GA 2.3. Concept mapping

Here’s the concept map for our project, please follow the link to see it.

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GA 2.2. Scenario-based Design Session

We did three short sessions with three different groups, taking a different scenario each time, because most of our participants did not have time enough to conduct all three scenarios in a row. We used our scenarios to put the group’s members mind in the situation so they would feel how it is to use the application.

The sessions was conducted in different areas of TLU, with students from different academic backgrounds, age groups and gender, however, they all expressed interest in going out (there was a control question asked). All subjects were asked a permission to conduct an audio recording of the session. Designer’s name — Almonzer Eskandar.

Feedback

Group #1

Participants info: 2 female students, from Austria, and a male student, Asian
Duration: circa 40 min

After explaining the app idea (successfully), and presenting the networking scenario to them (Garage 48 Event), they were concerned about:

  • the number of songs each person could vote for,
  • would it hurt performance if there were over hundred users at a place and all of them would add music tracks in an unlimited way,
  • how others will vote for them,
  • and how difficult would it be to scroll through all this amount of songs and vote for the one they will like.
    It was said, ‘Mostly I will get bored and stop using it’.
    Regarding the idea of having personal account, they showed an interest, however, only in case if the app would give them discounts or bonuses when they are in the bar.

Group #2

Participant info: male and female students, more info unavailable (they were late for the class)
Duration: ~15 min

We had difficulties presenting the app idea, it was totally new for them.
The girl, for example, asked after introduction why would she use the app. After more explanation, they agreed that the idea is interesting, but that they still cannot imagine themselves using it. In case they were in an event (we discussed Jazz event scenario), they would like to have it and track the ratings songs get but not actually participate in the voting procedure (passive participation). This reaction may be explained by the fact that there was time pressure factor as they were late for their class.

Group #3

Participants info: a female student, Finnish
Duration: 25 min

Here we had initially the same problem as with the previous group, that is with explaining the idea of the app. At first the girl said it is so complicated for her. After elaborating more on the idea, she was more interested in participation in the voting. One concern was would the app be simple or confusing with many buttons, is it hard to do the process of adding a song.
The voting system caught her attention, and she was interested in how it would be implemented.

 

 

 

GA 2.1. Scenario 4: Kate in Garage48

Activity scenario

In Garage 48 there is a networking event. Kate is there, she’s waiting for a friend and a bit bored. She notices thanks to the flyer that there’s a voting system working at the event she heard about recently. She thinks it’s a good idea to share a great song she woke up with in the morning having a radio station as the alarm clock. She installs the app to her phone, finds this song in the library and votes for it, but sees that her song doesn’t have enough votes yet to be played anytime soon. She thinks about alternatives and browses the songs that are already in the playlist. She notices several nice songs and sees that they’re added by the same person, a guy with blonde hair which can be known by his userpic along with each song. Maybe he’s still here, she thinks, and glances over the event room. The guy is indeed there, sitting in the corner and mashing the buttons of his phone. maybe it’s time to have a chit chat with him, she thinks and approaches him. They have a nice talk, his name is Mark. She asks him if he knows the song she’s heard in the morning, and he answers positively, he’s a fresh fan of that group. He votes for this song and it goes higher. Kate thanks him for his good taste and God for another pretty boy in her life. Her friend comes, but her attention is already stolen by Mark.

Questions:

  1. Would you imagine yourself in place of Kate?
  2. Do you think that music is an important part of networking events?
  3. Have you found yourself bored on a networking event?
  4. Would you approach an unknown person just because of the music he/she listens to?

GA 2.1. Scenario 3: A jazz event in Anthony’s bar

Activity scenario

Anthony want to do a jazz event in his bar, where people come and share their own kind of jazz music from the countries they come from using the Jukebox app.

He has created a simple playlist with famous artists representing different countries of jazz music to engage visitors to add their own tracks, and vote for the best one. Every song in his initial playlist has a medium rating, and people are encouraged to add new songs which gain better rating thanks to the other users.

The people in the bar open the app or install it via the QR code. They can see the list he started there. If they like, they press the add button, search for tracks they like and add them.

Users are also able to check the tracks that are being added and if it happens to be interested in the country a track came from they can vote for it, and this track will be played sooner. However, Anthony keeps managing the playlist while the songs are playing, moving them manually later or earlier, so that no music from one country would not dominate for a long time.

There is a prize for the one who suggested most voted for songs at the event.

