JUKE FM: Designing an online radio platform

Gertjan Melgers - 11 April 2018

If you want to listen to music, there are many good options available. But when it comes to listening to the radio online, a good user experience is not that easy to find. And what’s even more interesting: during the course of this project we discovered that radio listeners’ user needs are very different from the people who rather stream their favourite music.

Focus on user needs

Meet Anna (45). Anna loves to listen to the radio, because it’s so easy. She doesn’t want to think about what song to play. And that’s the beauty of radio. With radio you don’t have to think. You can just turn it on and find a station that reflects your current mood. Whether you’re up for some latin, reggae, pop or dance:you just tune in to the station of your choice and discover the tracks you like.

Anna, our key persona for JUKE.

So what is it that Anna wants? A simple, easy to use interface. Anna doesn’t like complex interfaces and hardly ever installs an app. She rather opens a browser to listen to the radio online on her laptop or iPad. Anna is a typical digital immigrant, somebody who was born before the widespread adoption of digital technology. For her the KISS-principle is mandatory. As it almost always is, of course.

A strong sense of team spirit

To design the best possible user experience, we partnered up with our friends from Q42 again. We know from experience that we match really well with these guys. The rules of engagement for the team were simple: we worked side-by-side (in uberscrum) and used simple sketches over BDUF. We explored our options and validated our concept early on in a design sprint. After the concept was validated, we set up the roadmap and decided on the MVP for our product with the help of a story mapping session.

To keep the team focused on Anna’s needs throughout the project, we developed a set of design principles that helped us make the right decisions.

It paid off. From day 1, we were a team. At the end of sprint 1 we already had a working radio platform. To keep the team focused on Anna’s needs throughout the project, we developed a set of design principles that helped us make the right decisions. During sprint 4 we tested our assumptions again with the help of a usability test and validated if we were still on the right track.  

The first version of JUKE at launch.

What would Anna think of this?

Talpa Radio asked us to design an online radio platform for our key persona Anna and we are proud of the results. In just four months, we've managed to design and develop the first version of an online radio platform that meets Anna’s needs. And ever since that day, we've been working on a new and improved release.

We’ve delivered a platform where Anna easily finds a station that suits her mood, whether she’s up for some latin, reggae, pop or dance. A platform that helps her to discover and save tracks she hears on the radio. But above all: a platform designed without clutter and with easy-of-use in mind.

During our project, we often asked ourselves the question what would Anna think of this? There probably isn’t a better way to get the answer to that question than by just asking her.

How did the users experience JUKE?

Start listening to the radio on radio.juke.nl

Gertjan Melgers

Interaction Designer, Design Principal, Design Sprint Facilitator

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