Spotify: UX Research case study

Overview📖

This was a case study based on Spotify, a popular music streaming service. My main goal was to understand more about the problems that Spotify users are having right now. To better understand consumers’ challenges, I did Desk Research first, then a user survey, and user interviews. After gathering all of the data, I created a Persona.

About Spotify 🎧

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming service that is one of the most popular music streaming services. Spotify operates under a freemium business model.

Spotify was created on April 23, 2006, and launched in India in 2019. This app is well-known for its user-friendly interface and algorithm-based recommendations.

The figures clearly show Spotify’s success.

  • Spotify controls 31% of the global music streaming market.
  • Spotify is available in 184 markets.
  • 406 million monthly active users at the end of last year (2021) in Q4
  • 180 Million Premium Subscriber.
  • Spotify had 3.6 million podcasts on the platform at the end of Q4
  • Downloads in the play store 100 Cr+
  • 70M+ Tracks available
  • 3.2 million podcast titles and 4 billion playlists on Spotify.

Spotify generates revenue by selling premium streaming subscriptions to users and advertising placements to third parties.

My Role✨

UX Researcher

Project Duration⏳

2 Weeks

Project Type 🤖

Personal Portfolio

UX Research Process📚🪜

Research Objective📝

The objective of this Research project is to understand the current user issues with Spotify.

Hypothesis 💬

I am an active user of Spotify. I like the user interface and the suggestions they provide are according to my taste. My overall experience with Spotify is good, but it disappoints me at some point in time.

My Disappointments

  • My Spotify wrap was not working which was a huge disappointment for me.
  • No internet connection message after having a stable internet connection
  • No option of liking the song from a playlist without opening it.
  • I know the number of likes on my playlist but don’t know by whom

Goal🎯

After having these issues as a UX researcher, I thought I might not be the only one facing these issues. There can be many people out there with the same or different problems. So, to learn more about Spotify user behaviours and issues, I decided to delve deeper into this subject.

For this, I started My UX Research, which includes primary and secondary research.

Target Audience 👨‍👩‍👦

Generation Z was chosen as my target demographic since they are the ones that listen to music daily, and the most important criteria were that they must be Indian Spotify users, as going global would make data collection too complicated.

Research Methodologies🔎

To understand the Spotify user's requirements and frustrations in a proper manner

I used two methods

  • Secondary Research methods
  • Primary Research methods

Order of the methods in which I used them

Desk Research 🖥️

User story 🎥

First and foremost, I performed desk research in which I looked up problems online and read play store reviews to have a deeper understanding of people's frustrations while using Spotify.

To have a look at what the user said, you can open this link

Technical issues I figured out through the analysis.

  • Spotify isn’t working
  • showing a “no internet connection” message after having a stable internet connection
  • After a recent (2022) update, the app started crashing
  • not be able to add local files to a Spotify playlist
  • Spotify is closing on its own

Primary Research🔬

User Survey🗂️

I conducted a small survey to get an idea of how others are using Spotify and what extra they want from it. I took some time to craft my questions to reflect the information I needed. I sent this survey to my Spotify-using friends and family members and asked them to forward it to other Spotify users they know. This survey was completed by 49 people in this manner.

I asked questions to understand the user behaviour and these are the results

Key Insights from the Survey 📝

  1. Uncontrolled Advertisements are the largest source of discomfort for 85% of people
  2. 79% of individuals want to use the feature that is based on lyrics
  3. 91% of people want to share their music on the same platform
  4. 59% of people often face difficulty in finding playlists according to their mood
  5. 79% of people face the problem of creating the same playlist again While switching music apps

For more details, you can see how the entire survey looks like the Link

Qualitative Research📝

I performed user interviews with Spotify users to get qualitative data about their behaviour objectives, wants, frustrations, and motivations to use Spotify. I choose the individuals I interviewed during the participant recruitment process. I completed interviews with 5 participants two were female, and three were male.

Insights derived from Qualitative Research 📝

For a more detailed view, you can open this Link

Findings of Primary Research 📝

User Persona🙎🏻‍♂️

After conducting my Quantitative and Qualitative research and analyzing the data I gather from the research I started creating the User Persona.

Triangulation of Research

Problems I figured out to be critical from my analysis

Uncontrolled Advertisements are the biggest pain point

“People don’t like an excessive interruption in whichever form it is like calls or advertisements ”

Search by lyrics feature is nowhere to be found.

“ Currently the pattern is people lend an ear to songs that are interesting on social media then they search that song by its lyrics to add it to their playlist. At this point if a search by lyrics feature is not available then it comes under a huge disappointment

Instead of using other platforms, the user wishes to share music on the same platform.

“ When a user shares their music with the others, then to think of those songs they already shared is a tall order ”

Users find it difficult to get a playlist according to the mood when they needed

“Mood play a vital role while listening to music, user task will get easier if they get playlist according to their mood”

Creation of the same playlist again while switching from one music app to another is maddening

“User creates a playlist according to their taste and after using a particular with a period than switching to other app is troublesome because of the whole playlist creation process ”

My Learnings 🎓

When I first started this project, I didn’t know much about the music services that much. But looking back now I have gained knowledge along the way. 🧠

  • I learnt the art of framing questions
  • I also learnt how to abstract data
  • Gained an understanding of how to structure and present data in a more effective way
  • I learned to be a good listener
  • Brush up on my interviewing and survey-creation skills

After this project, I am no stranger to the process I followed. This project refined my skill set.

So here is the end of this case study which I enjoyed doing and writing. It took a lot of effort and time to complete.

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