We came up with a lot of initial ideas for what this product needed to be. The only way to really know what we needed was to do some user interviews and surveys to answer some initial questions we developed. The results showed that the majority of musicians were hobbyists that wanted to jam with other musicians. We also found that the vast majority of musicians find each other by word of mouth.
Redefining the problem
Not everyone is a musician yet
Our initial idea for the product was that it needed to be an app that connects musicians by matching them based on skills and taste and also allows them to collaborate and eventually sell their music. After further investigation and some very pivotal contextual analysis, we uncovered that most people were amateurs and beginners just learning to play music. We also uncovered that people who already were more established did not need help finding other musicians.
Design and Ideation
With the idea of connecting musicians, we developed a new name and sub-brand for our project. Grapevine, reminiscing back to Marvin Gaye’s song, seemed a fitting title. We also wanted to separate the product from the store branding itself so that it didn’t seem like it was just a store app for shopping guitar center.
Our team did a few iterations of the design studio process and produced a ton of ideas and sketches. Just as the featuritis begin to overwhelm us we looked back at what our users really needed. We re-evaluated once again and trimmed our mobile app down to a more realistic MVP. Not only was this good for our time constraints, but it really helped us look back to the core needs.
Some early wireframes showing the task flow for our persona Nick. “Seeing” the app through Nick’s eyes allowed us to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in our initial designs
Emphasizing Existing Services
There were many great services that Guitar Center already offered. Since we were focusing on beginners and hobbyists we wanted to feature access to all their educational services through the app and let the users track their progress in their profile in a similar way to online education such as Kahn Academy or Treehouse.
We took our prototype back to our local Guitar Center location to do some usability testing. We received some great feedback that we incorporated into our final design. While there we got some great feedback.