DESIGN TEAM:
Erik Soriano

ROLE:
UI Redesign
Developer
TIMELINE:
Ongoing Project

TOOLS:
Figma
Flutter/Dart
Xcode
Project Summary:
Listening to music is an activity that humans enjoy daily. While there are many existing music streaming such as Apple Music and Spotify, none of them are currently offering an alternative way for music lovers; music stops. The concept of music stops that I propose, is similar to the game Pokemon go or how Snapchat uses a map to locate users and connect them. The aim is innovate on ways to connect music fanatics with each other, by allowing them to share songs and suggestions with each other in the form of location-based playlist (or music stops). Each music stop will have different songs dropped off by different users, and once a person checks and listens to at least half of the song length, that player will then have the opportunity to replace that song, and leave their own suggestion, therefore each music stop will always be fresh for the next user.
Objectives:
• Create an engaging experience for users to discover new music using location-based playlists called "music stops" while allowing them to also make their own private playlists, and connect to other players within the app
• Research to learn people's current music listening habits, and what they like about music streaming (including motivations and pain points)
• Apply design thinking methodology to uncover any unmet needs users face when listening to music on a digital platform, and create iterations for later testing
• In the near future, do user testing of the app to assess usability, and make changes as necessary
Part One:
Paper Prototyping
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Many people enjoy listening to music while they walk around; whether to exercise, think, or simply to get to their next destination. For many people, music compliments their daily experiences (including myself), and while existing platforms offer countless ways to seek new music, there is something especial about seeing other people's suggestions and favorite songs, and also discover new music that is location-based, with a meaning or story behind. One of the first phases of this project was a paper prototype to quickly assess how a location-based music experience could function. I created a faux paper iPhone and walked around while holding it since the app would utilize a map with the user's location, similar to Pokémon Go and Snapchat. After presenting the prototype to a team of fellow-designers for feedback. it was time to get to the drawing board and make some changes and create low-fidelity wireframes.

Paper prototype video showing the initial idea of the app, before social components were considered.

Part Two:
Wireframes + Prototype
The original idea did not include social interaction with other players, it was mainly a music suggestion experience based on an algorithm, but after analyzing all the feedback, everyone mentioned how it would be nice to interact with other players and exchange music that way, so I went back to the drawing board and recreated the experience with a new color scheme, a more clear layout and map, and focused mainly on the main features; find new music left by other players, and being able to drop off one's songs for others to find, and repeat. 
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Main screen of the app showing all the local music stops closest to the player, as well as showing at the bottom the current songs in queue.
Part Three:
Coded Prototype
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After creating a prototype using Figma, and getting a sense of the initial look and feel of the app, I proceeded to create a new prototype using Dart via Flutter, since ideally we want our app to be cross platform compatible.
Current Progress Video Below:
Next Steps
Now that I've acquired the necessary skills to be able to prototype an app that could eventually be deployed and tested on an actual phone, the next steps are to go back to the design thinking process and start doing plenty of research about music listening habits, and people's expectations of how a music streaming app works. Beginning with generative research methods, followed by empirical research and usability testing, etc. The goal is to make sure this app is not just a minimum viable product, but a minimal lovable product.
Note: This project is ongoing since its inception in 2021 at the beginning of my grad school journey at University of Miami, and I will continue working on it as part of my capstone/final project.
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