Case study 2018 – 2019 • Spotify

Lyrics & Karaoke

From scattershot experiments searching for product-market fit, to crystal clear smiles unlocking growth in new markets

Talking points:

Thoughtful execution, running a series of workshops exploring opportunities. Expediency before hi-fidelity to serve learning goals.

Broad experiments to build confidence before betting on a direction for continued investment.

Prototyping the listening and playback experience. Working out the interaction design, leveraging existing design language. 

Pairing with engineers to polish transitions and layouts, testing with real content. Levelling up typography, colour extraction, UI controls and updating components.

Fig. 2 screen recording of the Principle prototype here. ProtoPie became preferred tool in 2022.

The power of the prototype puts people in control of the transition from official audio to karaoke mode. 

Removing vocal creates space. We can hear ourselves in the soundscape of our favourite songs.

singalong demo.mp4
Fig 3. live demo from an All Hands where I awkwardly dad danced to this and didn’t quite find the courage to sing…

Measuring success

“Everyone’s smiling”

How do you quantify delight?

Fig. 4 Probably nothing built more empathy for our users, or trust and friendship in our team, than those 2 weeks immersing ourselves in Japanese music culture.

We tested the prototype with music fans in Tokyo and Osaka to uncover usability issues with the concept. Full days in usability labs, intense long days, observing and note-taking to keep our heads in the game. 

After we’d met half the roster of participants we suddenly realised: everyone’s smiling. People tap the button and smile.

Engagement metrics, daily active users DAU and monthly active users MAU, are some kind of proxy for habit forming. But innovative product strategies need consensus and confidence before you have that data. 

Successful strategy look like everyone’s smiling.