Eardum is a new redesigned music player wireframe created by the feedback and desires of dissatisfied music players who want something more out of their mobile music application.
This was designed in a team with two others in a UX design class at UCSD. My team spent time through this course getting user feedback, interviews, and personal walkthroughs of popular music applications, and we believe we came up with a better design with an emphasize on playlists.
We spent most of our time understanding what the users truly wanted from their music applications. To do so, we underwent many interviews with people and asked them to walk through various popular music applications. Although our sample of people consisted of mainly college aged students from 18–24, we wanted to have a wide perspective so we made sure to obtain a diverse sample set of people to interview and we made sure to place them in a variety of situations.
We started with some basic questions:
- What music application do you like the best and why?
- What is the most common use of your music application?
- How do you discover music?
- What do you like/dislike about your music application of choice?
After these basic questions, we discovered that a large quantity of people preferred using the popular music application Spotify, due to its superior UI, its large database of content, and its simple and easy to follow flow of information. We also found that many of the interviewees interacted with their application of choice through the playlist section. So we focused most of our efforts in different types of playlist interactions. With this in mind, we then lead the interviewees through a series of more circumstantial questions based off of their behaviors and what they did on a regular basis. Some interviewees would be asked to walk through creating a playlist to study to, while voicing their thought process. Others would be asked to manage a playlist.
In our walkthroughs with our interviewees, we used a screen capturing application called lookback.io to record what was going on in the screen. We then used multiple music applications to walk through specific sequences of actions we thought were interesting helpful in pinpointing what could be fixed and redesigned. We had three different user scenarios:
- Create Playlist for studying
- Delete a song in a playlist
- Search for and add a song to a playlist
We ran through each scenario in each separate music application and compared our findings side by side.
In many cases, we found that Spotify excelled in each task we put up to it.
We then created a hierarchical sitemap of each music application and compared them with each other. We did this in order to get a sense of what is truly necessary for a good flowing menu system and what could be considered trivial enough to be taken out.
I took on the role of creating the sitemap and establishing what needs to stay and what needs to go. I decided to get rid of the hamburger style menu of Spotify in favor of a menu system that allows for the user to more quickly reach their destination. Spotify’s menu system does look pretty and clean, but it takes a while to get to what the user wants to get to. Thus, we made some aesthetic sacrifices to bring a quicker experience to the user.
Only after completing all the vital steps before, were we able to come up with a viable redesign solution. These previous steps were vital because without talking to the user, or figuring out the user’s needs, or comparing the good mobile applications with the bad mobile applications, we wouldn’t have been able to truly know what would best be redesigned. Without these steps, we might have redesigned something particularly useless to our user group. Thus after brainstorming, we came up with this wireframe solution.
We wanted an application that always has the option to create a playlist or add to your playlists. The playlist button was moved out from inside the menu bar and right onto the Home page where the user will be able to see it first thing. We wanted the Home page to be personalized with the user’s own thing. Many other apps were geared towards discovering new music, and it took about three clicks to get to your playlist.
This project was one of the more eye opening and difficult projects I have ever been a part of. Before this project, I would look at mobile applications and scoff at how badly designed the UI was and think that redesigning it would be super easy. However, after this project, my respect for those who are in the UX industry has skyrocketed. This process is arduous and requires a lot of attention to detail. It requires a lot of thinking outside of yourself and int the shoes of potential users. It’s a tough job that isn’t truly appreciated by those not in it. Overall I learned a lot from this project and am excited to continue in my knowledge of user experience.