Earfull is an activity-based mobile music app for iOS. The users choose music based on what they are doing and where they are at a given time. The design audience is mainly people 16 - 25 years old. I worked on this project as part of my studies in UI Design at the Design Lab in collaboration with my assigned mentor.
Duration: 3 months (March 2021 - May 2021)
My role: UX/UI Designer
I started by gaining more understanding about the design problem via market research and topic research. I focused on top music iOS apps like Spotify, Youtube Music, Tidal, and Apple Music to better understand what is currently being provided and how in the respective problem space.
I proceeded to the ideation step by creating a mind map focusing on what a music app is in general and how it usually serves its users. I highlighted the words that kept coming back in every version of the map and that made the concept clear; It would specifically be an activity and place-based app as music apps are almost always connected with where a person is and/or what they are doing.
After the concept became clear, I moved on to composing a POV statement because an actionable problem statement would better present the design challenge at hand. Based on the POV statement, I continued with some HMW statements that offered me more specific questions to consider.
Finally, my next step was to ideate the app's name and do some sketches to get a sense of what the logo could look like.
The ideation phase brought up the need for me to organize my ideas and set up a content hierarchy for the new mobile music app. This was a pre-wireframe overview of how the app could be structured.
After deciding on the IA foundations of the app, I started sketching the basic screens. I collected my research and ideation phase findings and poured them into my sketches.
Following my sketches, I wrote down some words I considered relevant to the app I am trying to design; The most prominent being "casual, personal, friendly, fun, cool, warm, sharp, clean, accommodating." With these in mind, I collected some images on designspiration and dribbble and created a mood board to visualize the look and feel of the app. Based on the mood board, I create a provisional style tile with the prospective app colors, fonts, inspiration images, and descriptive adjectives for it.
After deciding on the look and feel of the app, I proceeded to experiment with the logo. I tried many different colors, gradients, and combinations focusing on the ones that would stand out on an iPhone screen with many apps next to each other. I also added greyscales and different variations based on light and dark backgrounds.
Following the detailed sketches I previously had done, I created wireframes with explorations on sections and pages, according to a content-first approach.
Taking into account the iOS human interface guidelines in combination with previous explorations, I proposed the designs below. These are the main screens (Splash screen, Home, Playlist, Music Player, Discover, My Profile).
After defining the main screens, I proceeded to create the onboarding process for new users. I included a screen where the users can choose their favourite activities and places in order to provide them with a more personalised experience in the app.
In order to create the Earful app, I set up the basis of a design system. This helps me maintain consistency while designing and it is a great way for communicating with others (developers, designers, etc.)
This project offered me an opportunity to learn more ideation methods and sharpen my visual design skills. It also was revealing of the complexity and vast amount of information a music app includes and the considerations a designer needs to take into account.
The whole process - from research to ideation to mood board, style tiles, and final designs was both delightful and a great learning experience for me.