Users suggestions through survey
I religiously use the Amazon Prime Video App, hence thought of giving Amazon Prime Music a try (In India, Amazon has only prime music service). Though I liked the app in terms of quality of songs, however, I felt that the interface could be more seamless and intuitive. I faced difficulty in accessing features, also found that some basic and essential app features are missing. Hence, I took it as an opportunity to polish the experience and redesign the prime music app around these objectives:
Revamp the UI and UX
Add new features and functionality
Catering to different roles
Note: I'm not affiliated with Amazon in any way. Views expressed in the project are my own.
Knowing the brand
I started my research by understanding more about the Amazon Prime Music service, finding out about its competitors and potential audience. It's the fastest-growing music streaming service with 70% growth last year. What makes it unique is Alexa integration, due to which it has a different target audience as compared to competitors who targets a younger demographic.
Along with the younger audience, about 14% of subscribers to Amazon Music are aged 55 or older, compared with just 5% of competitors' customers.
I set up an online survey using Google forms and pasted the link on my social media channels. The survey asked about their age, expected features, and design suggestions for the music service. Based on the results, I chose the competitors, the most desired features, and the modifications in the app.
Also, I found out that most of the users don't research about music apps before using them. Therefore, by improving the usability and experience, negative reviews might be overlooked by the new users.
Users' ability to do the tasks on the existing app
Next, I asked 5 users in their natural setting to carry out the following tasks in their phones:
Play the song from the auto-generated playlists. 0/5
Sort the songs in the playlist. 2/5
Get the song details. 0/5
Go to profile, see the followers and share the playlist with them.
Like a song and an album then go to the liked songs/album playlist. 3/5
Play the songs from the available stations. 3/5
Like the song? hmmm... not sure maybe this plus button... Did something happen?
Ummm... song details aren't there
This profile page doesn't do anything. I wonder why it's here...
What users have to say about it?
I observed and analyzed the features of the competitors to learn more about what we have to focus on our product. Through the survey, I found that most users use Spotify and Youtube along with Amazon Prime Music, hence I decided to focus on these competitors.
Based on the research, I decided on the features to set the criteria for analysis.
I noticed Amazon Prime Music has low points on almost all the desired features in comparison to the competitors.
None of the services has the feature to search a song through humming.
Only Spotify has an app feature to set the equalizer. However, it's not easily discoverable, thus making you believe it's not there (Out of sight, out of mind).
Prime music users can only set the equalizer settings through the Alexa device.
I observed that Prime music has the option to create liked songs playlist by clicking on the "+" symbol that is quite misleading. Also, once clicked, it doesn't inform users about the action.
I noticed Youtube has the established music community that competitors are missing.
Spotify has the podcast section that competitors didn't have the opportunity to design. Moreover, through surveys and contextual interviews, it's clear that users would like to have the podcast section in the app.
All these findings helped me to elicit improvements and design opportunities to improve the experience of the users and the quality of the prime music service.
Ideas Selection using NOW, HOW, WOW matrix
I brainstormed the ideas based on the research. For ideas selection, I listed the ideas generated through brainstorming in Now, Wow, and How matrix.
'Now' had the ideas that were traditional and easy to implement.
'WOW' had the ideas that were new and could be implemented immediately.
'How' had the ideas that were innovative but difficult to implement technically and require time.
A new user sets languages and artist preferences to create auto-generated playlists.
Sign In Screen: The old screen was cluttered and ambiguous. Therefore, redesigned it by keeping the required elements only.
Designed the experience and visuals for two new screens-Language preferences and Artist Preferences.
Redesigned the home page: Rearranged the sections as per revised information architecture, moved Daily playlists, and Recommendations to the top order.
As per the research findings, used tab pattern to categorize Songs, Podcasts, Stations, and Moods for easy and smooth accessibility of content.
On the bottom navigation, re-positioned Alexa as users complained of Alexa popping up unnecessarily while navigating or playing the song.
Removed 'Find' from the bottom navigation and placed 'Search' on the top of the page so that users can find it easily. The older design for 'Find' was complex. Through information architecture, I noticed that auto playlists were placed inside 'Find'.
A user accesses the auto-generated playlist, likes an album, and a song then goes to 'My music' to explore the auto-generated 'Liked Songs' and 'Liked Albums' playlists.
Modified the visual design of the 'Album' screen.
Added 'connect to a device' and a 'like(heart)' icon to the Album screen for quick accessibility.
Made the play icon more visually significant to give it a center stage.
On the player screen, removed shuffle and repeat icon from the bottom as these features were mostly unused. Thus, I made the interface less cluttered. (Validated through user interviews)
Placed 'heart' icon on the top right corner of the album and in front of the songs to provide quick access to the users to like the songs, and use the liked songs playlist as soon as possible.
My music screen: Following the revised IA, removed and introduced tab pattern for smooth navigation among Playlists, Albums, Songs and Mood. Simultaneously, designed the experience for the auto-generated liked playlists.
A user accesses the song details through a song credit feature.
Placed the 'Song Credits' option inside the overflow menu(vertical ellipsis).
Redesigned the visual design for the overflow menu screen, keeping the essence of the brand alive so that the users feel connected.
Designed the experience and visuals for a new screen with the song details.
A user sorts the songs in the playlist using the available filters.
Placed 'Sort the playlist' option inside the overflow menu on the top right corner of the album screen. As per the survey results, the sorting feature was among the most desired features. The placement was decided based on user interviews.
Designed the visuals for the sorting screen using blue color and card design to give the center stage to the sorting information.
A user wants to listen to a specific song but can't recall it. He decides to use the humming feature to find the song.
Designed the placement of the humming icon. I combined it with the search feature so that users quickly find it without adding to their already increased cognitive load.
Designed the experience and the visuals for the following screens for coherency.
A user wants to adjust the frequency of the audio signals. He looks for an equalizer in the app.
While doing Competitive Analysis, I found that the equalizer feature in competitors is not easy to spot. Thus leaving the impression of not being there (Out of sight out of mind). Keeping that in mind, I grouped it with settings in overflow menu on the home page.
Designed the experience and visuals in compliance with the design guidelines.
A user wants to connect his device to the app. He explores the 'Connect to a device' option.
Did visual enhancements on 'Connect to a device' screen.
Made 'set up a device' button more significant by using it as a call of action with primary color (Blue).
Listed the compatible devices to help the users connect to a device as soon as possible.
A user wants to connect with people having the same interests in music.
Through research, I found that users would like to have a music community to connect with like-minded people. Hence I modified the experience and visuals of the existing profile feature in the app.
What have I learned through this project?
I was extremely excited about starting this project as I always thought of polishing the prime music experience while using the service. As I progressed, I got nervous, seeing the tremendous amount of work ahead, and the lockdown was the icing on the cake.
The most challenging part was the research and then defining the right problem as I faced difficulty in finding the participants for usability tests and interviews amid this pandemic. Thanks to social media and the internet, I leveraged the technology to proceed with my research during these unprecedented times.
Also, I learned the importance of prioritization of the research methods. Had I framed the Information Architecture earlier in the research, it would have saved me a lot of time as most of the user flow improvements were easily identified in IA.
Once I identified the scope of improvements and design opportunities, the rest of the process was smooth and fun. Despite the nervousness and procrastination, I had a great time doing this project. I had an opportunity to hone my design skills and have grown as a designer. I encountered new learning that added to my experience and helped me shape my design process in a better way.