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Spotify
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Music for everyone

Spotify has emerged as a go-to platform for music and podcasts in a majority of markets in the world. This case study dives deeper in Spotify Podcast

Redesign

Case Study

Research

Podcast

2 days : Individual Project

User Experience Design

Problem Solving

The Brief

Find out what engagement means to podcast listener and reimagine Spotify Podcast experience

Create a User Experience around podcast listener, identifying how longer content can be consumed by users and how their overall engagement can be improved.

Goal

Reimagine podcasts experience
Add additional value for the podcast users.

Users

Podcasts listeners on spotify.

The Design Process

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DISCOVER

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DEFINE

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DEVELOP

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DELIVER

  • Understanding the Area

  • Secondary Research

  • Market Research

  • Primary Research

  • Research Insights

  • User Persona

  • Scenario

  • Empathy Map

  • Needs and Requirements

  • Brainstorming Ideas

  • Information Architecture 

  • Use Cases

  • Solutions for them

  • Future Scope

Understanding the Area

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a music streaming platform : biggest in world by no. of subscriptions. It was launched in 2008 & as of Mar 2020, they have 248mn monthly active users.

What is Podcast?

A podcast is a collection or series of digital audio/video files. Each individual recording is called an episode.

Spotify and Podcast

In 2015, Spotify started podcasts & in last two years, Spotify has spent $900mn on podcast-related acquisitions to win the podcast market.

Today spotify has an increasing no. of active podcast listeners however the listening experience can be improved.

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Secondary Research

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Understanding Podcast users : Consumption Motives

01

Entertainment, information, and audio platform superiority were the most important motivators

02

Listening settings, width, depth, and routine of listening affected the motives of the Users

03

Podcasting was considered a distinct medium with unique characteristics

Understanding user : Behaviour

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Who Listens To Podcasts?

49%

12-34 years old

40%

35-54 years old

22%

Above 55 years old

How Often Do People Listen to Podcasts?

25%

6.5 hours/week

22%

22 hrs/week

Where Do People Listen to Podcasts?

80%

Commuting

70%

Doing Housework

60%

In Free Time

How Do People Listen To Podcasts?

65%

Phone/Tablet

25%

Desktop

10%

Smart Speakers

Engagement means different to different people, it depends on the type of podcasts they listen, the mode of listening, their personality and more. The experience  can also be divided into two categories : 

While Listening 

Post Listening 

Understanding what Engagement means to a User

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Live streaming podcast episodes

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Being able to rate / see the ratings

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Featuring listener questions in episodes

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Answers to emails and messages

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Listeners engage with each other

In person / one on one interactions

Being able to save parts of podcasts

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Transcript of the podcast

Having a listener community

Being able to share it with friends

Market Research

Understanding other Apps in Market

The next step was look at good podcast apps in the market and see what sets them apart from the others. I downloaded and added some screenshots of the same to analyse them better.

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Pocket Casts

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Discover

Options

Speed/Sound

Sleep Timer

Show Notes

Opens Browser

Transcript

Copy/Search

Key Features :

01

Cross-platform syncing

02

Auto episode downloading and cleanup

03

Discover new podcasts based on listening habits.

04

Simple set-up for organizing downloaded podcasts.

05

Trimming out silence & changing the speed of the podcasts.

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Google Podcast

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Discover

Details

Episode & Info

Queue

Home - Add Fav

Show Notes

Sleep Timer

Speed/Sound

Key Features :

01

Listen at faster playback speeds or skip over silences.

04

Add podcasts directly from google search

02

Queue up episodes for a seamless listening experience.

05

Easily keep track of your listening history, downloads, & subscriptions.

03

Allows you to listen anytime & picks up exactly where you left.

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Himalaya

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Personalize

Episode

Send a tip

Import

Permission

Directions

Key Features :

01

Platform to listen to others as well as to start your podcast

04

Keeps track of your listening history, downloads.

02

Sents a wide range of topics and podcasts

05

Gives you customization and selection of topics

03

Allows you to listen anytime & picks up exactly where you left.

