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Spotify Offline Redesign

December 2016

User Research + Analysis, Personas, Wireframes, Adobe Illustrator

Prompt: Redesign a feature of an application based on user research and behaviours

Overview

This project researches how users interact with and make use of (or do not make use of) the play offline feature of Spotify Premium. Use of this feature was impacted by users’ smartphone data usage and budget.

Spotify is a music streaming service that allows users to search, browse, and discover new music and playlists through the Spotify app or web player. It’s free to use on shuffle play with occasional ads, while premium subscribers can listen to ad-free, on-demand music with high-quality audio while offline.

Users can subscribe to curated playlists and use social features like browsing through the music collections of friends, artists and celebrities. Spotify also allows users to create, save, and share playlists or personal radio stations. It can be played on a variety of devices including mobile, computer, tablet, car speakers, Playstation®, smart tv, Android Wear, or on their web player.

Research + Behaviour

User Questionnaire Results

People who use Spotify and other music streaming services were survey to evaluate Spotify's offline playback feature. Twelve behaviour patterns were identified based on user respones.

  • Visualization of survey results
    Survey responses visualized.
  • Spotify user behaviour patterns 1 - 6
    Spotify user behaviour patterns 1 - 6
  • Spotify user behaviour patterns 7 - 12
    Spotify user behaviour patterns 7 - 12
  • Spotify user persona goals
    Spotify user persona goals

Personas

Personas were developed and informed by the survey responses, twelve behaviour patterns, and resulting persona goals. The behaviours of the personas were then visualized.

  • Spotify offline feature primary persona
    Primary Persona - Spotify offline feature
  • Spotify offline feature secondary persona
    Secondary Persona - Spotify offline feature
  • Spotify offline feature tertiary persona
    Tertiary Persona - Spotify offline feature
  • Spotify offline feature anti-persona
    Anti-Persona - Spotify offline feature
  • Visualization of Spotify personas' behaviours
    Visualization of Spotify personas' behaviours

Context Scenarios + Design Requirements

Problem

The Spotify smartphone app offers Premium subscribers the option to conserve cellular data by activating offline playback and downloading songs, albums, and playlists. While the offline playback feature is useful, it has problems such as ease of access, unintuitive location, and disorganization of similar features. Users cannot quickly toggle the feature or access it when downloading music, where it is most needed.

Vision Statement

The redesigned Spotify smartphone app will allow users to quickly toggle the offline playback feature with a minimum number of touches and screens. Users will also be able to quickly identify when they are offline or online, as well as access their saved, offline content with ease. Users’ interactions with the reorganized features will be more efficient and streamlined.

