Connecting Spark FM with their fans through a redesigned mobile application

This case study will walk through my process

Client
Spark FM

Length
3-week sprint, remote

My Role
UX Designer – user research, information architecture, visual design, prototyping, testing

Team
Mondana Motazedian, UX Designer
Sarah Emigh, UX Designer

Software Used
Figma, Miro, Illustrator, Zoom

View live prototype

Summary

As New England’s #1 radio station for Urban and Caribbean music, promoting local talent and providing users with important information and resources, Spark FM continues to connect and give back to their community.

My team was tasked with a full redesign of Spark FM’s native mobile application to meet the needs of users and provide a platform that achieves their goal of being more than just a music application.

PROBLEM

Due to difficulties faced when using the application, users could no longer support the station

Our users needed a convenient way to listen and engage with Spark FM so that they could connect with, and support, others in their local community while accessing the music they love and the content they craved.

  • Unable to access information quickly.

  • Could not engage or interact with on-air personalities.

  • Unable to listen to the live-stream of music and shows

discover

We empathized with Spark FM users and conducted remote interviews to understand their needs, desires, and pain points

  • 13 interviews with listeners and artists – 4 conducted myself – to help shape our solution

  • The average length of interviews lasted 40-45 minutes to best understand our users’ needs

  • After reviewing each other’s interviews, we gathered 905 initial insights

user quotes

“Human contact on the radio makes the days a little bit easier to get through.”

“….I want apps to have more content to keep you engaged.”

“You can find music anywhere but radio gives access to local content and news.”

“I like that Spark FM is community-based and local artist-focused.”

define

Altering the process of synthesization, to handle our initial 905 insights, our primary persona was a result of 54 statements

Filtered down our initial 905 insights to 316 based on a value scale to ensure we worked with relevant information. From there, we utilized an affinity map to sort our insights through 3 different rounds of categorization.

main user needs

  • Quick access: It was important for our users to get access to the content they wanted quickly
  • Stay up to date: Unable to find the unique content and music desired elsewhere, users wanted the latest music from Spark’s artists
  • Engagement: Users wanted the ability to access content through the application while listening to the live stream radio
  • Support the community: Appreciative of Spark FM’s focus on bringing the community together, users desired to be informed and support others in their local community

COMPETITIVE AND COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

With the scope of the project in mind, we narrowed down our solution to design a product that met our users’ needs and satisfied our client’s goals

We used an MVP model due to financial and time constraints (3 weeks), before consulting with an expert developer to create a realistic first iteration of our solution. We then used data from our competitive analysis as a blueprint for features to include to ensure we followed common patterns before validating with our users

RESEARCH METHODS

  • Feature analysis: Personally performed a feature analysis on 6 companies to determine what features were recognizable and expected by our users, aiding in our design decisions
  • SWOT and task analyses: Team members performed analyses to further understand how competitors meet their users’ needs