Questions:

  1. Is this a realistic scenario?
  2. How would you like to install an app that you only got to know about but need right away?
  3. How would you evaluate the fact that Anthony keeps control over the order of songs (not over the titles though)?

GA 1.1. Secondary persona: Kate

This is the secondary persona in the group assignment 1.1. Creating Personas.

persona 3Click on the picture to download the printable PDF with all of the personas

Kate is 20 years old bachelor degree student in Economics. She lives in a big city. She likes nightlife, student parties and networking events and basically every place where she can make new friends. She visits night clubs with friends almost every week. Her Facebook profile has already 623 friends and keeps growing with every day.

She has a smartphone and spends a lot of time every day listening to to the “Popular now” playlist on Spotify on her smartphone. Her favourite music genres are pop and dance music but she loves discovering new genres and songs. She isn’t particularly apt in music but it allows her to release her emotions and energy.

Short Info

  • Age: 20
  • Occupation: bachelor student
  • Education: bachelor studies, economics
  • Interests: parties, music, nightlife, friends

Goals

  • Find new friends
  • Share her favorite new songs with the friends and other people
  • Have fun hanging out with others

GA 2.1. Scenario 1: David and his friends go to a club

Problem scenario

David likes nightlife like most people in his age, but more than that he likes the music, both professionally (being a radio technician) and as a personal passion. He already has been to all clubs in Tallinn, yet found most of them lacking in the atmosphere, the music being not up-to-date with his tastes, and feeling that he’s a stranger who got to a party by accident.

Today he’s planned a visit to the Manny Calavera club on Telliskivi street with a couple of  friends from France whom he met at a afterparty of a music festival recently. He really wants to impress them, but the music in the club is boring, although the atmosphere is nice and homely. The club is really small and doesn’t have a DJ currently. They spend time listening to the anthems from the music festival in the headphones and remembering how great it was to be there.

Eventually they hear a really bad song by The Singing Pugs (and one that does not mix well with the previous one, by the Kitchensink Prophet, which was amazing). Having drunk a little, David decides to talk with the manager to change the playlist to his liking. However, the manager doesn’t want to do anything and gently refuses. David gets sad, after a while they leave the place and go home to do some improvised discotheque to their own tunes.

Questions:

  • How close to reality do you think could be David’s experience?
  • Do you think the situation when you might want to change the tune in a venue is more probable when you’re there with somebody?
  • How improbable for you is the situation when you want to show off your musical tastes or recent findings to your friends?
  • Have you ever listened to The Singing Pugs?

 

GA 2.1. Scenario 2: Anthony organizes a party

Activity Scenario

Anthony owns a bar named “Howling Owl” located in a recently gentrificated area where a lot of hipsters hang out. He tries to attract a quality audience into his venue and is always on search for something different for his visitors experience. Having heard of an app that allows people to vote for songs on a party he decides to make it a focus of an elections-themed party. (He’s a cautious person who doesn’t want to try out new things without first aprobating them in a special environment where a lot of different stimuli for the visitors will be present so that they wouldn’t get bored if one stimulus fails; at the same time, he’s eager to see how this new thing will work.) People are encouraged to bring their own masks of famous politics, flags and symbols. During the party, part of the plan is to let visitors choose from a open playlist with a number of politics-related songs and soundtracks featured by default.

Anthony prepares the playlist at home on the web page of the service on his PC. This takes an hour for him as he needs to choose and prelisten many songs. He selects ~50 songs that will play in a predefined order if nobody will care to use the app, and selects about 20 albums and two genres from which users will be allowed to choose songs. Anthony tests the playlist on his iPhone and concludes that everything’s fine. It’s late, and he departs to his bar where there’re some other preparations to be done.

In the bar he opens the app on his Apple TV, selects the created playlist and asks the venue manager to attach printed leaflets with the announcement about the possibility to vote to some walls, doors and tables – for those people who haven’t seen for some reason the information on the Facebook, website and flyers. The party begins! People start to flow in, and the first song begins to play. The TV starts to show an announcement about the voting, and after a couple of songs more visitors download the app and play with it. Other people notice the photos of those who already voted on the screen and want to try out the app too. More users are having fun. Different groups of people that came to the party vote together and add their pictures in masks and scarfs to the songs they voted for.

At a moment Anthony sees that there’s a disgusting Justin Bieber song in the playlist that he wasn’t aware of earlier. It will no doubt destroy the carefully built atmosphere, and he goes to the Apple TV and removes this song in advance. The party goes on, and he’s glad that the app made his event enjoyable and rememberable. In the morning, Anthony receives a little bonus — a local “Hipster’s Gazette” blog has published a nice review of the event!

