ROLEUX/UI, Visual Design
To start, I had to research my way through and understand as much as I can from early user perspectives to the latest. Here's a gist of what I've found:Common Complaints• Site has had a lot of features (especially social aspects)removed but as of Jun 2017, some features have been slowly brought back.• App is featureless and currently can only scrobble/keep track of what you're listening (which doesn't always work)• Lack of customizability of your profile
What Users Loved• Scrobbling and stats• Best way to discover music due to scrobbling, recommendations tend to not be a miss• Social aspects such as showing off tastes/personality and meeting new people
User Goals• Have a backlog of what they've been listening to• Discover new music (through recommendations or by actively searching such as looking through tags, what their friends are listening to, etc)• Find friends of similar tastes/ compare with others
Redesign Goal• To create an app that is more aligned to the Last.fm experience that we know and love
With one of the main problems being the features on the app or lack thereof, the information architecture needed to be addressed so I mapped out the current content into sections to reduce repetition and give more priority to certain features.
After getting all that out of the way, it was time to create wireframes (most of which are hideous for viewing) to further iterate how a user would go through the app. Which brings us to
For first-time app users, Last.fm's key feature needed to be more apparent and to reassure that scrobbling also works on mobile by choosing whatever music player or streaming service they have and/or prefer. Which conceptually, the app can detect what the user has installed already and in settings, they can opt to choose which player is their main one or turn off the others again. If they choose to, they could also listen through their preferred player with Last.fm still running and scrobbling in the background.
Once that's done, they can start exploring or listening via app!
Finding New Music
With the Home section tailored for you with recommendations based from what you've been listening to and even an option to see how you've been listening, the Discover section is where you freely explore and actively stumble upon new music, artists, events, etc. since based on a few Last.fm users I've asked and my own experience, there are a lot of times when you want to find something different.
Another thing about Last.fm is that their users tend to lean more to being incredibly dedicated fans than the casual listener. They want to learn as much as they can about who they're listening to, what an album artwork's concept is, what the song means and if anyone shares their opinion. If you were to search for an artist online, more often than not you'd find a Last.fm page dedicated to them in the first or second result page.
Because of that, the app was designed to accommodate as much relevant information as possible to not lose the same feeling of "community" with other like-minded users but also to clearly direct them to listening the track of their choice.
Since keeping tracking of what you play is the main selling-point of Last.fm, it makes more sense to give it its own section instead of limiting it to only being seen in your profile. It also doesn't make sense to call it Library as Last.fm is no longer a streaming service and naming it "Scrobbles" places more emphasis on what it does best. Separated into sections, you could also filter by date.
Back then, people would painstakingly add memes, gifs, etc and edit their profiles to show off their taste and style. This feature was removed which caused less user engagement in Last.fm. Without knowing the full reason and limitations regarding this decision, I decided that at the very least, we could better showcase every user profile by giving it a similar layout and size as the artists' page, the ability to choose their header photo, relaying out certain sections such as placing "current obsession" right after user information and the like.
This project is purely conceptual and I just made it to teach myself new things and put them to practice through an existing service that I've loved since 2010. Whilst I did learn a few new tricks in Sketch, finally know a bit on how to animate with Principle, I began without much experience on UX/UI but after putting myself on a tight deadline of 1 month, I can honestly say that research and strategy is definitely the foundation and cannot ever be disregarded. On times when I have no idea what I'm doing, it simply means that I didn't ask enough questions.
And finally, thank you for reading this through and surely there's lots of improvement for this and me so feel free to share!