Spotify Downtime

As this was a group project, while I had a hand in almost everything, and all the work was created collaboratively, the responsibilities that were predominantly mine were:

  • The user interviews
  • The user test
  • The storyboard
  • The lo-fi wireframes
  • The slide deck presentation
  • The in situ video shoot

To start our project, we had to identify issues and opportunities within the existing Spotify app. As a group, we brainstormed common problems and looked online to ensure that other people experienced the same issues. We also did sketchnoting and user interviews to analyze listening habits better. Our group identified the relationship between the user and the algorithm, specifically the failure of differentiation between listening modes as an issue we wanted to focus on. In Spotify, users have different listening needs: sometimes they’ll listen to music recreationally and other times they’ll put on white noise to help them sleep, this doesn’t mean that the algorithm should weigh those listening patterns equally when recommending new music. (All sketches are mine.)

Once we found the issue that we wanted to address we had to figure out how to address it. Some of the methods that we used included:

  • The AEIOU method
  • Proto-sonas
  • How Might We statements
  • Crazy-8s ideation
  • UI flow analysis

We decided on creating a section similar to the existing Podcasts section already in the app that would help to consolidate and separate relaxation/focus/mindfulness sounds from the podcasts and music section. (Note: This project was completed approximately a month before Spotify introduced their “Spotify Wellness” feature.) (All sketches are mine.)

Once we decided on a direction, we began prototyping. We moved from low to mid to high fidelity wireframes and conducted user tests to gain feedback on our designs. One problem with our first mock-up was that we applied the existing Spotify design too heavily and it was difficult to distinguish between the Music tab and our Downtime tab. We added a brand splash with an animated banner at the top of the “Your Tracks” to visually signify to the user that they’re within the downtime space and reinforces the purpose of the feature.

Final design in-situ:

Video scenario and walk through:

If you’d like to read a more thorough document on our process, the below pdf goes through this project in further detail: