How can we use audio to amplify workout and fitness?

Amid Moradganjeh
Jun 17 · 5 min read collaboration with Spotify — Spring 2019.

This semester and as part of our product innovation project, partnered with Spotify to explore new areas in which music experiences can enhance health and fitness. IxD team had the opportunity to collaborate with a world class design team for over 4 weeks to creative innovative solutions hat can eventually have an impact on the lives of millions of people.

The project was kicked off at Spotify HQ in Stockholm where IxD team was briefed by Spotify design leads Anna Rynvall and Alex Macleod on the topic. Kristian Lember and Kevin Crepin — our mentors from DUX — guided IxD team for the next four weeks until the final presentation at Spotify.

Here are the results from this collaboration project:

Emotional Health x Spotify

Roxana Macovei

Why reduce the interaction we have with sound on music platforms to merely an audio experience with like buttons?

Listening to music is a form of affective communication that provides both an intellectual & emotional experience. Thus, each song on Spotify represents a deep and subjective emotional experience for each of its listeners. Depending on the person, music feels a certain way and ‘looks’ a certain way.

Spotify can already offer listeners a glimpse into their behaviour based on the music they listen to. However, the app could give back this data in such a relatable and meaningful way that they could begin to understand their emotions too.

But how to make raw data meaningful to people? Data visualisation! By pairing music with colour, Spotify could create an intuitive space where users can navigate their emotions with music inside the app. In this case, musical discovery doesn’t need to start from an artist or a genre anymore, but from your own mood.

But why think only of the close future? With this, Spotify could have a long term impact on the brain and emotional state of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Musical memories are relatively undamaged by this disease. Thus, I imagine that after a lifetime of carefully curating and bringing emotions to my music, in my time on need, Spotify could bring music that elicits the right emotions for me, improving quality of life.

Mindful Listening

Villem Nilbe

Should Spotify have its own guided mindfulness meditations when they already have over 50 000 000 songs you can mindfully listen to?
Personalized daily one song playlist to start relaxing through mindful listening. Have your mindful moment by focusing on some part of the song, given to you by a curated playlist. Focuses starting from lyrics and instruments and progressing to layers of sound, mood changes and etc.
But your thoughts start to wonder and your focus gets buried in the mix by the second verse? Easy and playful guide function added to get you focus back by isolating parts of the soundscape.

Music Match

Alexia Kraft de la Saulx

Are you a fitness beginner at the gym and have no idea what group training to

The Music Match will find you your perfect group workout based on the music you listen to on Spotify.
Music Match compares your listening preferences to the gym trainer’s favourite music to find you your dream match. An introductory video of the class will be provided to make sure you enjoy the workout part as well!
Music Match: starting your fitness journey has never been easier!

Run Radio

Tom Hartnell

RunRadio is an app to connect runners globally, allowing them to run in sync to the same beat. Choose the music that motivates you with one swipe of the tuner dial, giving you access to hundreds of live AI-generated music channels perfectly curated for running and exercise. Set a run time or distance goal and RunRadio matches you to your virtual tribe of runners, all tuned in to the same channel, from across the globe.

Spotify Memories

Lydia Petrova

Spotify Memories expands the concept of music as a way to escape from
reality and everyday problems by bringing up people’s memories. The
solution spots events that have a potential to become memories by tracking
and grouping music, pictures, mood, location and other parameters.
Remember what your summer in Italy sounded like or what you listened to at
the university or find out what your victory song sounds like.

Spotify Up

Fahim Popalzai

Long periods of sitting are killing you.

Spotify Up is saving your life by reminding you to stand up and move around.
You can set any song to act as your reminder. It will be placed in your Queue
and played every 30 minutes. Spotify Up is also using the haptic feedback on
your device. It will vibrate in the same beat-pattern as your reminder. All of
that is creates a reminder which seamlessly incorporates itself in your daily
work without annoying notifications.

Spotify’s Voice Assistant

Laura Grigorjan

With the help of online workout videos and gyms, exercising at home is becoming increasingly popular compared to traditional gyms.
Despite the endless amount of online information available, home workouts are still less efficient compared to gyms or having a personal trainer.
Voice assistants aren’t quite there yet, but we are thinking two years ahead. Voice-controlled training apps on home assistants just don’t cut it — they lack personalisation, play the same music for everyone and are just primitive. What if Spotify’s voice assistant could be your personal trainer? Spotify knows exactly what songs you like, when you like to listen to them and is available anywhere, anytime, on any platform. Integrated with voice, that can guide and encourage you through a workout, you will be left with a personalised, fulfilling and efficient home workout.

Walking Mode

Maria Jäärats

Uncover new music by exploring your surroundings

Conventional understanding of fitness — gyms, group workouts and competitions can limit our perception of fitness to specific places, locations and ways of movement. To expand the
notion of fitness and keep it as accessible as possible, I turned to one of the most available ways of fitness — walking.

Walking mode allows users to link songs to specific locations. The songs remain secret to others until they walk to that location to unlock them. Therefore, walking mode invites Spotify listeners to explore new music and their surroundings. The solution is based on the
integration Spotify has with Google Maps.

If Spotify was a physical space

Tatiana Rubiano Goubert

Design process

Within four weeks IxD team followed the following process — led by our mentors from DUX:

  • Research
  • Ideation
  • First ideas internal presentation
  • Midterm presentation (with Design Lead Anna from Spotify)
  • Prototyping
  • Videography
  • Internal pre-presentation
  • Final presentation (at Spotify’s Stockholm HQ)

Special thanks to Cliona O’Sullivan from Spotify team for making this collaboration happen.

Spring 2019.

International MA program in Interaction Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts

Amid Moradganjeh

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International MA program in Interaction Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts