Adding an audiobook feature to the existing music and podcast collection to make Spotify a one-stop-shop streaming service. 

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.

UX/UI Designer
April - May 2021


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.

Interest in listening to audiobooks on Spotify.
How integrate audiobooks with music and podcast.
Response from users to the new feature.
Goals, difficulties and motivators.


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:

  • 80% are interested in the feature;
  • 10% are not interested in the feature;
  • 10% don’t know.
  • Owning the book for life;
  • Can't buy directly in the app;
  • Monthly credit system;
  • Full retail price of audiobooks is often higher;
  • Compatible on all devices.
  • In 2020, book readers are venturing out for digital alternatives and audio versions are the most preferred one;
  • The market size is $1.3bn in 2021 and has grown 13.3% per year on average between 2016 and 2021;
  • Smartphones have emerged as the most preferred listening device for recorded material, accounting for 43.9% revenue share of the overall market in 2019;
  • The narrator’s voice and pronunciation are one of the critical factors impacting the market growth.


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.

Users would like to have all their favorite elements in one place.
The voice of a narrator is one of the most important elements in choosing a book.
Users want relevant recommendations based on personal preferences.
Users would like to reduce the number of subscriptions and apps they currently have.


" The form is a concern as it's hard to correct it by myself. Also, I need someone to constantly motivate me. "


" 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?

Projects Goals

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.

Reduce the number of streaming platforms.
Have all favorite music, podcasts and books in one place.
Give users an opportunity to listen to books.
Attract new customers.

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.

Site Map

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.

Task Flow

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.

User Flow

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.

Sketches &

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.

UI Kit

I then recreated a Spotify UI kit to make sure all the new components were in line with the existing design system.

UI Design

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:

  • The difference for listening to audiobooks between premium and free account is not clear;
  • Need to consider that if a book can be bought in-app, Apple will take a cut of 30%;
  • The credit system is prefered vs the buy-in app option;
  • They want to see the different chapters;
  • The “review system” seems to be off-brand vs the “liking system”.
Usability Testing

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.

View Prototype
  • 90% of the users can complete all the requested tasks.
  • They rate the navigation of the website 9 out of 10.
  • 100% of the users feel the prototype is in line with Spotify.
  • 30% are expecting a separate section for audiobooks.
  • 100% think the feature adds more content to the existing app.
  • Non-audiobook users would subscribe to the trial version because they are curious to test something new.
  • If users are looking for podcasts on Spotify, they would be likely to listen to audiobooks as well.
  • Increasing the current monthly subscription would make users disappointed.
  • They are concerned about the recommendation system.

I implemented the prototype based on the usability testing findings:

  • Created an onboarding page that differentiates the Spotify plans;
  • In the same page, the credit system is explained;
  • Added an audiobook page where users can scroll through all the chapters;
  • Added a search bar on the audiobooks page;
  • Modified the player controllers to allow users to skip forward or backward in 15-second increments;
  • Introduced the credit system vs the buy-in-app option;
  • Used the "liking system" vs the introduction of the "review system".
        View Revised Prototype


        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.