Pirate Studios ·
stream & record app
Introducing the 'Pirate Live' streaming system subscription to DJ’s of all levels. Connecting their device to the system to live stream their sessions in high-quality video and audio to the world, or record a snapshot to share with friends, fans and beyond via Facebook Live.
The challenge was to design an exciting product that feels intuitive and engaging with almost no competition in the market. We aimed to build a user-friendly product, simple and easy to navigate, consistent across the whole end to end process. It is an efficient product, in a few steps the users can complete the task.
Users & audience
The app users are Professional DJs, amateurs, from beginner to advanced, Pirate studios regular customers or not. People who want to stream their work, put themselves out there, try different promotional methods and build their personal brand.
The users’ goals were to live stream and record their sessions while also being able to have a preview of the stream before going live. To go through a consistent and intuitive navigation flow.
To easily understand how the service works and being able to complete the tasks in a few steps, without being tech-savvy or needing technical support.
To have the option to leave feedback about performance and level of satisfaction about the product.
My Role was as a UX/UI Designer.
The team was comprised by a product manager, a front-end developer, two backend developers, marketing team members and stakeholders.
I was involved in mapping out features and creating end-to-end user flows and scenarios. Wireframing, creating and testing prototypes in real-world scenarios.
Gathering what I learned from the users’ frustrations I distilled it into actionable recommendations. Iteration and final presentation delivering the final interface designs.
Working closely with the development team to ensure that designs are implemented to a high standard.
Some of the constraints were the timeframe to meet a promised deadline and a project too large of a scope. We broke it down in different iterations.
Another constraint was to integrate the different phases of the subscription's service into a seamless user journey. It involves the pre-room subscription payment, the application used during the session in the Dj’s room and the post-room experience, downloading the recordings.
A few technical constraints were being confined to a specific device like an Android tablet and to get the application's approval underFacebook guidelines.
Subscription to the service
I wanted to create a seamless navigation flow and straight forward stream and recording experience, where users involved didn’t need previous knowledge or tech support.
I spoke about the problems and working collaboratively with devs and the project manager to improve the product after analysing the user testing report and insights.
The goal was to integrate all the features, like streaming and recording in different stages of the process, in a clear and consistent user journey.
After mapping out features, user journey and flows I started to do a lo-fi prototype, followed by a hi-fi prototype to test with real users.
Some of the problems validated through usability testing were some unclear copy, or wrong CTA labels, confusion with broadcast delay, and technical problems with users interacting with the tablet, like touch and tap gestures. The body copy and CTA buttons needed a bigger font size to enhance readability.
After uncovering potential usability issues I gathered ideas to fix and improve them. I did a list of new requirements, refine and iterate the designs.
Subscription streaming & recording
During the project I was focused and excited, watching users interacting with the product, learning about the user’s pain points to future improvement or seeing their level of satisfaction with the product, willing to use it often and recommend to their DJ friends.
Also, it was satisfying taking the time to iterate on what was originally a complex interface, until I was left with an uncluttered, minimal and elegant solution. I crossed the chasm of complexity to find simplicity at the other end.
I have redesigned the standard media player buttons, and levels-of-satisfaction icons to fit with the brand style.
I was most frustrated with the short time spent doing user research, that sometimes led to non-empirical personas and assumptions about users.
One of the things I’ve learned is that even something that seems like a minor detail can cause major confusion. We found in one of the usability testings, one of the CTA’s labels misled the user, creating confusion between which stage he was at, live streaming or previewing the streaming session.
The final result was a user-friendly product. Users loved the simplicity of it. Not too many steps involved, straightforward and easy to use. Also, it highlighted the chance to preview their streaming session before going live and having everything set up and ready to play.
If I could do the project again, I would spend more time doing user research to have a deeper understanding of all the stages of the product, identifying and refining users problems. Sometimes the process could get messy interacting with different devices in each particular context.
Also, under some time constraints, we had to prioritize and leave behind some post-room features, like downloading the whole session and not just each track.
Another feature to include are stats, demographics, likes and comments while live streaming the session.
If we had more time and resources, we could expand the service to a web platform where users could share their recordings and live streamings with their fans and other Pirate Studios customers.