Karena
Vongampai

ux / product designer

© karena vongampai

spotify gifted.

ux designer / class project | 4 days

For one of my UX Prototyping Techniques projects, I designed the user experience of sharing music within the Spotify desktop application. After reading through several social media posts online, in the Spotify community threads, I found multiple users longing for an easier way to share music within Spotify. I created mockups at 2 different fidelities and conducted rapid usability evaluations with accessible friends who actively use Spotify.

01 PROBLEM STATEMENT

How can Spotify users conveniently share personal recommendations of music with others?

02 PROJECT

Designing an in-app music sharing system for current Spotify users.

03 UNDERSTAND

I kick started this project by browsing through the Spotify Community threads, to gauge how users were feeling about the inability to share music through Spotify, and whether or not it was even a concern of theirs. This project initially came to mind, because as an active Spotify user who loved sharing music with friends, I found the current options unappealing and tedious.

Tedious, because whenever I wanted to share a playlist I had to remember to mark it "Make Public." Or else the link I sent to my friends through a separate chat system would fail.

Takeaways
  • Not everyone who has a Spotify account has a Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, or Tumblr they can use to share music through
  • People valued sharing music with their friends
  • People valued a hub where they could look through past music/messages they shared with people through the platform
  • People wanted notifications for new music being sent their way
04 MAPPING USER FLOWS

After reading through Spotify Community threads, I pinpointed user flows that would communicate what the new feature can do. Below is a list of user flows included in my prototype.

  • Finding a song, upon login, to Gift to someone and adding more songs to the Gift
  • Looking at new gifts you’ve been sent
  • Looking at old gifts you’ve been sent
05 SKETCHES

Jotting down ideas through detailed sketches.

Sketch of how new Gifts could appear on the homepage.

Sketch of how Gifted navigation and notifications would be displayed on the homepage.

Sketch of what users would see, when attempting to access aggregate Gifted notifications.

06 PAPER PROTOTYPE

After reading through Spotify Community threads, I pinpointed user flows that would communicate what the new feature can do. Below is a list of user flows included in my prototype.

Evaluation

Many of the people evaluating my prototype spoke to the previous messaging design Spotify utilized, but I wanted to keep this feature clean, and rather than helping Spotify evolve as a messaging app, I wanted to stay on theme with the idea of a music player.

Research Questions
  • Do users understand the concept of "Gifting" a song?
  • How should the opportunity to Gift be improved?
Takeaways
  • Place of Gift feature was intuitive
  • Restructuring Gift to an alternative form of Share
  • Desire to create drafts they would send to people
07 HIGH FIDELITY MOCKUPS

My full click-through prototype can be found here.

Creating the high-fidelity prototype was tricky, because I had to ensure that the seamless incorporation of the feature would seem natural to everyday Spotify users. While creating this, I utilized a few sketch app resources, which can be downloaded here. I looked to this for guidance, and also reviewed their brand guidelines. It was fun to see my ideas come to life within the Spotify ecosystem, and working in high-fidelity allowed me to see how specific designs on paper would not translate well to web. Below is a gif that showcases the main user flow of finding a song and gifting it to a friend.

08 REFLECTION

From this project I learned that strategically selecting user flows will help you as a designer get your message across. Additionally, this project made me excited about future work I would do in design. I also learned how important it is to understand how to design within a pre-existing ecosystem, in order to make a seamless user experience.

Feedback
  • I would love to use this in Spotify
  • It fits seamlessly in the ecosystem
  • Gifting and personalizing makes sharing more intentional
09 FOR THE FUTURE

After completing this personal project, I realized that there were a few areas that I would love to explore further:

  • Add a feature that allows people to add gifts to their personal Spotify library
  • User test whether or not adding a message is necessary