Grapevine

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“I wish I could become a better Ukulele player, then I could jam with some other musicians.”

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Discovery Phase

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.

Solution

Now that we had a clear understanding of who our users were and how to better serve the business needs, we came up with three primary goals coming to hold our designs up to.

Target Users and Eliminate Pain Points

Nick Mehta

NEEDS / GOALS

Multi-platform access

Needs to learn mixing equipment

Ability to share music

Emma Sullivan

NEEDS / GOALS

Connect with a teacher & learn the ukulele

Meet fun people to connect & play with

Eventually, play farmers’ markets

Melanie Powers

NEEDS / GOALS

Find & audition a new drummer

Get some constructive advice for the band

Record some songs they’ve been working on

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Design and Ideation

Sub-Branding

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.

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“...We had lots of ideas, sketching them out with our developed personas in mind allowed us to think through the ideas and see if it worked at a high level.”

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Iterations

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.

User Flow

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.

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Onboarding

A series of  screens walk users through setting up their account in an easy and intuitive way.

Skills Quiz

An optional skill quiz can help current musicians evaluate their skill level to help instructors place them into the right classes and help with matching up musicians.

Community

Under the Community section, we made a simple interface helping students and musicians in the community makes posts for finding other musicians, selling equipment, or simply just meeting up with others.

Events

Events tab shows all the events and workshops happening at your local Guitar Center. You can RSVP to any of these free events through the app.

Lessons Home

The main landing page for the app will be the Lessons page. Organized by teacher, instrument, group lessons, and seasonal lessons, the page mirrors the structure Guitar Center currently uses.

Lessons Detail

Each Lessons screen tells info for the class and how it’s structured as well as the teacher at your local Guitar Center. 

Schedule & Book Lesson

Through testing, we found that the Schedule and cost need to stick to the bottom of the screen for easy access.

Send a Message to the Instructor

In testing, we found that students often want to send the instructor a message about specific interests.

Profiles

We built also built a feature for connecting profiles or “Form a Band” which would be at the bottom of a profile. People can form bands with anyone they want mimicking the cross-collaboration that happens so often in music.

Usability Testing

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.

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“Absolutely! I don’t see how [this app] couldn’t help. [The added features] would be a good way for Guitar Center to take advantage of putting in a platform like that.”

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