THE BEAT SEARCH ENGINE
Abeato.com is a beat search engine and platform for artists and producers to find instrumentals based on specific genres, moods, tempos, and similar artists. I worked with 3 other people to cooperate with the founder of Abeato and their engineering team on the user research and UX/UI design of Abeato mobile app.
Abeato has a website which serves as a digital marketplace for buying and selling beats. We are tasked to create a separate mobile app specifically for artists and music aficionados to discover and play with the beats they find via Abeato.
User research | UX Design | visual design
Persona = Producers + Artists + Music Aficionados
Through our user interviews, we found that different from the Abeato website, instead of focusing on producers and artists as target users, the Abeato mobile app should focus more on beat exploration and beat music creation on the fly. And the intended app will serve as a playground for users to try out various beats. As a result, the target users of the Abeato app should not be limited to producers and artists, but also include music aficionados who want to explore the world of music creation.
Research and Insights
Before we started the design process for the mobile app, we conducted a research on artists about their beat search experience. The result directed us to focus on the discovery feature based on users' preferences on moods, similar artists, genres, and tempos.
We also learned from our second-phase user interviews with artists and music aficionados that they prefer the following features for music editing mobile apps -
- ability to write down quick lyrics
- displaying lyrics when recording
- less complicated UI
- ability to interact with a community of similar interests, like Soundcloud
- a beat library with easy storage and management
Defining Functionality & Low-Fi Prototyping
After two weeks of sketching, discussions, and iterations, we defined the following main functions for the mobile application -
- Discover - feed function for recommended beats and artists
- Create - editing function for creating music with imported beat(s)
- Search - searching function to find beats/users by tags of genres, artists, etc.
- Profile - for users to manage settings and friends
- Play - playing beat/song from other artist with details and comments
- Library - user created and managed collection of beats
Based on this, we iterated through the overall architecture and the user flows with low-fi prototyping tools of Balsamiq and InVision. With the interactive low-fi prototype, We also conducted our first round of think-out-loud usability testing on the key interactions.
Hi-Fi Prototype & Visual Design
We revised the interactions and refined UI elements based on our low-fi prototype. Here we iterated our hi-fi prototype to optimize the sizes and locations of various elements to make the overall experience more intuitive for the users. After that, we decided on the details of the visual design aspect, such as typography, colors, icons, illustrations, etc.
Try Out Our Interactive Hi-Fi Prototype Below!