Questions:

  • Did the scenario provoke thoughts on its validity? How realistic it is?
  • What methods of distributing the information about the possibility of voting on the party itself are the most appropriate?
  • How the limitations for the predefined songs in a playlist should be set? Should it be limited to a specific genre, set of albums, set of songs or no limitations should be set at all? What do you think?
  • What is the most comfortable device/platform to set the predefined playlist from?

Background information on Advanced Jukebox project

Our goal is to prepare an iOS application, which allows people to participate even more in creating a party. “Advanced Jukebox” is the friendly environment, where everyone can post, vote and battle for their song proposition – audience is a DJ. AJ can be used in any kind of social event, both closed parties and open space gatherings.

AJ’s primary target group are event organizers and clubs owners, as they are the first step of the party-making process.

We want to connect our app with utmost mobility and convenience, and also to maintain some flexibility in order to adjust in different context. So we aim to work with various mobile devices, so every event could adapt itself to preferred target group.

Business model: Freemium Model

This combination of “free” and “premium” has become a widely used approach amongst startups over the last decade. Broken down, the model offers a basic service to consumers for free, while charging for premium services (advanced features and perks) to paying members. Linkedin is one of the best examples of a successful freemium model, with the free version letting users share professional profiles, while the premium offerings are talent solutions and premium subscriptions with added features. One of the most interesting reasons Linkedin’s model works is because each new member that signs up for free or premium increases the value for other members. Make sure if you choose this model that you find a balance between what you give away so that users will still need or want to upgrade to a paid plan.

Why It Works: One of the greatest advantages to a freemium strategy lies in its ability to be a marketing tool for your service, which helps early stage startups scale by attracting a user base without costly ad campaigns. Freemium models also tend to be more successful that 30-day free trials and other offers like that. Customers are much more comfortable with accessing a service for free, and the no strings attached feeling that comes with before deciding to make a purchase.

Others Who Have Followed: Dropbox, Hulu, and Match.com are all very popular services that have adopted a successful freemium model. Dating app Tinder has also adopted a freemium model, offering exclusive features to users who pay a low monthly fee. Survey service PollDaddy, video sharing service Vimeo, and photo sharing service Flickr are all members of the freemium model group as well.

Marketing research

There are not too many projects that are related to the idea of publicly voted playlist. Some of them were born as a design research idea, even lower number actually matured. Here’re short descriptions of each project, their unique focus, strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Rockbot:
    1. Focus: a B2B platform that allows businesses to provide their locations with individually selected (brand dependent) music playlists or just generic “stations” of various genres, artists etc. As a side functionality it has an app which allows customers of a specific business to vote for songs from a preapproved library.
    2. Strengths:
      1. tailored specifically to event organisers and show business
      2. library has large number of licensed songs
    3. Weaknesses:
      1. focus is more on large business needs, not users needs or creating atmosphere
      2. not really cheap
      3. users cannot decide upon the initial selection of songs, managers rule it all
  2. Festify:
    1. Focus: a web app that allows anybody on a party to connect and vote for songs.
    2. Strengths:
      1. allows to choose from huge selection of songs by Spotify
      2. manager intrusion is minimal (but possible)
      3. web app – accessible on any device
      4. free
    3. Weaknesses:
      1. doesn’t encourage group voting/interpersonal interaction
      2. web/computer only – doesn’t use advantages of being a native app. Standalone PC/Mac apps may not be OK for all the events
      3. Spotify Premium account is needed for the manager
  3. Partyvote
    1. Focus: Partyvote is a PC app that is specifically designed for home parties and allows everybody to have at least on “their” song to be played. It has a special peer pressure mechanism to ensure that everybody has a right to play his music and nobody could abuse this right.
    2. Strengths:
      1. peer pressure mechanism is interesting.
    3. Weaknesses:
      1. is supported by local music filebase, not flexible in terms of data availability;
      2. visualisation may be irrelevant for scenarios of quick use;
      3. is designed for preventing conflicts rather than having fun;
      4. interface is really ugly.

We can conclude that no existing app or concept is making its focus interaction between people and designing the actual atmosphere at the venue by cooperating with users of the system.

GA 1.1. Creating Personas

We created four personas overall, one per each member of the group:

You can download the printable PDF with all of the personas right from here.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments for each post.