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Apple Podcast

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Browse

Search

Year wise filter

Episode Info

Options

Personalize

Now Playing

Information

Key Features :

01

Stream millions of shows, from biggest names to independents.

04

Continue listening on the different Apple devices

02

Follow shows and save your favorite episodes to your library.

05

Discover new shows through expert curation

03

Play offline and listen anywhere, data-free.

Competitive Analysis

A competitor analysis, also referred to as a competitive analysis, is the process of identifying competitors in your industry and researching their different marketing strategies.

Understanding Apps based on features

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Primary research

Understanding Spotify App first hand

To understand the pain points myself I explored the application and analysed how we can improve the User Experience

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Open app, searched for podcast

Search icon, Found section

Went to search inside, same search button

Joe Rogan, Couldn’t find last played episode

Wasnt in filter

Tried clearing queue, not an option

Speed

Queued, no option to clear

On clicking Options

Sleep Mode

Share

Played it

Typed the name of episode

Turn off timer, not visible in 1st fold

No indication of selection

Selected

No indication of selection

Option to pin point start, but not end. No option to save

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If I download podcast, it automatically adds it to list called “Your Episodes”. But I can’t find where to view / manage Your Episodes. 

"

"

User Interviews

I conducted five detailed interview of podcast users based on semi-structured questionnaire around Spotify Podcast. These are some of the pain points discovered through that.

Understanding Podcast User 

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Spotify lacks many of the "smart" features like trim silence, volume normalization, more granular speed controls.

"

"

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Spotify's podcast organization system feels like a copy-paste of the music one. It does not feel like it was built for podcast listening

"

"

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I have my spotify home screen made almost entirely of podcasts, even when I have never listened to them.

"

"

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I cannot arrange episodes in the order that a I wish to listen to them, especially if I have followed a lot of different shows.

"

"

Usability Testing

Understanding Painpoints in a User Flow 

I conducted a usability testing on one user, the Tasks given to them was around already identified pain points.

Task One

Open the spotify app, and listen to the podcast by The Ranveer Show with guest Ankur Warikoo.

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Opens App

Clicks on the search button

Clicks Podcast tag he  accidentally discovered

Finds the Ranveer show

Couldn’t find it

Looks for in-search option 

Searches The Ranveer Show Ankur Warikoo

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Gets the episode

Mistakes filter text to a button

Opens Filters

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Task Two

Try taking and sharing some notes from the podcast episode.

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Looks at transcript

Finds a pen and paper

Realizes it is not clickable

Takes notes

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Research Insights - Pain Points

I then analysed and came up with these research insights in three categories : 

Spotify Player & Features

Discovery & Usage

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Can’t Import Podcast

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Unable to save parts of podcasts

Social Aspects

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Lack of in app community

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Unable to create playlist

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Unable to see last viewed episode

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Unable to search in podcast list

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Can't use Transcript of podcast

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Queue behaviour is confusing

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No option to Modify audio & pitch

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Don’t have option to Trim Silence

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Users can't engage amongst them

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Unable to share notes/parts 

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Not Featuring listener questions 

Persona

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26 years old

Daksh Sharma

Tech Consultant 

Lives in Gurgaon

Tech Saviness

Social Media Usage

Software Understanding 

Mobile Apps Usage

Motivations

Frustrations 

Goals

  • Listens to podcast from early age

  • Want to learn about AI tech

  • Want to make informed decisions

  • Spotify is where my music is, so started listening podcasts here

  • Unable to navigate freely in the app

  • Unable to find last played podcast

  • Unable to take notes & share it 

  • Can't even trim silence in  the longer episodes

  • To have smart list of podcast easily accessible

  • Continue playing from before

  • To be able to take and share notes

  • More features in the podcast player

  • To highlight the audio

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Empathy Map

I then moved on to make an empathy map of the persona in order create an understanding of user needs, and therefore get aid in decision making.

Understanding User's Needs

"Who will concentrate on such long audio?"

"I can't even listen to what I like now"

"The queue behaviour is confusing."

"Wish I could at least share text with my friends"

FEELS

"A long episode can't be cut or what?"

