How might we let users soundtrack and share their life within Spotify?
How can Spotify make the listening experience a social experience by enabling people to share the audio that means the most to them?
How can they help listeners build a deeper connection with friends and artists? We want to create a feature within Spotify that helps people easily share content and explore how we can make Spotify a more personable experience and a platform to connect with others.
This is a documentation of my process when I created a 30-minute digital workshop with the intention of solving this challenge.
Why this challenge?
I love music. Listening to music, making music and playing music to others. I love how it brings people together and creates connections and how it makes every moment more special. That’s why I chose this challenge which is one of the briefs for the D&AD competition that I attend to submit a contribution to.
“The shitty first draft”
So how do I create a workshop to solve this challenge? I wanted to create a workshop that sparks creativity and playfulness. It needs to be fun and collaborative, just like music is.
During the course of Design principles at Hyper Island I have learned a lot. Almost too much. The complexity of Design thinking and working with UX requires us to be flexible. The design process is never linear, rather like a loop. I have learned that you have to adapt to every situation. And the jungle of tools and methods out there can be really overwhelming. This is why I started with designing a “shitty first draft” that I could prototype and test as early as possible.
Check-in and empathize
The check-in lets the attendees “Soundtrack their day” by choosing a song that would represent how their day has been. A fun and playful check-in with a focus on music. I wanted the participants to start thinking about music and how you can connect music with your life and everyday situations.
For the Empathize part, I started off by just describing the challenge with (way too much)text and a HMW. After feedback from my learning team, I shortened things down, changed to bullet points and added some images.
I wanted to create a workshop that releases creativity and opens up the mind of the attendees. I used a mix of some different tools:
• Inspiration board: I wanted to start with an activity that let the participants reflect on music for a few minutes by writing down words and thoughts around music.
• Negative brainstorming: Coming up with great solutions at the start can be tricky. That’s why I wanted to use this technique where you flip the HMW to focus on really bad ideas instead and then see what happens when they are inverted.
• Change user perspective: What would a 5 years old have done? This technique I used because it opens up for playfulness and makes you think outside the box.
• No limits: What would you do the year 2021 with no financial or technical limits? The intention with this was to get the attendees to go crazy and let go of all limits. Sometimes the craziest and most unreal ideas can contain interesting parts that can be turned into a more realistic idea.
• Yes and!: I believe that collaboration between different people and perspectives is the key to the most innovative ideas. And what better tool to use than “Yes and” when you want people to build on and develop each other's ideas.
• Voting by using dotmocracy. An efficient and fair tool to make decisions.
Fun and creative but too much and too messy
So how did it go? I can’t say that it went all bad because I learned a lot. But the workshop was far away from success. It was fun and inspiring, but it did not reach my goal of having some ideas that we can take further and prototype. The result was instead some ideas that had drifted away from the HMW. So why did this happen?
• Too much content. With all the different tools it became too much. The attendees got stressed and confused. It felt like they forgot the actual challenge, which made them drift away. I realized that I have to scale things down and make it more concrete.
• Keep it simple and easy to follow. Lable the steps and time frame clearly.
• Not enough time. I underestimated how long time things take.
• The empathize part needs to be more concrete and visually clear.
• Wrong target group. The next time I will run it with people that identifies themself as “social music lovers”.
• It was fun and I managed to get the participants in the right mood. Everyone loved the “Soundtrack your day” check-in.
The adapted version
My intention was to turn it into a more simple and user-friendly workshop with a more clear focus.
How did I adapt it?
• Redesigned with a more linear approach for a more user-friendly flow.
• Added more depth to the empathize part by adding a customer journey and problem statement for a more clear and concise description of the user's problem.
• To make the start of the ideation part more relevant to the challenge I decided to replace the Kick of board. I got inspired by the “Mash-up innovation method” which is a tool that focuses on combining different elements. In this case, I wanted the participants to brainstorm on two topics:
1) Music moments: When, where and how do you love listening to music.
2) Technology & services”: What technologies and services are there out there today that we can use to capture and share moments? And then let them ideate on how to combine these two topics for creating a new feature within Spotify.
• I decided to remove the “Negative brainstorming”, “No limits” and “Change of user perspective” and instead put more focus and allow more time on the “Yes and” part as this felt like the most effective way to open up the participants creative floodgates.
• Added a Check-out by letting the users request a favorite song in a jukebox and showing off some silly dance moves. A fun way to end a music-related workshop.
In the next step I will run the new version with a group that is within the target group. Come back soon for an update :)