User Research, Usability Testing, Data analysis

Products & Deliverables

Spotify Mobile App, UX Design solutions


User Research, Usability Testing, Data analysis

Products & Deliverables

Spotify Mobile App, UX Design solutions


User Research, Usability Testing, Data analysis

Products & Deliverables

Spotify Mobile App, UX Design solutions


User Research, Usability Testing, Data analysis

Products & Deliverables

Spotify Mobile App, UX Design solutions

This study aimed to enhance the playlist management experience on the Spotify mobile app for premium members in order to increase user satisfaction and promote app usage and recommendations. By identifying pain points and improving user engagement and retention, the goal is to create a seamless and enjoyable playlist creation and management process.

Problem Statement

Users want to be able to listen to their music intuitively but also can personalize the listening experience to their unique preferences when it comes to music streaming services. Premium members of the Spotify music streaming platform encounter significant challenges when managing their playlists, including issues with renaming playlists, cumbersome song rearrangement, and a lack of intuitive actions within the playlist management interface.

These problems result in user frustration, inefficiency, and limited customization options, which could potentially lead to a decrease in user satisfaction and retention. To elevate the overall user experience for our premium members and ensure their continued engagement, it is imperative to address these pain points and provide a more intuitive and user-friendly solution for playlist management

Product in Study

Spotify's playlist management features are an integral aspect of the notable user experience, yet it present several challenges, including cluttered interfaces and limited customization options. The purpose of this study was to identify any potential issues with the well-designed music streaming app in order to transform this feature into a user-centric, intuitive, and visually appealing tool to optimize the experience for existing Premium Spotify users.


To gain insights into user behaviors and preferences regarding playlist management features, moderated remote usability tests and semi-formal interviews were conducted with five participants. Key metrics such as task success rate, time on task, number of errors, and overall user satisfaction were used to support the findings.

Data Collection

Before the usability test, participants were asked about their demographics, music listening preferences, and experience with managing playlists. They then completed tasks using the Spotify mobile app related to playlist management and provided feedback on the experience. Data was collected through usability testing and a semi-formal interview using the Lookback video conferencing tool. The user experience with the playlist management features was evaluated through a combination of task analysis and satisfaction surveys.

During the test, participants were given a series of tasks to perform. This included creating a new playlist, adding songs to the playlist, renaming the playlist, reordering songs, removing a song, and enabling offline listening. The time taken to complete each task and the success rate were recorded, as well as any errors made along the way.

After completing the tasks, participants were asked to complete a Net Promoter Survey (NPS) to gauge their experience with the playlist management features. The NPS used in this study was a 5-point scale, with 1 and 2 considered detractors, 3 considered neutral, and 4 and 5 considered promoters who would be likely to recommend the features to a friend.

Usability Testing Sessions

To understand user behavior and identify pain points, we conducted usability testing sessions. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  1. Scenario Creation: Participants were tasked with creating a new playlist, adding songs, and rearranging tracks within a playlist using their own Spotify mobile apps.

  2. Moderated Testing: A moderator guided users and recorded observations during remote user interviews, usability tests, and post-test questionnaires conducted via video calls on the Lookback user testing platform.

Data Collection and Analysis

Our data collection and analysis phase aimed to extract meaningful insights from user interactions:

  1. Think-Aloud Protocol: During testing, participants were encouraged to verbalize their thoughts, providing valuable insights into their decision-making processes.

  2. Task Success Rate: We measured the success rate for each task and noted any difficulties encountered by participants.

  3. Post-Test Questionnaire: Participants answered a questionnaire about their overall experience and specific pain points.

Data Synthesis

To make sense of our observations and user feedback, we used various techniques for data synthesis:

  1. Affinity Diagramming: We organized observations into themes, highlighting common usability issues and positive feedback. Data was categorized by usage patterns, pain points, user needs, and task difficulty levels.

Results and Analysis: Our usability test findings revealed several key insights:

  • Playlist creation was intuitive, but participants primarily used the search bar to add songs, overlooking other song groups that could be added by swiping left on the screen.

  • Users encountered difficulties in rearranging the order of songs, attempting to drag-and-drop songs unsuccessfully.

  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) averaged 4.8, indicating high user satisfaction, although sample size and rating scale limitations were noted.

Key Findings

Finding 1 Interactive Tutorial

Users primarily utilized the search bar to add songs to playlists, overlooking alternative song groups accessible via left-swiping on the screen. Three out of five participants used this new feature to add songs they had recently liked, an option based on their listening history. However, users were not aware of other song groups they could add, causing unnecessary cognitive load and effort.

Recommendation: Continuous user education

Enhance the feature's visibility to ensure utilization, making multiple song groups more visually prominent during playlist creation. Provide continuous user education for premium Spotify users through tip pop-ups and visual cues to streamline the playlist creation process.

Finding 2 Drag-and-Drop Rearrangement

Participants found editing playlist names and removing songs straightforward. However, four out of five users couldn't rearrange song orders in their playlists. They attempted to drag and drop songs, but this visual cue was misleading as it didn't function as expected.

Recommendation: Implement visual cues to streamline song rearrangement

Streamline the process by adding a 'drag and drop' feature or 'move to top/bottom' option. Include visual feedback, like a placement line, to clarify where songs will be positioned in the playlist. Disable song pickup when dragging is not possible.

Finding 3 Collaborative Playlists

Users expressed a desire to keep up with friends' playlists and co-collaborate on track additions. They wanted a more convenient method to access and view friend-generated playlists.

Recommendation: Explore more social feature

To enhance Spotify's social features, allowing users to follow playlists and receive notifications on updates. This would encourage users to interact with the app beyond music playback, fostering a sense of community.

Next Steps

The next steps for improving the playlist management experience on Spotify's mobile app involve several key phases. Firstly, a high-fidelity working prototype will be created based on insights gained from usability testing, incorporating proposed design enhancements. This will be followed by additional usability testing with a diverse user group to validate the prototype's effectiveness in addressing identified issues.

Subsequently, an iterative refinement process will take place, guided by user feedback and close collaboration with stakeholders. The design will be finalized to meet user experience goals and handed off to the development team, with ongoing communication to ensure a smooth transition from prototype to implementation.

Post-implementation, continuous monitoring of user feedback and analytics will ensure that the improvements meet user satisfaction and engagement goals, with room for further iteration based on data and user insights. These steps aim to deliver an exceptional user experience for Spotify's playlist management feature.

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