create a better experience to view actual future recommendations that applies to them.



Reflection


Spotify is a major media resource for users to store, listen, and discover music and podcasts. After conducting my research and user testing it would be beneficial for Spotify to have an audio capture feature within the app that allows users to have a deeper relationship with the product that they enjoy and utilize their time. As users currently use other apps to figure out what is playing, they tend to overlook to add their discoveries to a music library or playlists. Having this feature within the app will inform the user they can add or listen to the full track within one platform and brings curiosity to other content that the user might not know exists within Spotify.

Next Steps, I would want to work with other designers, researchers, and engineers to develop and integrate this feature within the mobile app. I would want to explore other new opportunities to push the experience of using a recognition tool to how much and how clear the tool can determine a sound. To see if users can hum, sing, or use other forms of voice tones to see how we can help people discover different kinds of content.

Continually innovating Spotify’s app will help a deeper connection with our users and build a trustworthy platform for how artists can connect with their audiences.
© Jade Milan 2020