In 2017, we had a growing business, a solid product but we barely knew our producers and what they were facing in the everyday life. We wanted to help them out, in the journey, for this, we had to be in their shoes, the kickstart of a fascinating project, the producer journey.
What is the typical day of a music producer? What are the common obstacles they face when producing music? Can we identify common patterns? To identify the biggest challenges, we used a card sorting exercise as the foundation of the conversation and identify which struggles user resonate with the most. Here are the key insights:
Zooming in, we started to have a clearer picture of these creative blocks and what they mean for the user. Some common pattern started to emerge that we could divide in various theme that impact the producer at various steps of the creative process.
Social media and internet is a distraction loophole for music producers, that interrupts the creative flow
Users are often overwhelmed about the amount of sounds available and creative routes they can take.
Experienced producers have smaller, curated libraries, tools of choice and go-to plugins at their fingertips.
Many producers have tools located in various places with random names and folders. But they find their way in the mess.
They enjoy the creative part. The mixing/ mastering part, not so much. Even though they know how important it is, they get bored.
Which leads to many songs unfishined, sitting over folders. Going back to these is not exciting, especially since they have no specific goals.
One of the key aspects people were expressing was how unorganized they were. Also, the fact that their assets were fragmented and all over the place.
We focused our efforts to solve the organization/unification of your assets. To solve the feeling of a fragmented library, we wanted to help the users import their personal libraries they accumulated in various places in one single place, all organized with full backup. This led to the Sample Import Project.
Before jumping into designs, it was key to fully understand the user flow. From the introduction of a new section, to adding folders, to having your samples organized. It helped understand how it ties to the overall Splice Architecture.
We were ready to test with real users and get a first gut check of the experience. The company wanted to learn more about the business value of the feature and if people were ready to pay for it. Nothing fancy, we put together a clickable prototype that users can use and understand to test the core experience.
Whiteboard of the user flow
Building interactive prototypes
Usability testing with live participants
Overall, the high level experience was clearly understood by users, everything was clear from onboarding to how the feature works.
One of the biggest surprise was how much people wanted their folder structure to be reflected in the feature. They wanted to quickly switch from library to another. Also, almost no users were ready to pay for the feature if some kind of backup solution was not included.
After all these feedback, we were ready to dig deeper on the design with more confidence. Technology was more solid, we were ready to move towards an MVP. This meant, higher fidelity design and closer collaboration with engineers.
To save time, we don’t provide specs on a static base anymore. We moved from tools to others over time, now we use the “Inspect” mode in Abstract to quickly provide redlines to engineers. Faster and easily updatable way to provide the info that is needed.
Given the wide array of interactions (hover, click, editing, clicking outiside..) I worked on a Principle prototype to quickly convey the feeling of what the interaction should be. It helped save some precious time in the building phase.