Soundcloud Collaboration Room
Soundcloud are the world’s leading social sound platform where people can create and share sounds.
This project was completed during my time at General Assembly.
Soundcloud are the world’s leading social sound platform where people can create and share sounds. Every month Soundcloud has 175 million unique monthly listeners and 12 hours worth of audio is uploaded every minute.
Create a feature that allows users to collaborate online, DJing their select tracks with other users in real time.
This feature will work with an responsive website design that works well with iPad and/or iPhone and allows users to do the following:
- DJs should be able to select tracks and take turns playing songs
- DJs should be able to capture and share their DJ sets
- Listeners should be able to join rooms and listen to live DJ sets
The team consisted of four people: Cherell Lynes, Gen Chow, Zhenjie Cai and myself as team lead.
We adopted an agile UX process over the course of the two week project. This method allowed us to carry out efficient and effective research to identify problems, understand potential solutions, test with users and design our final proposal.
Competitive Analysis, Survey, Task Analysis, User Flows, Site Map, User Interviews, Contextual Inquiry, Persona creation, Scenarios, Sketches, Wireframes, User Testing, Prototyping.
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign; OmniGraffle and Marvel.
Desktop, iPad and iPhone.
Contextual Inquiry and User Interviews
To get a better understanding of how DJs currently work and collaborate together we interviewing many different types of DJs from semi-professionals to bedroom enthusiasts from London to New York through video calls or face-to-face. We also did a contextual inquiry where we watched a DJ use his own equipment and witnessed his normal routine of putting together a track or set.
We conducted a survey to see what trends in DJ & Listeners habits we could identify.
2/3 of respondents said they would listen to live music online in real time.
Main issues with attending live shows in person were:
- Expensive tickets
- Physically uncomfortable
- Ticket availability
We found that DJs were very open to the idea of online collaboration in real time as the top three problem areas for live collaborations were travel constraints (over 2/3), not enough time and finding a venue.
We created three different personas from our research to act as representatives of our target users. We kept these personas in mind throughout all the other stages of the project so we always knew who we were designing for.
Gabriella (Social Butterfly)
Jaz (Merry Maker)
Steve (Aspiring DJ)
- Busy single parent
- Very into his music
- Wants to pursue music as a career opportunity
- Wants to learn more about DJing in his spare time and develop his skills
- Share his music and get a wider audience
- Get some constructive feedback
- Be able to communicate collaborators techniques
- Platform for audiences to view him working and past work
- Get in contact with other DJs — feedback from both viewers and professionals
Steve has just put the kids to bed and wants to spend time on his music project, he wants to go online to learn some new skills and goes to see how his favourite DJ Nico Kass, has developed his latest set.
Steve's User Journey
Prioritisation of Key Features
- Communication between DJs
- Visual / Video
- Collaboration rooms
- Notify when online
Sketching and Prototyping
We ran many design studio sprints where we invited different users of the service both DJs and Listeners as well as our design team to generate ideas for the features that we had already identified as the most important. We then tested these preliminary designs using paper prototypes.
After testing with paper prototypes, we then created digital wireframes and continued to test and produce different iterations based on the user feedback.
High Fidelity Mockup Prototype
We kept the visual design very much intact with the current branding of Soundcloud to ensure it is not disruptive to the current platform but actually works as an added feature to enhance it’s enabling.
Communication was the most important issue for the DJs. They needed to be able to see and hear what the other DJ was doing at all times. And also user's like Steve can pick up new skills and further their DJing career.
In potential future steps, it would be ideal for Soundcloud to start to work with one of the software companies to produce their own mixing platform. Users are very precious about their own set-up so they are very reluctant to change their habits but the promise of exposure that Soundcloud be very beneficial as all the DJs already use it.