UX Design - Spotify Web Application

UC Berkeley, UX Design Professional Program

TEAM Independent Project

DATE 2018


Most artists focus mainly on content creation however exponential efforts need to be put into marketing to break barriers to entry, which is a challenge given the state of current distribution options. How can Spotify promote striving artists and increase their follower base, allowing them to gain more profit from existing channels like concerts, gigs and merchandise?


Striving artists face high barriers of entry on distribution platforms making it difficult to make a profitable living through music. After initially trying to enhance the Spotify for Artists platform, insights gained from real musicians on Spotify suggested that shifting the focus to optimizing the consumer platform for the needs and promotion of the artists would be more successful.


Optimization of Artist Profiles on Spotify:

1. Empower artists through their community including followers and other artists through access to endorsements, exclusive content, fan meetings, live streams
2. Streamline information on concert, merchandise info, meet ups

Optimized Platform for Artists

The final Spotify prototype included optimizations to the Consumer Platform that allowed for more personal interactions between fans and artists as well as between artists. Increasing dedicated followers and directing them to content could help striving musicians break barriers to entry and eventually earn a living.

Product Overview

Spotify needs to develop new features to expose consumers to products and experiences that generate revenue for artists (e.g. merch, tickets, digital experiences, and new offerings under development). This includes surfacing products in new ways inside the Spotify consumer app, and developing a multi-channel strategy to reach and convert consumers.

Market + Competitive Analysis

Spotify has the most subscribers out of any other music streaming application on the market. Apple Music is available in 115 countries, Spotify is only available in 60 countries.

If it continues its current operating strategy Spotify should reach 93 million subscribers by the end of 2018. 

“According to Goldman Sachs, the music industry will hit $41 billion in revenue by 2030 driven heavily by streaming revenue.” - Spotify Company Meeting.


The music industry has significantly changed due to online distribution. This could lead to significant drop in followers, content awareness and even chances to be “discovered” for artists. Platforms like Spotify need to optimize their features to be more inclusive of new artists.

User Research

Striving Spotify artists were interviewed on their creation and business processes, backgrounds, and what their frustrations were regarding the music industry's barriers to entry.

Spotify for Artists - Teardown

Initially, the goal was to tackle the Spotify for Artists platform in order to create better profitability for new artists, however after interviewing real artists, they felt that consumers held more power to influence their profitability and therefore, I should focus on optimizing the consumer facing app.


Jenny represents the user research and interviews from 6 Spotify Artists who assisted in the process of initial user interviews, and online prototype usability testing throughout the development.

Happy Path

The new path consisted of feature enhancements that allowed the consumers to explore more profitable engagements with the artists. This included a heavier emphasis through individual tabs for concerts & events and merchandise, along with repetitive callouts for exclusive content on more pages in the flow.

Wireframe Iterations

Iterations started off in high fidelity because I used assets straight from Spotify, piecing together and moving parts as I did usability testing. Below show iterations 1 and 2 side by side (scroll to compare changes after usability testing).

Iteration 1
Iteration 2
Usability Testing

Weeks 1-6: 3 remote testings for the Artists - conceptualizing and talking through improvements
Week 7: 1 In-Person Artist test - further refinement of proposed solutions
Week 8-9: 4 In-Person Consumer tests - testing the design to see if it would attract more followers

Iteration 1 Invision prototype