Number Scenario Functional Requirements Data Requirements Contextual Requirements
1 Benton wakes up and begins getting ready for a day of high school. He unplugs his phone from charging overnight and rolls out of bed. He opens Spotify to download his Daily Mix. Benton downloads the daily mix and listens to it while in the shower.
  • instantly get daily mixes and playlist
  • updates listen to music and read song information
  • listen to music while downloading
  • transmit audio over bluetooth
  • output downloaded audio and metadata via bluetooth speaker
  • access streaming library
  • display streaming library
  • in app visual feedback that playback is online
  • visual feedback of selected playback devices
2 While brushing his teeth, Benton browses his friends’ recently played and listens to a few. He adds his favourites to various private and public playlists he created.
  • view friends’ listening activity
  • listen to friends’ recently played
  • add songs to library and playlists
  • collect listening history
  • stream and download audio and metadata to device
  • asaved song order and user input
  • users click links to access users’ profiles and recently played
  • users add new songs to existing library or playlists
3 A song Benton has never heard starts playing from his Daily Mix. He thinks the song is a banger and messages it to his friend in Spotify. In his messages Benton notices a song his friend sent to him and listens to it.
  • share and send songs to to other users
  • send personal, custom messages to other users
  • user input messages
  • message metadata
  • link and stream audio
  • output messages and notifications
  • show and link to messages and user profiles
  • in app shown as banner or lock screen notification
4 Running late for the bus, Benton rushes to get out the door. He pulls out his phone and turns on offline playback before he leaves the house and runs to the bus stop.
  • quickly stop app from using cellular data or wi-fi
  • access already downloaded audio and metadata files
  • output audio and metadata
  • display offline library
  • in app visual feedback that playback is offline
5 Now at the bus stop, Benton isn’t feeling the mellow vibe of the playlist. He starts playing a custom, offline playlist to boost his mood on the bus ride to school. Students aren’t allowed phones in class, so Benton keeps his phone in his pocket when he arrives.
  • play and listen to saved music
  • user able to read song information
  • output downloaded audio and metadata
  • collect audio content by metadata and users’ playlists
  • shown in app as lists
  • downloaded content separated from inaccessible online content
6 At lunch, Ben and his friends hang out in the cafeteria listening to music. Benton connects his phone to his friend’s bluetooth speaker and plays his Spotify playlist. Benton toggles offline playback off to use his friend’s phone as a hotspot.
  • play content from app to bluetooth speaker
  • quickly enable cellular/wi-fi playback
  • transmit audio over bluetooth
  • output downloaded audio and metadata via bluetooth speaker
  • access streaming library
  • display streaming library
  • in app visual feedback that playback is online
  • visual feedback of selected playback devices
7 After school Benton goes to a friend’s house, to hang out and play video games. At his friend’s house Benton plays a Spotify playlist through the PS4. The wi-fi is super spotty, so Benton switches to offline playback.
  • play content from mobile app through PS4
  • listen to music and use in-app controls
  • quickly stop app from using cellular data or wi-fi
  • output audio, metadata and app controls from smartphone to PS4
  • access downloaded audio and metadata
  • connect data and playback of account across devices
  • visual feedback of selected playback devices
8 When Benton gets home he has to study for a test tomorrow. Benton disables offline playback and puts on some music while he studies. Before bed he deletes old music off his phone and downloads new stuff for tomorrow.
  • remove downloaded songs
  • download new songs
  • view downloaded content
  • index and delete audio and metadata
  • add and index new audio and metadata
  • delete old audio and metadata
  • download new audio and metadata
  • visual feedback that content is downloading
  • display offline library

Framework + Key Path Scenarios

Form Factor

This document focuses on redesigning the Spotify app for iOS devices. Specifically, the offline playback feature, only available to Spotify Premium subscribers, is being redesigned. This redesign enables users to quickly toggle offline playback when necessary, and access the users’ downloaded music library. The redesigned offline playback functionality should incorporate minimal screens and user interactions so that the user can spend more time enjoying music and less time adjusting settings.

Posture

Users can download content while online, and later access the content while offline. Users can create, modify, and download custom playlists. The app requires visual feedback that content is downloading and when the app is in offline playback versus online playback, so users can quickly determine the app’s status with minimal interaction and screens. The user will spend more time interacting with the app when browsing content than when playing old or auto-updated content.

Input Methods

Users will interact with the Spotify app using the touchscreen on their iPhones. Users can also perform some inputs in the app using the devices’ physical volume buttons and controls in the iPhone control centre. Users may also be able to interact with the app using third party hardware such as headphones with special buttons, or with the PS4 when using it as a playback device.

Current Design

Keypatch scenario of Spotify's current design

Interaction Framework Sketches

Home Page

The Spotify app opens to this page. It is the main page and offers users the option to pick up where they left off or pick a suggestion based on their listening history.

Functional Elements

  • instantly download daily mixes and playlist updates
  • listen to music and read song information
  • listen to music while downloading

Data Elements

  • audio files and song metadata
  • listening history
hand sketch of home page redesign wireframe
final redesign of Spotify home page

Browse Page

This page allows users to browse for music based on Spotify’s suggestions and curated playlists based on genre, mood, and time of year. Users can also search for music using keywords.

Functional Elements

  • view friends’ listening activity
  • listen to friends’ recently played
  • add songs to library and playlists

Data Elements

  • collect listening history
  • audio and metadata
  • listening history
  • saved song order and user input
hand sketch of browse page redesign wireframe

Downloads Page

The Downloads page allows users to navigate music that users have saved to their device. This is indexed based on metadata and different Spotify discovery playlists. This service is only available to Spotify Premium subscribers.

Functional Elements

  • stop app from using cellular data or wi-fi
  • output audio and metadata info

Data Elements

  • downloaded audio and metadata files
  • output audio and metadata
hand sketch of downloads page redesign

Key Path Scenario

Benton turns on offline playback while leaving the house and selects an offline playlist.