Spotify Social - What if you can create Listening Sessions on Spotify?
Spotify Social is a feature for Spotify app which allows the users to create live listening sessions so that they can listen to the songs with their friends and family members in real-time without being at the same place.
Spotify has emerged as a leading music streaming platform of 2010 with approximately 140M+ users and currently, they are investigating the ways in which people relate to music and each other This is where the opportunity was given about how we can improve their relationships with each other with music and by using Spotify as the platform.
Spotify Listening Sessions is a feature designed for Spotify Mobile App where the users (Artists and the listeners) can create public and private listening sessions and can listen to the music with each other in the real-time. Also, based on permissions, other listeners can add songs they would like to listen to during the session.
Spotify currently has approximately 140M+ active users and has the potential to be a leading social network as they have the key part of a social network which is people.
Spotify is already providing some basic social features like following artists and friends, identifying the activities of friends and what they have listened to and sharing music through different channels.
Some of the competitors I studied in this space are Apple Music, Gaana and Saavan. The latter two are prominent music platforms of India. It showed some interesting insights like Gaana creates a listening memory of the songs you have listened to which are the same as your friends. Such memories allow you to know more about the music taste of the other person. Likewise, Saavn allows you to share music on your timeline and allows you to tag people. They can comment and react on the songs you have shared which help to build empathy towards the other people and recreating memories because most of the songs we listen have some memories associated with it.
Secondary research is always helpful to know what is going on in the world but, never helpful enough to understand the actual users. So, I did some primary research with some of the hardcore Spotify users. The interviews were mostly remote (over a phone call and Skype Chat) as I didn’t prefer to interview my friends. I interviewed 4 people from 4 different countries to know about their culture towards listening and sharing music.
Some insights I found were quite interesting as some of the people were very open to sharing their music with others whereas for some their music was very private and they didn’t prefer to share it with others. It also helped me to understand their behaviour for using Spotify and their problems which led me to create a target persona for this features.
Features and Functionalities
Based on the interviews and their needs, I started brainstorming around the features and functionalities I can provide to the users. But, out of all, it always helps to narrow down the features list to the MVP approach and focus on the must needed features first.
Use Cases and Flows
Based on these features, I created the use cases and user flow diagrams to understand the entire system with an overview.
Based on the Use Cases, I started sketching to understand how we can put each and every element on the screen and quickly iterate it if needed.
Later, the sketches were translated into low-fi wireframes. During these entire ideation process, I took two main decisions.
1. Keeping the listening sessions pattern like Instagram Live Stories because as per Jakob’s law, people spend most of their time on different websites and different apps. So that, they expect your website to behave in the same manner. As well as, it reduces the cognitive load for the users when they can interact with the similar patterns.
2. I tweaked the current Search a little bit. As while creating the sessions, they need to do two main activities which are adding songs to the session and inviting friends. Current Search feature gives the users everything while they search for anything. So, I separated the results based on their needs. If they are searching for the songs, they will see the songs and albums. Whereas, for the people, they will be able to see their friends and followers.
With these wireframes, I created basic click-dummy prototypes to test it with the users as it always helps to know the mistakes and iterate it. I tested it with 5 different users out of which 4 were Spotify Users and 1 was non-Spotify user (Just to check whether they understand the feature or not)
Testing gave some interesting insights like one of the participants was trying to create listening sessions from their playlist. And, I asked them the reason and they said that they have curated playlists for each and every month and every day making listening sessions could be a monotonous process for them. This was something which was not considered at all. And, I created the user flow and wireframes for that. Also, it is helpful for the artists as well because they also have their curated playlists and they wouldn’t have the time to follow the listening session process every time.
Apart from that, there were some minor changes in the wireframes, which I iterated for the second version.
For every feature, it is always important to understand the success metrics and how we would measure the success. I used Google’s HEART Framework to define the success metrics. I primarily chose Happiness, Engagement and Retention to describe the success because I felt that, if our users will be happy with the feature and overall services, they will remain engaged to the feature and we will be able to retain them over the period of time.
Based on the problem statement and solution, the goal was to help people to bond over the music whether they are friends or family members or partners, all the people have the pieces music which has some memories about other people and with these features, the intention was to bring them even closer through music.
CURIOUS ABOUT MORE DETAIL?
Read the case study I published with Muzli on Medium.