Improving the Music Scene through Jam— Case Study
Bridging the communication gap between local artists and venues
Austin, TX is known as the Live Music Capital of the World.” However, modern causes, such as the ever growing gentrification in this city, big business, and city policies, have increasingly made it’s impact on the local music scene, hindering the support for local artists that the city once had.
As this was a class project on an concept application, our objective was to improve the process of discovering local music.
Our team begun the process by becoming experts on local music — we interviewed 30 people ranging from musicians, band managers, promoters, fans, to venue employees with a set of predetermined questions.
Using the information we gathered, we ideated 4 different personas involved in the music scene: DIY Musicians, Everyday Fan, Hobbyists, and Behind the Scenes (BTS) people.
We took 5 minutes each writing up “first impressions” of who each of our personas were. From there, we took our main ideas to the board, separating our ideas of the personas into motivations, goals, and frustrations. We took a step further by adding a column for Meyers-Briggs personality types in order to humanize these personas a bit further.
We each went through our notes and highlighted the similarities and patterns that we found throughout the people we interviewed. Using a tally method, the most influential themes of our interviews begun to reveal.
By utilizing the most common themes into our discussions as well as the insight we had with people in the music scene, we concluded that there was:
- A lack of communication between venue and artist
- A disconnect of promotional opportunities for artists
- Venues looking for artists and artists looking for venues
With this, we decided to narrow down our 4 personas to 2: DIY Musician + Behind the Scenes Professional
There is a lack of efficiency in communication between the venue and the local musician.
After brainstorming various solutions to the problem, we came up with Jam — A mutually benefitting platform for local musicians and venue promoters. It helps bridge the communication gap between local artists and venues.
- Musicians can apply for available gigs nearby through real-time discover feeds
- Venue owners / promoters (VOP) can post gig openings
- Musicians and VOP can search through profiles based on location and other filters
- Profiles are curated based on reviews, past experiences, verifications, etc.
- Musicians and VOP can message and request each other’s services
Next, user flows were created via wireframes:
We came upon the name Jam after interviewing 30 people, as we found that musicians would often mention the word “jam” whenever talking about playing music with other people or bands.
For the branding of this app, we wanted to play around with the literal connotation of jam. With this, we agreed on the idea of grape jelly — which is where the deep purple came from. As jam/jelly has a bouncy texture, we chose to use rounded letters for a less rigid feel. From this, we chose to use Quicksand Bold as our logo font.
For the “A” in the logo, we wanted to create something that represents “change” in relation to how this app would impact the music community. With that, we incorporated a delta for change, and a trapezoid next to it in order to keep the A shape in Jam.
The four corners of the trapezoid represent the four people (my group members and I) who came together to make this change happen within the music community.
Afterthoughts / What I Would’ve Done Differently
Although we managed to get 30 people to interview for this project, I wish we had thought of a better way to bring all of our notes together so we could have looked through each group-member’s notes and discuss them more in depth. We only got each other’s insights via brief overviews from the similarities and patterns stage. This also goes into my wish of having a better system of organizing all the raw data we gathered, so we could easily compare and contrast our findings from our interviews.
There was also less physical interviews than we wished to get — more so because of schedule conflicts, inconvenience in location (people in other states), and so on. If we had done these interviews differently, such as in pairs, in person, documented via video, etc. would the outcome be any different? Would we have landed on the idea of JAM?