There are so many streaming apps in the market depending on the service people want to use: Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal for music; Podcasts by Apple for podcasts; Audible by Amazon for audiobooks. Spotify made a very smart move by investing in a different service: podcasts. It has been a game-changer for the company. Recently, they started exploring the audiobook market by releasing 9 classic books for free.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online streaming services became increasingly more popular at a very fast rate. Users are losing track of the different subscriptions for which they are paying, spreading all their favorite elements across various platforms.
I started off the project by defining a research plan setting out initial thoughts on goals, methodologies, participants and timeline.
I had a preliminary session with 10 participants to understand if the audiobook feature was a valid hypothesis and if it was filling a market gap:
Spotify said 25% of its total user base engaged with podcast content in the quarter (up from 22% in Q3 and 16% in the fourth quarter of 2019). Besides, podcast consumption hours in Q4 nearly doubled year-over-year.
Spotify started recently exploring the audiobook market releasing 9 classic books for free. If they decided to expand into this market, people would have the opportunity to use just one app to perform different tasks.
I conducted 5 remote interviews and 6 online surveys about Spotify and audiobook habits. The sample included Spotify users aged between 18 and 34 years old and listen to at least four audiobooks every 12 months.
QUOTE FROM PARTICIPANT #2
" The form is a concern as it's hard to correct it by myself. Also, I need someone to constantly motivate me. "
QUOTE FROM PARTICIPANT #5
" I spend so much time finding the right class on Youtube. I really would like a structured plan with personalized exercises. "
What if Spotify was the one-shop-stop where people can find music, podcast, and audiobooks?
I started defining the main focus of the project by analyzing the user's goal of having all their favorites gathered in one place, combined with the business goal of attracting new customers by entering a new market. I wanted to have different points of view to gain a more comprehensive idea of the objectives.
Based on the research findings, Jess has been defined as the primary persona that would represent the user archetype for future decision making and the development of the design.
The creation of a sitemap was fundamental for the development of the new feature to see how this could be integrated into the already existing structure of the app.
I started empathizing with Jess by creating a task to understand how she would purchase an audiobook, open the app, and navigate to the new feature.
I then defined three scenarios to see how she would interact with the app. In the first scenario, she wants to purchase an audiobook. In the second, she wants to add an audiobook to the wishlist. In the third, she listens to an audiobook she has previously purchased.
Once the key elements to design were defined, I began sketching the pages of the website and translating them later into wireframes.
The wireframes were designed to build the architecture of the app and to analyze the hierarchy of the content that I wanted to display based on my findings.
I then recreated a Spotify UI kit to make sure all the new components were in line with the existing design system.
I then translated the wireframes into a final design, keeping the new pages consistent with the original branding components.
I had a group session with 9 participants where I showed the high-fidelity design to observe reactions and gather feedback before starting the prototype:
Once the prototype was ready, I conducted 5 remote usability testing via Zoom and 10 via Maze. I asked participants to complete a few tasks on the prototype I created in Figma. I wanted to observe how users interacted with and navigated the app with the new feature.
I implemented the prototype based on the usability testing findings:
I have a feeling that Spotify will pursue this path soon. Due to COVID-19, libraries and universities also have shut down temporarily. As a result, students and book readers are venturing out for digital alternatives, with audio versions being the most preferred one.
It’d be interesting to see how Spotify will create a separation between music, podcasts, and audiobooks without confusing the user. Also, minimizing the number of apps that people use every day and having a one-stop-shop with all the favorites saved in one place could be a real game-changer.