Turn Up

Tidal is a music-streaming service set for new functionality that allows users to stream music through multiple phones at the same time, and is dubbed:
Turn Up.

Discovery phase

Project Background

Tidal is an online music service that offers ad-supported free streaming or ad-free subscription streaming services in 85 countries and is available as a website or as an application for mobile devices.

The technology behind the TurnUp feature set allows users to now sync their devices to that of their friends’, and listen to the same song at the same time, even when they are in separate locations.

Tidal’s product team sees a huge market opportunity for this feature set. The technology can be used to help families, couples, fans, artists, and others create a sense of closeness and shared experience.

Hypothesis: The Workplace

To help develop a research study for Turn Up and discover any underlying problems facing the prospects of a shared music experience, we produced a hypothesis which focused on an office-based, workplace scenario where co-workers may very well have little or no choice in the music that they listen to while at work.

Research Questions

With our hypothesis in place, we could now move on to develop and refine our approach to conducting research and, later on, testing our concepts.

The goal of our research was to identify key pitfalls within the shared music experience. Within the context of an office-based workspace, this goal framed questions such as:

  • What is the synchronous listening experience? How does the music in the office get selected, and by whom?
  • Does the role of DJ get shared?
  • How does the difference in musical preferences affect the dynamics within the office?
  • What benefits/drawbacks are there to having to listen to someone else’s playlist?

User interviews

By remaining focused on the established hypothesis, we summarised a target demographic that we would use when conducting our qualitative research:

  • Ages 18 +
  • Works in an office that play music out loud
  • Uses music streaming services in the workplace

Interview Findings

All of the interviewees were within the 20-40 age bracket.

Spotify is most frequently used, but 25% also listen to commercial radio via bespoke radio app.

83% work in an open-plan office, with team sizes between 5 and 12 members. The median team size was 10 members.

Music has to be safe for work, and must not be distracting.

Any member of a given team has the opportunity to put on music.

Music does sometimes become distracting and subsequently affects individuals’ productivity.

Personas

Based on our research thusfar, the demographics were clearly partitioned. Age seemed to be a recurring factor which subsequently seemed to dictate motivations and feelings.

The older of the two partitions seemed more passive, typically less concerned. The younger of the two seemed more proactive, with a keen interest in the music that was playing.

How might we…

We rephrased the insights gathered during the interviews into ‘How might we’ statements so that we could identify opportunities for design and triggers for ideas.

How might we enable team members of medium or large-sized teams to congregate and bring their musical contributions to that congregation?

1

How might we enable team members to contribute to a playlist, and optimise it to avoid clashes in preference?

2

How might we allow team members to optimise music-selection to better suit their current state of mind?

3

Feature Matrix

After putting together our HMW’s, we conducted a quick Competitor Analysis to see if our subsequent ideas had already been implemented, how our ideas would stack up against what was indeed already out there, and to identify any gaps not yet addressed.

The most notable gaps in the problem space revolved around social aspects, all of which, our ideas would cater for.

Information Architecture

Sitemap and User Flows

We produced a revised site map of the existing product to outline what additional pages were needed.

We used the sitemap to see how users would complete essential tasks, and mapped these tasks out with user flows to identify any opportunity for additional streamlining of task completion.

Wireframes

As the premise of this project was to add new functionality to an existing product, rough layout structure was already in place for me to utilise.

Tidal Homepage

TurnUp Landing Page

Group Page

Track Comments Page

Prototyping and User Testing

Low Fidelity Prototype

Using Invision, I conducted moderated, in-person user testing with users on their mobile phones.

Test Results

The low fidelity prototype yielded very satisfactory results.

The click test that we conducted for the home screen suggested a notable change may be warranted to ensure that the product’s new functionality is clearly visible and emphasised to users. At this stage, we made the assumption that all that was needed, was some colour to create the necessary emphasis.

Try the prototype

UI Design

Before initiating the visual design of higher fidelity UI elements, I conducted a Content Audit on the UI elements comprised within the existing product. This showed me what styling conventions and design decisions went into the visual side of things, and allowed me to build a repository of patterns that I could use to ensure consistency, and hopefully score some brownie points with the developers who would be building TurnUp.

Using elements from the existing product and brand, I produced a UI kit with the high fidelity interface elements for the pages that Turn Up would require.

High Fidelity and finalisation

With the UI Kit in place, I was now able to create high fidelity comps of all key screens, ready to be put to test through further prototyping in Invision.

Try the hifi prototype

Tidal Homepage

TurnUp Landing Page

Group Page

Track Comments Page

Summary

This project illustrated the power of a well-defined hypothesis and helped us to carve out a clear path for the team to take from the start of the discovery phase, all the way through to testing.

Next Steps

Our hypothesis also left us with functionality to consider and explore in the future post-launch. For example, as a more elaborate attempt to address the problem of matching music to the moods of users, an idea could be to prompt users to specify their mood when they start the app.

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