Spotify Community Case Study

UI/UX Design

The Goal: To add a new feature to an existing native app based on problems and opportunities that are uncovered through research.

The Solution: Introducing Spotify Community. New features to enhance the social interactions within Spotify are integrated to the existing app to meet user needs, and add to the experience of discovering and connecting through music.

Research, App Audit & Jobs-to-be-done

In addition to desk research and competitor analysis, I did an audit of Spotify’s user experience to get to know the current app features and to discover possible pain points. I determined jobs-to-be-done, to determine what Spotify currently does for its users.

Sharing of Content:

—Users are only able to share content externally, through different apps. This takes longer steps, is not convenient, and decreases possibilities of mutual interactions about music among people.

Friends’ Activity:

—Spotify lets users view what friends are listening to only on the desktop app. This is a feature that people are interested in, but don’t use a lot because of its limitations.

Interactions Among Users

—Limited access to music taste and listening habits of friends, and not many possibilities for related interactions.
—No difference between following a friend vs an artist.

Synthesis

I gathered my findings from the interviews under main titles. Using the affinity diagramming method, I discovered patterns and recurring themes among the findings, to determine key insights.

Pain Points

I discovered problems about various sections and features of Spotify based on my research, app audit, and interview insights. I gathered points that could be improved relating to multiple sections of the app.

Generative Interviews

I conducted interviews with 6 active Spotify users between the ages of 22–37. I asked the interviewees questions to lead them to talk about the various features and sections of the app. I learned about their general podcast and music listening habits, personal Spotify usage, opinions, likes, dislikes, and pain points.

Main Problem Areas

Goals & Brainstorming

Based on the research and insights, I determined goals for the next steps, and challenges that need to be avoided while adding new features. Based on these, I came up with ideas for possible features that could be integrated into the Spotify app.

The Solution

The introduction of Community Tab.

A new section of Spotify that would be focused on social interactions among users while not directly interfering with the experience of browsing and streaming music.

Introduction of New Features, Sketching & Prototyping

Trying out different ways of integrating new features to the Spotify mobile app.

Bringing friends’ listening activity to the mobile app, and adding opportunities of interactions.

Access to more friend activity. Notifications and messages from friends.

Access to more information about songs and user reviews from the player.

Prototyping & Usability Testing

I built a prototype that wasn’t completely low fidelity, so that it feels familiar to Spotify users during interviews. I conducted usability testing with 5 interviewees to see how the newly added features and elements worked for Spotify users as a part of the app that they already actively use.

Viewing friend activity and interacting with friends

Album Reviews

Share content in-app &
Pin content to Profile

Synthesis & Iteration

After another round of gathering of insights, synthesis, and problem discovery, I determined what to change or add to the prototype. There were elements and sections to be improved, reconsidered or removed, but in general, I found that people were interested in the features added, and had a fairly easy time locating things and figuring out how to do tasks that were given to them.

The Outcome

—Introduction of the Community Tab

—What friends are listening to
—Reactions
—Listening History

—Friends’ activities
—Follower notifications

—In-app sharing of content

—Messages

—Pinned song / album

—“Follow” friends
 vs “Subscribe” to Artists

—Music Reviews

—Flexibility to customize sharing status and notifications

Research, App Audit & Jobs-to-be-done

I started off by doing an audit of Spotify’s current user experience to get to know the existing features of the app and to discover possible pain points. I determined what Spotify currently does for its users. In addition to that, I conducted desk research and competitor analysis.