"Why can't I add podcast to a playlist?"

"Why does player queue change when I switch?"

"They shows lyrics in music, don't they?"

THINKS

DOES

"Plays podcast & records using voice recorder"

"Starts liking the episodes they watch"

"Carry a notebook to make notes"

"Takes screenshots of episodes they like"

"Good that my music & podcast are in same app"

"Why can't I share audio snippets of podcast?'

"Why can't I add podcast to a playlist?"

"Why can't I copy paste the transcript?"

SAYS

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User Scenario

Understanding Problem Statements

I have explored problem statements in form of user scenario to be able understand how a user behave the way they do, their goals to be achieved & sometimes define the possibilities of how the user can achieve them.

A day in life of Daksh : An avid spotify podcast user

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Daksh leaves for work

 

 

Daksh comes back home from work

Opportunity Areas

Defining User's Needs & Requirements

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Being able to use Transcript of the podcast

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Being able to share notes/parts with friends

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Able to trim silence/decrease podcast

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Creating playlists and highlights

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Notifications about new episodes

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Option to Modify the audio & pitch

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Consistency in music & podcast players

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See last viewed episode in a podcast series

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In app community for listeners

Information Architecture 

Re - defining App Hierarchy

I have made this Information Architecture keeping in mind the needs and requirements I gathered throughout the research, and have focused majorly on Podcast Section of the App.

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Different Use Cases discovered

Not being notified on new episode released of the podcasts the users follow.

Inconsistency between the music player and podcast player

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Use Cases

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When a user gets back to his liked podcast channel where he had listened to half the podcast, he still won’t be able to see the episode on top, he has to scroll through all of them to find that episode.

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The audio experience in listening to podcast on Spotify is not very customizable. We can only customize the speed of the audio and sleep timer.

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The User cannot make written notes even if the transcript is available

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The User cannot send audio clips from the podcast

Lack of In App community

Solutions

Solving various Use Cases

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Problem Statement : 

Not being notified on new episode released of the podcasts the users follow.

Solution :

New Arrival section in the notifications

Before

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After

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New Arrival section 

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Problem Statement : 

Inconsistency between the music player and podcast player

Solution :

Adding Queue and Mark Favourite(Heart) even in Podcast Player.

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Adding Queue & Mark Favourite (Heart)

Before

After

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Problem Statement : 

When a user gets back to his liked podcast channel where he had listened to half the podcast, he still won’t be able to see the episode on top, he has to scroll through all of them to find that episode.

Solution :

Adding continue listening as podcasts are long and active listening is tough for a long duration

Before

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After

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Adding continue listening 

Problem Statement : 

The audio experience in listening to podcast on Spotify is not very customizable. We can only customize the speed of the audio and sleep timer.

Solution :

Adding additional features without taking any new real estate of the screen.

Icon for 1x is changed to speedometer to show more customizable options.

On clicking that, we get existing feature but added trim silence & enhance audio.

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Before

After

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Before

After

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Icon Change

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Trim Silence
Volume Boost

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Problem Statement : 

The User cannot make written notes even if the transcript is available

Solution :

Being able to copy or highlight transcript from the available transcripts. I tried two ideatons

Ideation One :

A highlight button on clicking that, the audio pauses, and its ready to be selected. In case of copy, it will be copied to the clipboard and in case of highlight a name pop up appears. Post naming it will move to the Library

Before

After 1

After 2

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After 5

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After 4

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After 3

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I

Similar interaction like lyrics

Expand

On clicking Highlight

On Highlight

On skip / name

Ideation Two :

On long press the audio pauses, and it's ready to be selected. In case of copy, it will be copied to the clipboard and in case of highlight it will move to the Library directly

Before

After 1

After 2

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Expand

Similar interaction like lyrics

After 4

After 3

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On long press

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On Highlight

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Problem Statement : 

The User cannot send audio clips from the podcast

Solution :

Being able to send audio clips from the podcast. I tried two ideations

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Ideation One :

On long press the audio shows selection of audio, the length of which user can customize

Before

After

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Long press