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From Idea to App Store: A Podcast Discovery App Case Study

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Timeline

2 weeks (until handed over to tech)

Objective

Design the first version of the RecTag Discovery app.

What is RecTag app?

RecTag is a podcast listening and distribution platform designed for listeners who want to discover podcasts beyond charts. Podcasters can easily grow the audience for free. The company pivoted in Sep 2019, has built a first web version and now wants to build an app.

Step 1: Kickoff meeting & first concept

We kicked off by meeting with Flo my CEO, with the goal to getting as much as possible information on paper of his vision of the app and for me the objective of the project.
By asking specific questions about features, functionalities, best practices and a vision, we could call this a “expert interview”. While Flo was talking I wrote down notes. Together we decided on a goal.

Goal: Define, Prototype, Test and Design an MVP of our core interaction – discovering and listening to podcasts.

Step 2: Opportunity Mapping & Rapid Idea Creation

For this project, I decided to use the method of opportunity mapping, which helped me to understand the flow of the product and core feature we could create to further have an unfair advantage compared to other podcast apps.

After adding features and ideas to the three areas Discovering, Quality of content and Consuming, I secondly grouped and linked the best ideas.

So the next task was to create many possible solutions for these features. I went into Rapid Idea Creation (8-16 Ideas in 10min) and sketched a couple of concept directions.

Step 3: Lightning Demos

I found a variety of examples and discussed them with Flo to get insights and inspiration of other apps/ competitors. We were mainly inspired by the simplicity of some apps that have broken down options to key functionalities. But still thought more could be done…

We found a lot of patterns that inspired us for the final version of the app. There were also areas of opportunity as we saw features we have planned weren’t available in most apps.

Step 3: Creating first concepts & alignment

I had a meeting with Flo to present him all directions we could go, so we voted on these. Furthermore, we had to cut down functionalities of the app due to time pressure and a sooner release.

We discussed and created multiple concepts on which we decide by voting. Afterwards, I created a sitemap and an overview of all the areas the app must include with its features to find a like-minded direction.

In this step we also defined functionalities by importance for all main screens, this turned out to be very helpful when rethinking and designing the podcast player.

Step 4: Wireframes & Prototyping

Based on all insights and feedback to this point, I moved forward to creating the first wireframes of all areas and a first prototype.

For this stage, I always use design tool Figma. Before I sketched all areas and started to create wireframes, which we then linked to create a prototype. All done in figma – a super cool tool!

Step 5: User Testing & Research

Now after testing all buttons and areas of the prototype, I was ready to observe users testing the prototype. I asked three questions beforehand, watched them using the prototype and asked to follow up questions on problems. During this day of work I continuously asked people in our coworking space, if they want to join a user testing session.

I gained a lot of feedback from the people, that inspired me in their explanation of problems and thoughts on how to solve them. This stage helped me to understand and test user flows with people rebuilding scenarios they could be while using the app. I sorted my notes and create a list of next actions.

Step 6: Internal Design Review

Now I wanted to get more feedback but by our own team, especially from Development colleagues to also get their estimate on the feasibility of some features.

This check-in became very intensive feedback session, where I gathered a lot of insights in regards on how I need to design the app to ensure fast employment. By this stage, the end of the research phase, we had all decide on certain parts and had aligned on the first version of the app. So I move forward to create all screens.

Step 7: Creating the final screens

I spent around 1 week working on all screens.

Step 8: Handover to developer

Arrived at this stage I passed over everything to the developer Michael.

After a few weeks, the new RecTag Discovery app is on the app store and to be part of a multi platform experience of RecTag.