Soundcloud

Soundcloud is the world’s largest music and audio distribution platform, music sharing site, and App.

Overview

FIT's User Experience (UX) Design Certificate Program

The Product

Soundcloud is the world’s largest music and audio distribution platform, music sharing site, and App that enables its users to upload, promote, and share audio. SoundCloud lets people discover and enjoy the greatest selection of music from the most diverse creator community on earth.

Date 2019

My role Product Designer (UX & UI)

Team
Kevin Perdomo, Derek Chow, Lauren Lysaght

Problem

• App is too hard to navigate for first-time users.
• Lack of customization for user accounts and music streaming preferences.
• Too many steps to complete one action.
• Lack of organization/categorization with music.

Goals

• More User-friendly navigation.
• Reduce the number of steps to complete one action.
• Apply desktop features to Mobile.
• Find a new way to organize the user's music.

Empathize

During this phase, my primary goal is to learn more about the user and their problems, wants, and needs, and the environment or context in which they’ll experience the design.

Soundcloud User Interviews

In exploring SoundCloud users' experiences, I unearthed unique insights into their music discovery journey.
Users value SoundCloud's vast music library, offering genres not found elsewhere, and appreciate its ability to elevate lesser-known artists to global recognition, fostering a sense of inclusivity and opportunity within the music community.

"SoundCloud it gave me the kind of music I wouldn't getanywhere else or another streaming music platform since their music library is very vast and full of many unpopular genres from all around the world."
22 years old Regular SoundCloud User

“You could have artist who don’t have global fame, have sell-out show due to their SoundCloud popularity”
29 years old Artist SoundCloud User

"Anyone could be an artist”
27 years old Artist SoundCloud User

“I discovered a lot of new really talented artists using SoundCloud so I would say it's one of the best ways”
24 years old Regular SoundCloud User

Competitive Analysis

Our team researched many music streaming applications. We focused our research on Spotify, MixCloud, and Hearthis because of the similarity to Soundcloud function to upload music early and share it.

Hypothesis

From our research, 80% of consumers in the United States say that a variety of music is the most important feature in a music streaming service. One of the key performance factors with any streaming service is the library size.

Many people use Soundcloud because they have over 10 million music creators, 177 million tracks, and over 1 billion users. However, for the past couple of years, it has become more stressful due to the lack of technology advancements on mobile devices and subscription changes.

Empathy Interview Reflections:

General Insights

• Users Mood and activity determine the type of music they are listening to.
• Music exploration is unique for all users, some are going to shows to find new tunes while others listen to the stations already curated for them and some rely heavily on their friends for recommendations.
• Music evokes emotions in listeners and artists want to use that to help tell a story in their songs.
• Creating music is a way for an artist to express themselves in ways they can’t with normal words and processed on an intellectual level compared to visual.

Soundcloud Insights

• Users use Soundcloud to follow friends and support their music. Does not use for playlists.
• Users wish for an easy way to create playlists.
• Users wish for easy way to discover new music.
• The app is too cluttered with irrelevant information and tracks which distract me from my original task.
• Navigation feels convoluted and finding key features are hidden away with layers of clicks and taps.
• There isn’t a way for an artist to evaluate valuable feedback and filter out meaningless words.

Ideate

Ideation is only one step in the full UX design process; once ideas are generated, a separate analysis has to follow to decide which ideas (or parts of ideas) to pursue. The more ideas the better.

“Soundcloud has a vast library but looking for something new can't take some time.”

The insights gleaned from our comprehensive research and surveys have been instrumental in devising strategies to simplify the process of creating a new playlist, all while ensuring that users have ample opportunities to explore a wide variety of music genres without encountering unnecessary delays. Throughout our investigative process, we identified a significant pain point among participants, which revolved around their concerns regarding the time-consuming nature of discovering new and original music. This critical finding has been pivotal in shaping our approach to enhancing user experience and addressing user needs effectively.

Sitemap

A sitemap tells search engines which pages and files you think are important in your site, and also provides valuable information about these files.

TaskFlow

To initiate the creation of a new playlist, users will navigate to their playlist library. From there, they can proceed to create a new playlist by selecting preferences such as genre, artists, or specific songs of interest. SoundCloud will then curate a selection of random songs based on the user's taste. Additionally, users will have the option to customize their playlist by swiping left on individual songs within the playlist interface.

Prototype & Test

After you have an idea of how to solve the problem, you’re ready to enter the prototy pephase, where your goal is to produce an early model of a product that demonstrates its functionality and can be used for testing.

Mid fidelity wireframe (create a quick playlist)

Design System

Build

Low fidelity wireframe

Low fidelity wireframes enable teams to be Agile, meaning they help project stakeholders determine the best solution for end-users faster. A low fidelity wireframe is not a complex, fully-baked design but is enough to help the client determine whether to add or subtract features in an interface.perlinks and ads.

Prototype

Quick animation addressing the redesign to increase users' ability to discover top/new music that has been curated and organized by SoundCloud.

The redesign also includes:
• Re-alignment of the Navigation Bar
• News Feed of Artists
• Organization of Content
• More prominent & clearer actions on Now Playing
• Page creation of a quick Playlist function
• Create a new playlist by many categories

Conclusion

Even small changes can significantly impact the quality of the user experience. Simple adjustments can create a smoother journey for users, enhancing their overall interaction with the platform. SoundCloud, primarily a social media platform centered around music, exemplifies this by continually evolving based on user feedback. Through user interviews, we realized that while we were on the right path, there was still much to learn about our diverse user base.