You can’t be halfway in this business. If you don’t meet the fans, you lose all you’ve got.
– Loretta Lynn
ROLE: Interface Design, Logo Design
TEAM: Una Kravets (interaction design, development) & Cristina Keane (interface design, web design)
In a music industry where record sales decline year after year and radio play is generally reserved for those artists whose labels have enough connections and funds to impress the major media conglomerates, it is more important than ever for artists to connect with their fans. Engagement is rewarded with loyalty, which can’t be undervalued when the masses are always ready to move on to the “next big thing.” However, standing out when everyone is trying to connect with their fans isn’t easy.
We decided to respond to these new rules of the music industry by creating Fannotate, a conceptual app that lets fans have a say in the creative processes of their favorite Glassnote artists by allowing them to vote on song clips, merch designs, and more.
We decided to tackle the app from the perspective of an already-existing company, as opposed to creating an entirely new service. We chose Glassnote Records because of their indie-but-well-known repertoire of artists.
RESEARCH & TESTING
Fannotate is the product of many revisions and refinements of a somewhat vague idea: an app that lets people share and vote on original sound clips. We quickly realized that this idea was going to turn into an overly involved “Twitter for sounds” if we didn’t distill our concept down to something more specific.
After mocking up a paper prototype, we tested it with a number of our peers and fellow design students. People seemed confused by our interface, and in their feedback it became clear that the purpose of our app was still unclear. We proceeded into the design process knowing that we were in for some extensive redesigning.
We scrapped our first wireframes almost entirely in favor of a design that had fewer choices for users to make, but more satisfying and fun interactions. We devised a drag-and-drop system that would allow fans to rank clips of songs in progress, t-shirt designs, and more.
We transformed our streamlined concept into a fully-designed app, focused on clarity and eye-catching flat design. We made sure that the interface elements, particularly of the music player and the artists grid, remained somewhat familiar to what mobile users would be accustomed to, but we used unconventional arrangements to set Fannotate apart from the never-ending slew of music apps available today.
We transformed our original idea of a sound-sharing platform into an app with one clear functionality: to allow fans to participate in the creative processes of their favorite Glassnote artists through the act of voting. The concept is a great compromise for creatives and their fans in that it allows fans to feel connected and involved with the careers of their favorite artists, while also not pushing artists to give up any significant amount of creative control over their works in progress.
We finalized Fannotate with a responsive landing page and a functional prototype. My responsibilities within the project included user interface design (with Cristina Keane), logo design, and partial wireframing.