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Case Study 01:
Streamlining 8tracks' FTUX

With the entrance of loss-leading competitors in the digital music space, 8tracks was facing growth stagnation. Unable to compete financially, we had to pivot our position & redesign the experience to fit into the new ecosystem.

The question we needed to answer for new users: Why use 8tracks in addition
to our competitors?

Working with our Product Marketing & Community Managers, we started interviewing users to gain qualitative feedback on why they stuck around. The overarching pattern was that 8tracks not only helped them find better new music, but they also valued the community it created in the process.

From this insight we redeveloped our UVP:
Discover music through people
& people through music.

Focusing on people & discovery was key, so our UX & UI had to reflect this as succinctly & elegantly as that sentence. I mapped out our ideal user flow turning a first-time listener into a DJ in as few steps as possible.

From our user research we crafted personas for our super users.

These personas helped us rework our onboarding into our ideal user flow as a sequence of messages throughout the experience, more like a conversation than a tutorial. This progressive disclosure introduced new information only when necessary to reduce cognitive load.

This flow helped us revisit our KPIs & suggested we should optimize for Mix Play, a custom event triggered when a user hits the third track in a playlist. After they reached Mix Play we could push them to Mix Like & trigger Sign Up, reducing the likelihood of churn.

We developed this initial hypothesis for optimization:
New users are more likely to reach Mix Play if we start them off with our most popular playlists, which have been vetted by our community.

Along with our Product Architect, we designed a new FTUX front door variation to support this hypothesis & tested it against what was currently live. To reduce the Paradox Of Choice, this design segmented out our top eight playlist categories to make the content quicker to parse.

Our new design won the experiment, validating our hypothesis & increasing FTUX Mix Play by 30% over the next year.

We continued iterating with this hypothesis:
Removing the Paradox of Choice
will further increase Mix Play.

Our new experiment asked for context & taste inputs up front so we could autoplay the most relevant popular mix. Alongside our iOS lead we developed an FTUX taste capture flow.

The result on Mix Play was unfortunately flat, however there was a surprising 3% increase in Average Listening Hours. That might seem small, but it's a win that could compound over time as a leading indicator of higher retention, longer lifetime value for our ad-supported model, & more listening data to personalize their returning experience.

Case Study 02:
Redesigning 8tracks'
Business Model
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