See all template pages
close menu

Spotify- Music as a Part of Your Daily Life

This case study explores the creation of Spotify's "Routines" feature, which helps users better navigate and discover music on the platform. The study details the ideation process, pain point analysis, and iterative design that led to the final product.

Client

  • Spotify (This project is purely hypothetical and has no affiliation with Spotify)

Role

  • UX Researcher. UX Designer, UI Designer

Industry

  • Audio Streaming

Finished

  • March 2023

Case study is best optimized for desktop and laptop viewing!

Overview

At the beginning of this project, I asked how a person's daily routine affects their use of Spotify. I hypothesized that most people only use the app during certain activities, which means they might not discover all of its features. This could lead to boredom and disinterest.

Problem Proposal: How might we design a feature that allows users to efficiently discover new music and organize their playlists despite their limited time on the app due to specific daily activities?

D I S C O V E R

Research: Competitive

Analysis

I conducted a SWOT analysis on four brands, including Apple Music, Youtube, Soundcloud, and Calm. I compared their strengths and weaknesses to Spotify and examined their features. In order to broaden my scope, I also examined Calm, a third-party subscription-based app outside of the music-streaming market, to see if there were any applicable features that could be learned from it.

Competitive analysis done in a SWOT format.

Findings

Apple Music: Users appreciate the ease of discovering new music
Youtube Music: UI is not as easy to navigate as competitors, Apple Music and Spotify. This makes it harder to browse libraries.
Calm: Users enjoy features that integrate app into one's routine (i.e scheduled reminders, tracking of statistics, mood tracking, etc)

Research: User Interviews

There were a total of 5 interviews conducted:

  • all between the ages of 23-30 years old
  • varying occupations
  • varying prior utilization of Spotify

Insights

"I only really use Spotify for its basic functions" - Intermediate User
"I like that apps like Tik Tok relate your own interests to its algorithm" - Intermediate User
"I never listen to music outside of the activities I usually play music for" - Beginner User
"I am not too familiar with how to discover music on Spotify" - Beginner User
"It is hard to find certain playlists when you have so many" - Advanced User

D E F I N E

The Problem

From the user interviews, the pain points that I found to be the most common and wanted to address were as follows:

Users do not have time to explore new music > feelings of redundancy
It is hard to find specific playlists based on Spotify's current system of sorting
The current UI is too complex to utilize all of its discovery features

How might we design a feature that allows users to efficiently discover new music and organize their playlists despite their limited time on the app due to specific daily activities?

Who are the users?

These user personas reflect the primary goals and pain points of potential users who may be too busy or unfamiliar with Spotify's current discovery system. This realization led me to the decision of designing a product that is user-friendly enough to cater to both experienced Spotify users and those who are new to the app.

User personas.

The Solution

When devising a solution, I started off by outlining the overall goals that I'd hope to accomplish.

An overview of goals that I'd hope to achieve,

Since most users use Spotify at times when they are doing other activities, I would want to change the experience in which they view Spotify to fit better with what it is that they are doing. To solve the problem, the "Routines" feature was proposed, allowing users to organize their music based on their daily activities and discover new music relevant to those activities.

D E V E L O P

Design Planning

To ensure seamless integration of the routines feature with the existing app, I first examined the current routes available within Spotify. Subsequently, I charted out two potential user flows that incorporated the newly added feature, carefully mapping out the paths to evaluate their feasibility and impact on the overall user experience.

Link to FIgjam for better viewing.

I started ideating the new feature by first drawing out a site map of the current Spotify interface
I then mapped out two user flows to visualize the user's journey with the new feature.

Evolution of Wireframes: Low

Fidelity

As I was designing screens for an established app, my focus was not on creating new visual aesthetics. Instead, I aimed to ensure that the "Routines" feature was seamlessly integrated into the app's existing layout. I wanted to position the feature on the homepage and in common places where it was easily accessible to users without altering the app's overall look and feel.

Design Choices

During the creation of the low fidelity wireframes, the design system incorporated a filtering system enabling users to select a specific "routine" set of playlists for adding music. This decision was made at an early stage based on the anticipation that this feature would enhance the efficiency and simplicity of the music adding process. By aligning with Spotify's existing design pattern for adding music, it ensures a user-friendly experience, particularly for those already familiar with the application.

Low fidelity wireframe demonstration.

Evolutions of Wireframes:

High Fidelity

Following a thorough review of the low fidelity wireframes with my mentor, we engaged in a discussion about a potential issue concerning users perceiving an excessive number of steps involved in adding songs to a routine. However, we acknowledged this concern as a mere assumption and recognized the need to validate it through usability testing. Proceeding from this point, I elevated the fidelity of the wireframes and integrated existing design patterns from Spotify to enhance the interactive experience and ensure consistency.

Design Choices

Drawing inspiration from the rationale behind the low fidelity wireframes, I aimed to ensure consistency with Spotify's existing systems when introducing new procedures such as adding playlists to a specific routine. For instance, the flow for adding playlists to a routine follows a similar pattern to that of adding songs to a specific playlist, utilizing the more menu navigation located in the top right corner. To enhance the visibility of this feature, I intentionally labeled all relevant elements explicitly, avoiding the use of potentially ambiguous icons and instead opting for text-based labels. This decision was made to minimize any potential misinterpretation and provide clear understanding to users.

High fidelity wireframe demonstration.

D E L I V E R

Usability Testing

I conducted prototype testing through Figma with 5 participants.

Research Goals

  • Determine whether or not users are able to successfully navigate through the flows
  • Determine whether some of the aspects of the feature need iteration
  • Determine whether or not the feature improves the overall experience for the user
  • Learn whether or not users can see themselves using this feature if it were to be fully implemented

Success Metrics

  • Time
  • Number of Errors
  • Ease of Use
  • Completion
  • Viability

Priority Revisions

Findings

Average time to complete the tasks was much greater than what was expected; no outliers amongst 5 participants
Errors were prominent when it came to having to find key actions hidden within menus
All participants were able to complete the tasks without stopping
All participants left high notes in regard to viability of the feature

Revisions

After having conducted the tests, the changes made to the designs are as follows:

1) Changing placement of the "Routines" header on the homepage to a button on the footer.

  • It was found that some participants thought it made more sense to keep the "Routines" entry button in the footer as it's more consistent with the current interface

Changed the placement of where the routine's feature is accessed on the homepage.

2) When entering a list of playlists from the Routine's page, all of the playlists will already be sorted according to which routine activity they are in.

  • When participants were in the "Gym" routine flow, their initial impression was that all of the gym-centric playlists would be prioritized from the start

QOL change that streamlined the "adding a song to a routine" process.

3) The user can add playlists directly to their routine from a list sectioned off below the playlists they have saved

  • This is a QOL change that cuts down on the number of hidden menus and screens that the user needs to go through making the entire flow faster to get through.

QOL change the streamlined the process of "adding a playlist to a routine."

Final Synthesis

Link to Figma Prototype.

Conclusion

The design of this feature was meant to aid in pain points geared towards sorting and discovery, but I believe its best selling point is in its ability to integrate music seamlessly into one’s everyday life.

This project has taught me the importance of considering user habits and behaviors when designing new features for established apps. Overall, I am excited about the potential of the "Routines" feature and its ability to enhance the user experience on Spotify.

Thank you for having read thus far.

Pathfindr - Designing an App for Safe Exploration of the World by Paraplegic Individuals

See next project
Scroll to top