IndiMusic TV - Website

Enabling independent artists to reach their audiences, and driving implementation of a monetization stream.

Timeline

Feb - Apr 2022
~ 4 months

Contributions

Lead designerUsability testing
Product designInteraction design

Team

Elysia Te (UXD)Alina VypyrIailo (UXD)
Project Manager

Tools

Figma
Figjam
Submitted to clientProduct DesignMusicBroadcasting

Independent Music artist face difficulties growing their audience and finding new opportunities. IndiMusic.TV aims to reduce these barriers.

Brief Intro

A two fold problem

1. Indie Music artists face challenges when trying gain exposure and grow their audiences.

2. While indimusic.tv aims to address this problem, users report challenges navigating through the website. 


The Outcome

My team and I conducted a user-centered website redesign of the IMTV website. 

My Design Process - Simplified
Here is a brief overview of my design process. While I believe that design is not linear, I used the steps below to help convey my design process.process diagram

How might we improve the website usability of IndiMusic.TV so that independent music artists have a higher chance at growing their audiences?

Chapter I - Discovering

The current site

Analyzing the current site was the natural first step to the problem discovery. This included reading the content, creating an account, and navigating through the site. 

Understanding user views on the current website

4 participants were asked task oriented questions to identify their attitudes and frustrations. Below are sample questions that were asked:

What is the purpose of the wesbsite?

How would you search for a video?

How would you search by genre?

Guided walkthroughs highlighted user confusion

Users raised prominent issues around site usability. After reviewing the landing page, one user stated: "I don’t know what can be done on the website [...] is it where artists can upload videos?". This confusion was echoed between participants. The main reported  pain points  are  summarized below:

🤷‍♀️

Users did not know the purpose of the website 

🛑

Users did not find the website trustworthy

😫

Users had trouble navigating the website

Identifying users

The two main users of IMTV include musicians and supporters.

Chapter  II- Translating

Outlining user needs

After identifying user groups and referencing walkthrough insights, pinpointing user needs was the natural next step. 

1. Clear understanding of what the website does

2. Navigate with more ease

3. Increase trust on the website

Navigating time and resource constraints

Interviewing current indie artists and supporters who use the music website would have enhanced our ability to empathize with long term users of the website. While we believed we identified important user needs, we needed to figure out how to provide the most value our of our project given time and resources constraints. This led us to leverage design heuristics. I outline the top 2 design heuristics that would significantly improve the website UX in the next following sections.

Design heuristic I: Consistency and standards

Current website
There are unfamiliar navigation systems on the current website. For example, when the menu bar is expanded, there are two search bars in close proximity which has been shown to confuse first time users.

Intention with redesign
Provide users a sense of familiarity on the website so they do not have to learn an entirely new navigation system.

Design heuristic II: Recognition over recall

Current website
The nested nature of the menu items contributed to UX challenges that users faced. This requires them to remember how to navigate through the website and gives them no quick way to find what they are looking for.

Intention with redesign
Reduce cognitive effort by providing users a way to quickly navigate to a desired page.

Chapter III - Materializing

Comparing the User experience

Before

  • Navigation challenges
  • Crowding and no room for sponsorships
  • Contrast issues and lack of clear CTAs

After

  • Consistent and simpler navigation
  • More white space and room for sponsors
  • Increased contrast and AODA friendliness

Centering Business goals for the End User

Part of the design solution included the addition of sponsorships. This would enable a supplemental revenue stream for the business. We envisioned that in the long term, this could lead to better outcomes for both users (independent artists and supporters) as a new revenue stream would enable IMT to allocate more investment to their product development. 

Feedback-driven iteration

While I show the first and last versions in the above section, iteration was a significant part of our design process. Iteration was heavily driven by feedback from our project manager. Nevertheless, continuously referencing design heuristics, and drawing inspiration from existing streaming platforms also enhanced out iteration process. Below is an example of what iteration of the view video process looked like, you will find a significant change from V2 to V3. The addition of the left hand menu was an eventual request from the project manager.

Interaction design: View video example

The "view video" page is arguably one of the most important screens as it is where users discover artists' music/media. Key features of this page include:

1. View video reactions & leave own impression
2. Follow, share and comment on the video
3. View more from the artist
4. find links to artists' social media
5. View similar artist recommendations   

Chapter IV - Review

Lessons and Challenges

  • Advocating for the design process and showing the value of research and testing
  • Navigating not having direct communication with client 
  • Working in ambiguous environments
  • Heuristic evaluation uncovering deeper usability problems

Measuring Success

Throughout the process we gauged our progress through feedback from stakeholders including the client, project manager and usability testers.

Short term success
Early on, the project manager presented our initial designs  to the client, and relayed positive feedback on how the meeting went, stating that the client wanted us to move forward with the work we were doing. This was a strong indication that we were headed in the right direction with out work.


Current Status

All IndimusicTV design assets have been submitted to the client. Some of proposed redesigns have been shipped.

Live Product

Apps: New Indimusic TV app contains many of our redesign features

Website: Aspect of the live site contain our redesign features such as monetization. ⚠️ *Please note that the current live site does not reflect the all redesign changes. More details below! :)

Implementation Progress

Some of our proposed changes have been implemented such as:

- Integration of a revenue stream

- Aspects of refining landing page content - like the removing links to an external site in the description. We were told that changes are happening gradually and that they are seeking investment for a larger development team.

Overall, I am hopeful that more updates will take place on the live site!

Next Steps

  • Usability testing with current users
  • Light mode version
  • Mobile prototype
  • Facilitate development process

All Projects