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Problem Statement

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How might I design a solution to give listeners
easier access to events and concerts in-app?

MICA MUXD:  

July 2020 Case Study

Spotify Passion Project: 
Reimagining The Concerts Feature

The Team: 

 

My Role: 

UX Research, UX Design, UI Design

Ashley Olmsted: 

UX Research 

Overview: 

Concerts are an important way for artists and listeners to connect to one another. There is nothing quite like experiencing your favorite artist performing live for the first time. When I learned that Spotify users were largely unaware of the Spotify Concerts section, I saw an opportunity to improve the app for both listeners and musicians and create a chance for these users to interact on a higher level.

Utilizing user research and insights about Spotify collected in collaboration, I broke away from my partner to focus on designing a better experience for users surrounding the concert section of the Spotify mobile app, providing not only a redesigned concert section with links to access tickets but the ability to purchase concert tickets in-app.

Research Approach:

Identifying the Users

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Listeners

Users who are seeking out and collecting music through Spotify and/or other music streaming apps. These users browse, search, filter through music genres looking for music. They may use features like curated playlists or radio in their discovery process. They follow musicians, seek out musicians within their favorite genres, and may discover new music through friend suggestions.

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Musicians

Users who are actively creating music and trying to grow their listener base. These users are interested in focusing on listeners who enjoy their genre and ensuring new releases are reaching listeners who are frequent listeners and garner new listeners to their albums. They may use features such as artist analytics to understand their listener base better.

Research Approach:

Methodology

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Screener Survey

Interviews

Competitive Analysis

26 Listeners Responded

Interview Acceptance Criteria: This user interacts with Spotify three or more times per week. They are between the ages of 18-60 and have tried other music streaming services in the past. 

15 Musicians Responded

Interview Acceptance Criteria: 

This user is a verified Spotify Artist who has had their account for more than a year. They actively post new music and have engaged more than 200 listeners on Spotify.

7 Listeners Interviewed

  • Listeners loved the algorithmic playlists Spotify provides

  • The majority of listeners were unaware of customization tools available to them  on playlists

  • Listeners wished there were features like full lyrics + additional social tools

6 Musicians Interviewed

  • Musicians liked the overall platform design 

  • They wished they had more ways to interact with and engage their listeners 

  • They wished they had more informative data about their listener base that they could use to grow their audience.

3 Direct Competitors

We looked at direct competitors and determined what features were most successful by studying user reviews and feedback on forums.

  • SoundCloud

  • Apple Music

  • Amazon Music

3 Indirect Competitors

We looked at indirect competitors and determined what features were most successful by studying user reviews and feedback on forums.

  • Pandora

  • IHeartRadio

  • Tidal

Listeners

Our key takeaways from listeners after our research was complete, was that listeners would benefit from a visual redesign of current playlist features such as: ‘never play again’ and ‘heart,’ so that these are more discoverable and accessible by the listeners.

Research Approach:

Data Synthesis
Key Takeaways

Musicians

Our key takeaways from listeners after our research was complete, was that musicians - especially independent and unsigned artists - could benefit from additional tools to help grow their audience and interact with listeners.

Research Approach:

Personas

Designing a Solution:

The Design Process

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Journey Mapping

In order to identify the user's journey when purchasing tickets, I created a sprint map that documents each touchpoint so I could refer back to it throughout the process of designing. The process includes musicians announcing their show, listeners being informed of the show and having access to tickets, and from there purchasing tickets.

Ideation + Sketching 

I sketched out ideas for what the concert section of the Spotify app could look like, as well as what the ticket purchasing process could be. In some cases I drew inspiration from different services and apps to inform my sketches.

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Wireframes: Spotify Concerts Feature

Wireframes 

Once I had the initial idea sketched out I created wireframes

that helped me further solidify my approach to a high-fidelity prototype. During this process I took special consideration on

the design of the hero banner at the top of the app so that when

a musician announced a concert the listener would be quickly notified and able to easily navigate to purchasing tickets.

Using the research collected in collaboration with Ashley Olmsted, I broke away to independently design a solution. Since our findings suggested musicians were the most unhappy with Spotify overall I chose to design a solution for them, and specifically find a way to make Spotify a more valuable tool for unsigned artists. Although Musicians are aware there is a Concerts section on their artists' pages, listeners were largely unaware. So I decided to use this as an opportunity to redesign this feature and allow musicians to engage on a different level within Spotify. 

Designing a Solution:

The Prototype

When approaching my UI design for my high-fidelity prototype, I wanted to reimagine how Spotify organized the homepage so that users could easily find some of their most used categories. I utilized the bright jewel tones currently seen on the browse section of the Spotify app to create sections that would collapse into themselves when you weren’t using them.

However, I didn’t want to completely reinvent their UI because users like how it is currently. Each section has a carousel of suggestions for the user which echos how the Spotify app currently operates.

I created three places on the homepage where a user could navigate to the concerts page to purchase a ticket. The top hero banner, the widget section below that, and finally in the bar at the bottom of the app.

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The Result:

User Testing

In order to understand the needs and behaviors of Spotify users in regard to the concerts section of the mobile app, I needed to test my prototype to ensure it was meeting their expectations. I recruited 6 participants to test my prototype and conducted testing over Zoom.

My Assumptions Entering Testing:

  • Users need and want a notification for when one of their favorite bands will be performing locally

  • Users would benefit from a more robust concert section that caters to their location and artists that the user is interacting with regularly

  • Users would benefit from being able to purchase tickets in-app, as well as being able to store them there

User Testing Outcomes

6/6 

Users described the overall process as “easy”

5/6 

users liked that they could manage their ticket purchase in-app

4/6 

Users said they would use this redesigned concert section

1/6 

Users described the overall process as “easy”

2/6 

Users clicked on

the artist notification banner on the homepage

4/6 

Users didn’t think they would revisit their tickets in-app after purchasing

The Result:

Learnings

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Based on the outcomes, my assumptions about users changing their habits when using the concerts section and purchasing concert tickets on Spotify would likely need more testing before (hypothetically) becoming a permanent change in-app. 
 
My overall redesign of the concerts section was popular with all users. They especially liked having sections that specified location-based and liked-artist recommendations. The assumptions that I made at the beginning of my user testing about the notifications and prompts for listeners to purchase tickets was overall successful, however, the user would likely need the concert listed in multiple locations, rather than one notification banner at the top of the section, in order for it to be the most successful.