My Role: Interaction Designer, UX Researcher
Background: SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform based in Berlin, Germany, that enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally created sounds. I have been asked by SoundCloud to improve its app by adding a new feature for its user base.
Objective: To create a feature in which musicians can film their concerts from their phones and broadcast them in real time to their fans all over the world.
Stage 1: Research
I started off by looking at two different apps with a popular live stream feature: Facebook Live, Facebook's live video service, and Twitch, a live video streaming service for gamers. This helped me further my understanding of current industry standards and user expectations.
User Surveys / Interviews
I created a 12 question online survey using Google forms regarding people’s listening habits and their interest in a concert streaming service. I received 55 responses and concluded SoundCloud is not the most popular streaming service, but serves a niche market of diehard music fans. People who seriously follow musicians on SoundCloud would definitely give this feature a try. People were not interested in paying for this service.
I also interviewed two musicians who use SoundCloud to upload and share their work. I asked them questions about the music sharing platforms they use and if they would have any interest in a live streaming feature for their shows. Both interviewees showed interest in using this feature but stressed that they wanted a way for users to be notified of upcoming shows.
Stage 2: Define
After my primary and secondary research, I made a final persona of my ideal user who would be using the live stream feature. Personas are helpful when making design decisions to also keep my audience in mind and have a reference to look back to quickly.
My feature map contains the list of features and options I want to have for the live streaming features. I also included the priority, difficulty to implement, and if this feature can be found on an already existing app. Creating a feature map helps me focus my efforts on what is really important, and decide what to really build based on my research.
This application map contains all the existing screens of the SoundCloud app and shows where the screens to the live feature fit in. The pages in orange are the new feature, in this way a flow is created. I also included the flow for the artist’s side of things. This gives me the skeleton and basis for which to start creating my screens.
Stage 3: Design
Using my application map as a guide, I created low fidelity sketch wireframes and ideas for the screens of the Live Feature. These served as the basis for my high fidelity UI screens.
Final UI Screens
Stage 4: Test
I created a working prototype using the InVision Prototyping tool. I conducted moderated tests on volunteers to test the usability functions of my live feature. The tests were successful!
I combined the results of user testing with InVision and Usability Hub user testing. I complied all the main points of feedback I received and what I can do about them into a post-it-note-like graphic.
So what is next for SoundCloud Live? The next part to flesh out would be on the musician's side. What does the uploading interface look like? How would a musician create an event and promote it? All things to think about for the future.