I completed the Google UX certification via Coursera. During my time, I was tasked with creating a mobile application project. I decided on a sales tracker application intended for DJ’s and electronic artists. I named it "snapDJ", intended for users seeking a simple way to track and collect income, and easily transfer it to their accounts.
I was the sole UX designer from conception to delivery. My responsibilities were: conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframes, low and high fidelity prototypes, outlining and conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.
what is the problem my design addressed?
Busy DJ’s and electronic artists have their music streamed and sold on too many platforms. Oftentimes this is cumbersome and complex because they don't have one place to track them all.
What is the goal for this project?
snapDJ aims to track and organize music sales from all sources, in one place. By doing so, this allows for convenient accounting, seamless transfer of royalty funds to their artists, and mitigates any unnecessary complexities.
I conducted interviews and created empathy maps to better understand the users I’m designing for and their needs. A primary user group identified through research was dance music DJs, electronic music artists and record label owners.
This user group confirmed initial assumptions about snapDJ users, but research also revealed that beyond tracking sales, dance music artists and label owners want to be able to easily transfer funds.
I interviewed three DJ's that were also label owners. Because I wanted to interview a diverse set of users, from different cities and countries, an unmoderated interview was sent out. I asked each individual three questions to better understand the users I’m designing for and their needs. Doing so provided a deeper understanding of context for the design-thinking on the snapDJ mobile application.
Our goal: Find out how a DJ with a label would use an album sales tracker app.
Creating a storyboard was key in helping to visualize what the user would experience as they moved through the overall user flow. I used the name of one of the other interview subjects, Aaron, and made a close up storyboard.
After analyzing the user responses, I created one user persona for them all, Victor.
Victor is a busy record label owner who needs an organized and efficient way to track his music sales because it will help him pay artists quickly and file taxes on time.
User journey map:
Mapping Victor’s journey revealed how helpful it would be for users to have access to an all in one dance music sales tracker app.
I wanted to see what competition existed for an accounting/sales tracking application. Below is the full competitive audit:
Who are your key competitors?
Bandcamp, ForTune, SoundExchange. Although they’re all indirect competitors (there are no direct ones for DJ sales tracker app) I still learned a lot.
What are the type and quality of competitors’ products?
The type of products: services for tracking content or sales, and the quality of Bandcamp (in particular) is very high quality. The reason for this is because it is collaboration focused & artist centered. They emphasize the artist in everything.
How do competitors POSITION THEMSELVES IN THE MARKET?
SoundExchange seems to be the go to for digital royalty collection, whereas ForTune is more content based. I think they’re positioning themselves in the market as the experts in their respective field. Both SoundExchange and ForTunes p positions itself as offering a cheap reliable service. Conversely, Bandcamp positions itself as a shop/community with some great analysis and features. In a way, as an artist you could sign up to sell music on Bandcamp and get a sales tracker through them only.
1. Bandcamp has a great UI/visual tracker for sales history.
2. SoundExchange has a comprehensive reach that seems unmatched.
3. ForTunes is very inclusive with their content collection and tracking. They are also collaborative as they want the artist to grow.
1. None of the competitors truly target the DJ sales market.
2. Bandcamp in a way is the closest but their audience is a wide net, stretching across myriad genres.
3. The UI of SoundExchange looks older and doesn’t truly contain a signup CTA, rather a “register” one which feels too formal.
There are a couple of things to improve upon what the 3 competitors were doing:
A UX designer’s core job is to develop a positive relationship with the user and help them accomplish the tasks.
With the user research in hand, I created a structure that served as a roadmap for the low fidelity stage. This included: sitemap, paper wireframes, and eventual digital wireframes.
Taking the time to draft iterations of my login and home screens really helped set this project in the right direction. I ensured only the most functional elements that dealt with user pain points made it to the digital wireframes.
As the initial design phase continued, I ensured only the most functional elements that dealt with user pain points made it to the digital wireframes- this was based on our research and user feedback.
On the homescreen I prioritized a welcome prompt and two primary CTA buttons. With a welcome prompt, the user feels comfort and connection, and the two primary CTA buttons clearly give the users direction.
Low fidelity prototypes:
The low fidelity prototype connected the primary user flow of logging into your dashboard to see how much sales you’ve made, and subsequently transferring the funds to your bank account.
I conducted two round of usability studies. Findings from the first study helped guide the designs from wireframes to mockups. Key user feedback: Users wanted a fail safe for the "transfer amount." (this was updated on the high-fidelity mockups)
Palette and typeface:
After the wireframes were complete, I moved onto high fidelity designs. To fit the brand of the app, I wanted the color palette to feel futuristic. This was achieved by creating a color gradient from an off black to a blue. I created a sticker sheet to show what button states would look like for the user, as well as including both typography and icon choices. As this is a music oriented application, I thought a clean sans-serif typeface such as Radwave and Nunito would work best bold for the headers yet legible for the body copy.
High fidelity changes:
Early designs allowed for some customization, but after the usability studies, I added a confirmation prompt on the "transfer screen" asking the user to make sure the amount they’re transferring is accurate. I also revised the design to add a “modify” call to action. This change would help the user modify the amount they want to transfer instead of having no choice besides the full amount. Below is the before and after:
As someone who is color blind, and has accessibility issues with certain color shades, I know the importance of focusing on website accessibility. I made sure to follow a contrast checker, and to make sure everything was easily readable.
Creating the idea for snapDJ, and interviewing the artists and label owners made me realize how many electronic DJs and label owners could benefit from an app such as snapDJ. The app allows users in the dance music and DJ community to have a one-stop shop for all their sales tracking and global play needs.
Below is a quote from a user after I sent them a prototype link:
Although snapDJ is a personal project done for the Google UX design course, it was a great way to sharpen my UX skills. No matter the stage of the product, improving upon it should always be a goal. Below are two possible future steps for snapDJ:
What I learned:
While designing snapDJ, I learned that the first ideas for the app are only the beginning of the process. Usability studies and peer feedback really help elevate the experience, by influencing each iteration of the app’s design.
Furthermore, by reducing pain points and making app navigation more clear, the users were able to figure out what to do with ease.
What I would do differently:
Since this was a personal project, I could potentially collaborate with a mobile app developer and build this app and experience into the real thing.
In terms of project specifics I would've ideally chosen to interview more users, giving me ample feedback during the research phase. Down the line, perhaps interviewing artists and label owners from genres of music outside electronic music. Although the parameters for this project were clear, "electronic DJ and Dance music", I'd be curious to see how a hip hop or rock label owner might benefit from snapDJ.