Shazam

Using community features to dust off an iconic product

Role

Product Designer

Scope

2 Week Sprint

December 2020

Shazam has been a lead song discovery app since 1998 (yes…1998), but research indicates that the most common use case of Shazam lasts less than half a minute. Our approach to this problem was to leverage Shazam’s already existing repository of locational data and introduce a new feature called Super Shazam that would amplify the product experience through community. I designed the product experience around this feature where a user can user a gestural launch to search for recommendations based on different filters.

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Breaking down the business

To understand a product's design is to understand its business strategy.

The majority of Shazam's revenue is through its referral system to other streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. But with a high retention rate, how could we improve their revenue by getting more tags and shares given its notoriety? At 12+ years old, Shazam still stands in the top 3 most popular music apps with over 200 million users and 1 billion "Shazams" a month.

With these stats in mind, I defined four key questions to help focus our business, market, and user research, which led to the creation of a community-focused feature that would aim to solve this problem: Super Shazam.

1

What can Shazam do to increase the value of using their service to map its user’s taste in music?

2

Do people trust the music recommendations of an algorithm or a human more?

3

How could geolocation data become useful to Shazam's users?

4

What role does social networking play in sharing and enjoying music?

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A Case of Featuritis

Shazam's largest pain point is its use of a swipe up gesture to access its larger array of music discovery features.

As we see in apps like Tik Tok, the ability discover music comes with the ability share & post amongst a community, which lead to greater streams.

When Apple music acquired Shazam in 2018, new features such as "artists highlights" (think Instagram story-esque) began to creep in with the intent to promote Apple Music and drive up streams. But when feature creeps begin to become buried within a product, the negative impact of a messy navigation and unclear usage begins to only deter users.

This theory was represented in a multitude of our user interviews who hadn't updated the app since they downloaded it. I learned that one gesture could botch the entire UX of a product.

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UI Restructure & A Consolidated Feature: Super Shazam

With an energetic yellow and slingshot gesture, Super Shazam gives the user the ability to launch into music discovery by location, genre, and mood.

Using Shazam's brand guidelines, I re-vamped their UI component library and re-designed the user experience five key identity traits in mind. Shazam creates a feeling a feeling of simplicity and play through holding down a button to tag a song. With this same product feeling in mind, I designed our new feature Super Shazam around a new type of sling shot gesture.

By introducing a three-screen navigation, users can no also use their thumb to naturally flow between three states:

1) Shazam

2) Artist discovery

3) Super Shazam

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