Primarily based on in-depth interviews with up-and-coming artists and supplemented by additional methods, we designed the album booklet feature in Spotify as they constitute a formerly important and valuable form of expression for artists as well as an opportunity for deeper engagement with an album for serious listeners and fans.
We believe this would provide artists with an additional tool to promote their music between releases (e.g. on creative breaks) which we identified as an important theme during our analysis.
Iterated throughout the entire feature design cycle remotely, utilised different design methods, and designed the app prototype with teammates while considering Spotify’s branding and business needs. Focused and responsible for mainly the listeners’ aspect but also kept the benefits for artists in mind.
Figma, Miro, Qualitative Research
“Your thoughts on the ‘how might we’statements are particularly interesting, and something I will bring to next year’s teaching, so thank you. I think the depth of the design work you have undertaken is impressive.”
"The prototype itself is sleek, fits perfectly into the branding of Spotify and very much feels like a real part of the tool. I think the interactions are minimal and this serves to make the design also equitable across musicians and artists, so it is nice to see that value come out clearly in your work. Very well done."
Jason Huang, Christoph Johns, Rita Nordström & Simon Sundin
Started by an interest in artists’ connection to and interaction with their audience, especially from the perspective of up-and-coming artists and regarding the artist page on Spotify, we conducted Semi-structured Interviews with a wide range of different musicians distributing their music on the platform.
Based on interviews findings and additional research into the problem area, including Literature Search, Product, Communities, and Forums Reviews, we identified the major themes with Affinity Diagram and led to the problem statement:
Up-and-coming artists need to be able to succinctly express their own identity on Spotify because Spotify is currently focused on distribution instead of expression.
This problem was further narrowed down and operationalised into the How Might We question:
HMW translate the experience of an album booklet into a digital format?
With the Worst Possible Ideas, Crazy Eights, Sketches, and then User Flow, we created the first prototype of our solution.
After a Cooperative Evaluation with peers, we gained valuable insights, especially on a perceived overload of content and lack of navigation within the booklet. We also noted that the attractiveness of the content or the appeal of the artist might influence the perceived value of a booklet.
In the second iteration, we created a multi-tab system where the artist could write their tab names and format the booklet, creating an easier overview instead of a long scrolling booklet. We also created example booklets from scratch that might have felt interesting to read or more closely matches the interests of our test subjects.
We started with a basic User Flow of what the app would contain and to separate the works, we later made a more refined diagram to help ourselves keep track of where everything would be accessible.
As mentioned, I focused mainly on the listeners’ aspect, where the Interactable Cards were something valuable during our ideation, especially when combined with the social and shareable feature inspired by Spotify Wrapped, and hence I would love to dig deeper into it.
Although a free-form canvas-style layout system would provide more flexibility for artists, we learned that a more document-style booklet worked better with the existing Spotify interaction pattern. Also, by adding bands related to the test subjects, we discovered that creating a connection to the prototype seems crucial when letting people try out and get motivated to provide feedback and insights.