Case Study for Spotify

Spotify wants to promote more music sharing and enhance the connection music lovers have with their music. They do not wish to become the next social network but they feel that there is a social feature that could be embedded within the current platform to achieve their goal. 

Project Background

The Task
To determine the best feature to add to help Spotify improve their user engagement and retention.

The Challenge
To identify behaviors, processes and pain points of music lovers when sharing music among their friends and family. .

Target User
Music lovers who stream and share music among their friends and family.

My Process
I followed a UX design thinking process (see below) to make sure that my design decisions were supported through user research and feedback.

My Process

Phase 1: Empathize

  • one-on-one interviews
  • empathy map
  • user persona

Phase 2: Define

  • “How Might We” Questions
  • crazy 8s
  • storyboard

Phase 3: Ideate

  • user flow
  • wireframes
  • usability testing

Phase 4: Prototype & Test

  • InVision Prototype

Phase 1


Eight (8) One-on-One Interviews
Interview Participants were Male and Female Between 25-50 Years Old
Purpose: The purpose of these first round interviews was to uncover key needs, wants, desires, and pain points for sharing music

Interview Script (created by Traci Williams)

Hi my name is Traci Williams and I am conducting research regarding your music sharing experiences. Spotify wants to deepen the connection between human and music and how music is being shared. I would like for you to share your experiences about music sharing, if you do it or if you don’t and why.

Questions if Music is Shared or Not
  • When did you last share your music?
  • Can you describe that process?
  • How often to you share your music? Monthly, weekly, daily? Why?
Questions for People who Share Music
  • How do you share your music? Describe the process.
  • What features do you enjoy when you are sharing your music?
  • Have you tried to share music but decided not to? What was the problem?
  • Do you share music with the same individuals all the time? Why those individuals?
  • Have you ever shared music with a group? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever had a problem sharing music? How did you resolve it?
  • Do you announce to social media that you have shared a song with a particular person? Why or why not?
  • If you had to design a social media network for music, what are your must have features?

Questions for People Who do not Share Music

  • Why don’t you share music?
  • What would make you share your music?

These interviews revealed that when participants wanted more information about artists YouTube was often used to find out more details.

Participant Quotes:

“Spotify may play new music I’ve never heard of … so I’ll go to YouTube and check it out further.  Now since I have found the artist on YouTube I can get more songs.” “YouTube has videos and more songs of the artist.” “You can find everything on YouTube!”

Empathy Map

From this research, an empathy map and a user persona named Kevin, The Music Lover was created.
User Persona
Introducing… Kevin, The Music Lover!

Kevin loves his music and will often share music with his childhood friends and family members.

  • wants to know as much as he can about the new artists he may hear
  • will use YouTube to get more information about artists
  • wishes he didn’t have to look on another platform to find information about new artists

Phase 2

How Might We and Problem Statements

Taking the research, user persona and empathy map, the “How Might We” method was used.  From a list of several questions from this method, three were chosen for the ideation round.

  1. How might we make it easier to share YouTube music through Spotify?
  2. How might we share a song that was hard to find from a particular year?
  3. How might we make it easier for someone to share a playlist through different mediums?

Crazy 8s

For the ideation round, the exercise called Crazy 8s exercise was used. Crazy 8s is an exercise to draw as many different ideas on a piece of paper in 8 squares within a short time frame. 

THE SOLUTION: I decided to create a YouTube feature called “YouTube Extras” with Spotify for users to learn more about new artists or artists they are unfamiliar with. This feature would include extra music, interviews, and any information about the artist.

I took this idea and began storyboarding the way Kevin – The Music Lover would share his music by using the YouTube Extras feature.

Phase 3


Task and User Flow

From the storyboard, a simple user flow was developed. The Task: To show search for new artist information by using YouTube Extras and sharing the information with friends.


After creating the storyboard and developing the user flow deliverables, wireframes in Sketch were created for each screen of the flow.   PLEASE NOTE:  Spotify has changed their UI design after this case study was created.

Phase 4

Prototype & Testing

With InVision, I created a prototype using the wireframes. Four people participated with feedback which was incorporated into the second version of wireframes. After incorporating the suggestions, I created a prototype with InVision. Once created, tests were conducted again to assess ease of use, pain points, and frustrations. PLEASE NOTE: Spotify has changed their UI design after this case study was created. The Task: To find Evvie McKinney’s “YouTube Extra” for The Glory – The Four Performance and share it.


Reflection & What I Learned

The one-on-one interviews really gave a lot of insight about how people feel about their music. However, after the second round of interviews with some of my participants, I was able to fully understand their thought processes of sharing music as well as how personal music is to them. User research was very key when deciding what feature to add in this design process. My decision to incorporate YouTube with Spotify was the best idea I could think of for this project. Maybe in the future both platforms could combine their efforts to enhance each other. 


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designed by traci williams