Note: this is a copy of the case study published in Prototypr.io, linked here
In the midst of the Apple Music versus Spotify debate, most of my friends have chosen Spotify. I think this is mainly due to the ability to stream on devices other than those in the Apple ecosystem, and for the ability to make fun of friends for their odd tastes in music.
The latter wouldn’t be possible without the Friend Activity feature on the right bar of the desktop application. The feature provides live updates on what your friends are listening to, allowing friends to discover new types of music or discover similar tastes in music.
But this social aspect of music entertainment stops in the desktop app. The feature is not available on the mobile devices, and although Spotify has integrated with popular social media platforms, users would have to exit these third-party apps to listen to the music that their friends post. (I mean, how many of us actually listen to the music that our friends post on their IG stories?) Realizing this, I wanted to make the social aspect of music sharing more accessible, which led me to redesign the Spotify mobile app with this in mind.
Re-introducing social features to the Spotify app meant that I had to be aware of the stylistic choices that the design team had already made.
I knew that the mobile app had a bottom navigation bar that had the options to go to different tabs within the app (i.e. My Library, Browse, Radio, Home, and Search). With these five tabs, I noticed that there was an easy way to get to the Radio function in the Browse tab, so I decided to replace the Radio spot on the navigation bar with the Social feature.
I knew that simply having a live activity feed wouldn’t be enough for a truly interactive social media app, so I quickly drew up wire-frames.
I decided to put in a Feed through which users interact with one another by posting short messages and sharing media, the likes of which were inspired by Twitter and Instagram. I remained with the dark theme of Spotify and kept the white and green accents that the brand is known for.
In order to efficiently divide the space in the Social Tab, I decided to have a “sliding screen” that would allow the user to seamlessly switch between the activity and content feeds by swiping on the top near the bolded Friend Activity and Posts text.
The green underline would confirm that the user selected that tab, and I made sure to lower the brightness of the font of the section that is not in use (i.e. Friend Activity is more gray in the second photo).
In regards to the content feed, I thought that it was especially important that there was a variety of ways to interact with the posted content, so I added a ‘like’, ‘repost’, and ‘comment’ icon next to each post.
I also added a vertical line in-between and indented posts relating to one another to make it easier for users to tell what posts were replies.
After clicking the plus in the top right hand corners of the screen, the user would be brought to a screen that would allow them to share their thoughts and ideas relating to Spotify content, as well as attach a song, playlist, or podcast to the message.
A question that I ran into when designing was how the users were going to find one another and follow them. After using the Spotify app a bit more, I soon realized that these features also already exist on the app. Users can use the search tab to search for their friends, and once on their profiles, follow them.
In summary, I believe that this addition to the Spotify mobile app will make music more social again. The integration of social media within the mobile app will both retain users and encourage the sharing of podcasts and music, creating a more global music community and a new way for users to interact with one another.