Spotify Mixtapes
A streaming music social feature
 
UX/UI 
Information Architecture
Visual Design

Brief.

This is a UX case study for a proposed social feature - Spotify Mixtapes - that I developed for Spotify, the on-demand music streaming service. This was done as a project through my UX Academy coursework with Designlab.

Spotify, arguably the leader in the streaming music market, does not have a well-developed social component. They and their competitors have attempted to integrate social features, but have found this to be a difficult task, and ultimately pulled their initial attempts, as Spotify did with its chat feature. The brief for this project was to expand into the social space and improve engagement and retention in the Spotify app.

My role-

I determined what the best way to move forward in the social space would be. I conducted market analysis and in-person user research, in order to define and develop an original prototype social feature, which I call Spotify Mixtapes. The scope of my original concept evolved half-way through my research, and I worked to make sure that Mixtapes integrates seamlessly within the rest of the Spotify app. I was also responsible for following Spotify’s design system and style guidelines.

Timeline-

90 hours, 4+ weeks

Research. 

Research Goals

  • Understand why and how people connect emotionally with and through music
  • Understand streaming music service user pains + gains
  • Understand existing Information Architecture of Spotify (in order to understand best possible locations to add new “social” feature)

Research Methodologies

  • Theoretical and Literature Research re/humans, emotion, connection and music
  • Secondary/Market Research and Competitor Analysis re/social features (music services and others, such as IG, etc...)
  • User interviews re/music streaming services (pains + gains), connecting online with friends + strangers

Define the problem space.

I gained an understanding of the streaming music market, who its users are, as well as an understanding of social media and its underpinnings. The following are conclusions drawn about the problem space, based upon my initial research:
 
Competitors*
  • Apple Music
  • Amazon Music + Amazon Prime Music
  • Tidal
  • YouTube. 
*These services vary in quality based on library size and exclusive releases, but price tiers are comparable across the board. 

Dominant social media players
  • Facebook (87% soc med users check at least 1/day)
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter

Top users of social media
  • Millennials, then Gen X, then Boomers.

Top reasons for engagement in social media 
  • Novelty, 
  • Finding connection with people you know, 
  • Meeting new people/making new connections.

User Personas

Following my research, I developed two initial user personas and empathy maps to distill my research into potential users.