MOBILE APP DESIGN

SoundBites

An app that evolves the marketing of live music in bars and restaurants.

Role

Creator | Researcher | UX & UI Designer

Tools Used

Adobe XD | Marvel | Miro | Overflow | Zoom

Duration

May 2021 - August 2021

Soundbites title image.png

CONTENTS:

OVERVIEW:

Connecting artists, businesses, and the public.

More than ever, people are searching for ways to support local businesses,
but it can be difficult for an average person to navigate the bar and restaurant scene -
especially when it comes to live music.
Bars and restaurants are limited in their marketing of live music, and have previously relied on word-of-mouth and in-house marketing.

Soundbites is an app which gives people the tools to search for live music at bars and
restaurants
in their area. By connecting music lovers to local events, Soundbites creates exposure for artists and businesses. The app was made with ease of use and access in mind, to cater to the needs of every music lover.

My role in Soundbites was to create a space to connect music lovers to artists, bars, and restaurants in their area. I achieved a user-friendly experience by conducting market and user research, designing all elements of the user interface, creating a range of prototypes, and running usability testing.

EMPATHIZE:

[EARLY INSIGHTS - SECONDARY RESEARCH]

Understanding the market and potential competitors.

I conducted secondary research to better understand the marketing of live music events at local bars and restaurants. While no apps or platforms specifically target live music at local bars and restaurants, there are multiple apps and sites focusing on ticket sales, searching capabilities, and marketing for large events.

I examined four of these platforms and learned
what users like and dislike about each,
which helped shape the Soundbites design. I also aimed to
understand how music affects restaurant atmosphere and sales. Research highlights music’s effect on consumer experience, and shows that music “increases sales up to 15%” and “affects overall mood.”

music in bars and restaurants image.png

[USER INTERVIEWS - PRIMARY RESEARCH]

Learning about the potential users.

Because this app was created for people who enjoy live music and eating out, finding
potential users was easy. I found that
everyone I initially screened as a potential user was
interested in music and eating out
. During the screener survey, I looked to
see who was going out to bars and restaurants and how often.

example screener survey.png

After the results from the screener came in, I chose 5 individuals to conduct full 20 minute user interviews with. During these more extensive interviews, I was able to gather more specific details to better understand their pain points, user needs, and goals.

DEFINE:

[ANALYZING INTERVIEW DATA]

Analyzing the data to narrow in on the target market.

After the research phase was complete, I began to analyze the findings and narrow my
focus. My first step was to create visual data to better depict my research. I created an

affinity map to depict the different user behaviors, pain points, insights, and needs.

Affinity map image.png

I realized that my target audience was very broad, so I condensed users into two categories by age and stage of life and created empathy maps for each category.

[DEFINING USERS]

Creating user personas.

I combined characteristics from each interview participant to create two separate
personas: Jen Sullivan and Ben Parker. Each of these
personas represent a target
market for potential Soundbite users
.

The personas share
similar pain points, but their needs vary due to age and stage of life.
For example, Jen is a married mother, whose needs revolve around her family, while Ben
goes out to socialize and meet new people.

Ben Parker image.png

Ben Parker

Single, 29 year old male. Very social and tech friendly, who spends a lot of time exploring new trendy places and seeing his favorite bands.

Jenn Sullivan image.png

Jen Sullivan

Married 40 year old woman with children, social with the constraint of having a young children. When her and her husband get out they usually bring the kids with them.

IDEATE:

The flows that matter most.

After establishing an ideal user for Soundbites, I began focusing on user stories. I then
created visual representations of the red route user flows. I focused these flows on
important aspects of the app, such as
creating an account, searching for live music
events, and adding local artists to your favorites
.

user flow image new.png

[SKETCHING]

Building the foundation.

I began sketching to brainstorm the ideal layout and interface. The four screens below represent the foundation of the app. When designing the rest of the app, I referred back to these designs.

sketches image.png

[LOW FIDELITY WIREFRAMES]

Converting sketches to digital format.

After completing the initial sketches, I began to form a solid idea of the UI elements I would include in each screen. My next step was to create low fidelity screens, which allowed me to test the basics without letting any extra details distract me.

low fidelity image.png

[STYLE & BRANDING]

When it came to styling and branding of Soundbites, I wanted to create a clean and minimal design. After researching other music and event apps, I learned that users felt overloaded and overwhelmed with information due to a chaotic design.

Keeping this in mind, I based my color palette on a
vibrant orange, which is energetic and used for actions within the app. However, the remaining colors were more subtle, inviting
and easy to look at
.

[HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES]

high fidelity.png
soundbites a closer look.png

Links to schedule, reviews, and contact pages for more information

Events selected just for you

3 ways to search in order to maximize result accuracy based on user needs

Events near you

"Like" to add to your favorites

Links to social

TESTING:

2 rounds of testing with 5 participants for each.

After the Soundbites prototype was functional, we completed two rounds of usability
testing including five participants for each round.

[HIGHLIGHTS: USABILITY TESTING ROUND 1]

1. User confusion during onboarding, specifically the email confirmation screen.

2. "Favorite button" was not clear to users.

3. The pin drops on the map should display more information.

4. Overall the participants were able to complete all tasks with no major issues.

5. Users all had good responses to the UI design and flow of the prototype. 

[HIGHLIGHTS: USABILITY TESTING ROUND 2]

1. Users would like to see more options of places and events on the home page. 

2. Users gravitate towards the map search tool. 

3. More filter options during search could be helpful.

4. Again, participants were able to complete all tasks quickly and easily. 

5. Users were impressed at how much they can do with the prototype. 

PROTOTYPE:

[INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPE - TRY IT OUT!]

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Stay organized throughout the design process.

2. Keep the scope in mind throughout the entire project. While creating for such a broad problem there are many possible solutions with endless amounts of features.

3. Keep users involved to avoid large re-designs.

4. Conduct thorough research to create a clear vision of the project.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR SOUNDBITES?

1. Move into the development phase for the project.

2. Continue to make iterations to enhance usability.

3. Continue usability testing throughout the creation of the product. 

4. Partner with artists, bars, and restaurants to gain exposure.