Tidal is a paid music streaming service created by Jay-Z and backed by multiple famous artists. The goal was to create a new feature for the existing Tidal music app called TurnUp. This project was created as a Designlab capstone project.


People enjoy finding new music from friends. People need a way to collaborate on playlists together for parties, road trips and work spaces. People want to listen to music together to connect them when apart. People want to follow what their artists are listening to.


Create a feature that allows multiple users to create playlists and simultaneously listen together on different smartphones from anywhere in the world.


The first thing I decided to do was to familiarize myself with the existing Tidal app. To do this, I signed myself up for a trial of their premium service and banned myself from my other music application. By doing this I was able to learn the ins and outs of the application's navigation and the user experience that already existed. Additionally I decided it would be helpful to actually map out the user flow visually in sketch. Now that I understood what I had to work with I could be sure that the design of my new feature would integrate seamlessly.

Next I conducted a competitive analysis focusing on specific features and whether or not they were present. This also allowed me to get a sense of their UX and any unique solutions they may have come up with. I created a research plan, an interview guide, and synthesized my findings into 3 three types of potential users. The first was an average listener who uses Spotify. I figured out some ways this person could be benefitted by a new feature by learning more about their music listening patterns. The following interviewees were more keen music enthusiast and described themselves as an individual who keeps others up to date with the newest music. They also both were excited by the idea of connecting with others who could reciprocate the sharing of music. This "influencer" characteristic is exactly what we believe to be the ideal user of this new feature.


Using the insights that i learned from conducting interviews and surveys I created this persona to represent a typical user within our target market. His name is James and he is an audio engineer for ESPN in Los Angeles.   

Tidal's pricing of $25/month the price is 150% more than the industry leaders iTunes and Spotify, which signified to me they were targeting a niche market. With this information I concluded that there were two types of users. The first type of user is the audiophile, the James Davis, this type of user has a intimate relationship with music and is likely either a musician or works in the audio production industry. The second type of user is characterized by their price-conscious purchase behavior. Price-conscious in these sense that they blindly associate high-price with high-quality and desire to have "nothing but the best".


I signed up for free trials of the services I didn't already have and spent time each day switching between them and recording the differences that I noticed. I found that the biggest weakness for Tidal, compared to the other services, was a lack of congruence in respect to user identity. Apple uses the "Apple ID" to create a streamlined and interconnected environment. That ID connects Apple Music to iCloud to the App store etc. With Tidal, I found myself creating playlists within one section of the app but when viewing all my music the playlisted songs were not there unless manually connected.



I thought about the features that would need to be added and prioritized them. Some of these features were really just subsets other features. For example, Turn Up is the feature and then the ability to vote, like, and/or chat are all subsets which I did not go into detail on here. 



Now that I completed my research and emphasized with the users, I created a Point of View (POV) Statement to sum up what exactly the user needs as well as to provide myself with an actionable problem statement going forward: 

"The user needs a better way to share music on the go because they enjoy sharing their discoveries with friends and followers."




In order to organize the insights gained from the research and to steer the project moving forward, I created a UX Blueprint. I then proceeded to think up as many different scenarios as possible in which this feature could be beneficial and used this to create a product roadmap outlining the various aspects of the feature set.

Tidal - UX Strategy Blueprint.png

First, I created an app map to visualize the existing structure of the Tidal app. Then I tried to find the best way to introduce the new feature into the flow taking into account the main touch points.

Next, I developed a user flow for both user types, the DJ and the spectator, to figure out what features should be on each and what I would need to design overall.


Once I identified the best pathway for the TurnUp feature to be introduced, I drafted some initial sketches based on the UI requirements identified during the research:

  • Users need a way to discuss music and interact
  • There needs to be recommendations by the app, artists, and other users
  • Feature needs to include functionality to quickly and easily share songs with others

Once I had sketched out several iterations by hand, I took pictures of my drawings and uploaded them into Sketch. Once the rendering was complete, I proceeded to create higher fidelity wireframes to turn into a prototype for user testing.


Using the existing Tidal branding, the assets I gathered on my mood board, and some other design decisions, I created this Style Tile and UI Kit combo document.

Tidal - Style Tile.png


The first prototype that I made was made up of my wireframes using inVision. The idea here was to figure out whether or not the interface was intuitive enough and ensure people other than myself were able to understand how the feature worked and more specifically if they had any issue trying to add songs to their playlists.

By analyzing the user errors that occurred for a particular task, I noticed that patterns begin to develop around the areas of confusion. Some of this confusion I found to be do to simple wording of things and others were more complicated like how I had not provided a way to add songs from within a playlist.

I then revised my wireframes, built a high-fidelity prototype, tested again, and found less errors and better overall results.  You can view the interactive prototype here.