MTV Trax - Mobile Music Listening Re-imagined

My client, Music Qubed, came to me with a specific music proposition to provide big entertainment brands with easily customisable casual mobile music listening platform that works offline.

schedule 4 minute read

Overview

Music Qubed have a unique proposition of making casual music apps, with curated content, designed for offline listening.

My core task at Music Qubed was to institute UX best practices and trained their core staff in UX thinking for big scale.

Further to that I was tasked to put together entire digital strategy for the company and produce the leanest possible casual mobile music listening platform that can be instantiated for various Music Qubed big brand clients, with least amount of developer effort.

The challenge was immense, so I took to it like a duck to water, as I love massive challenges.

Research

At Music Qubed I carried out one of the biggest competitor research analyses I've taken so far.

I looked at every single direct and indirect competitor to Music Qubed and gave my fellow UX Designers tasks to quantitatively analyse all their app reviews for good and bad comments.

At Music Qubed we also developed an in-house usability testing lab, through which we regularly put young people to ensure the app met all the expectations of the 'snacking generation'.

I also had nice insights into Sony's global music listening trends market research, which I took as the back bone to my strategic outline.

Initial ideas

Before joining Music Qubed I was asked to brainstorm some ideas based on what I would have done there.

My sketches were already based on quite a bit of insights I had analysing Spotify and other music apps I liked in my spare time.

Get the context right

Based on Human Centered Design principles I sketched out the context within which casual music listeners would be likely to listen to music.

Casual music listening context

After that I quickly sketched what I thought would be a pretty standard flow for a relatively well customised music app.

Top level app flow

From there on I worked my way notionally through the inside experience pages to show in more detail what I thought should happen inside the actual meat of the app.

MQ App concept

Please note that these concepts were done way before Spotify and Beats Music released their experiences that ended up looking very, very similar to this very concept.

White label requirements

The big challenge of Music Qubed casual mobile music listening platform is that it needs to be a white label product that works for many big brands and the solution needs to work across various mobile OSs including iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry, due to Music Qubed's partnership with Telecoms companies.

So we worked very hard to develop a 'design-once-deploy-many-times' solution that worked as an optimal UX across all these differing OSs.

Many people believed it wasn't really possible, but I knew that it very much was, with minimal tweaks, mostly in the chrome of the app itself.

This approach saved Music Qubed countless development and design days, while actually ensuring higher level quality than if custom solutions were designed for each OS.

Creating the big picture

We worked very carefully to keep the increments of the platform very clear also.

Version 2.5 wireflow

Top level wire flows played a very important part in communicating the platform requirements with all stakeholders within the company.

Version 2.5 wireflow

Version 3.0 wireflow

Each wire flow shows pages for three user states including: unsubscribed user, trial user and subscribed user.

Version 3.0 wireflow

Final designs for MTV Trax

MTV Trax is available now for iOS (4+ star rating) and Android with 4.1 star rating.

MTV Trax music app

The app can be custom branded for any client's brand with minimal amount of effort and no changes to the UX design.

Here's an example of the same app branded with conceptual Music Qubed branding known as Heylist.

MQ App designed app

Conclusion

Music Qubed casual mobile music listening solution is a project on which I deployed all my best UX practices and we achieved amazing results with minimal UX team (maximum 2 UX people at any point in time).

I worked closely with all the stakeholders within the company, including the Chairman and CEO and the rest of executive committee to outline the exact strategy for moving forward.

MTV Trax app is about to roll out globally to many happy users worldwide and potentially make massive waves in the music listening domain.

Related links

MTV Trax Android app with 4.1 star rating

MTV Trax iOS app with 4+ star rating

Published on: 03 Nov 2015

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