For this project, I worked with a group to pitch and mockup a new section of the Spotify app. We came up with Spotify Downtime, a section of the app for sounds such as ASMR and guided meditation as a solution to algorithm issues brought up by users.
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 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
How Might We statements
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.)
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.