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Listening Mode - A new feature for Amazon Music

Project type
UX Design
Product type
Mobile app
Amazon Music
March 2023
Hailee Hoa Luong (me)
Jen Lee, Nishi Chitale, Ruhee Shah
My role
UX Designer
UX researcher

The design challenge

In early 2023, Amazon collaborated with Pratt Institute School of Information to organize a design challenge to develop a new feature for Amazon music streaming service.

Within 3 weeks, our team were able to visualize and imagine a future of listeners' with music, and design a new feature that leverage Amazon Music's offerings.

The project was a resounding success. My team was selected among 21 teams to the final round, and presented to Amazon Vice President of Design and other Amazon employees.

Project slide deck
the user problem
Music listeners don't get the right music at the right moment.

People want to listen to music that fits their emotion, situation, or current activities. However, their music collection is often not organized by those categories. Additionally, music apps could suggest songs that are unfit to users' mood due to the large music listening history made up of several genres.

(Photo by Daniel Fontenele on Unsplash)

A photo of a hand holding a headphone
Our proposed Solution

What if they can curate their own music based on current activity?

Listening Mode is a new feature which allows user to create different modes on a single account.

A screenshot of the new feature

Set a mood and choose the genres

Enjoy your music collection in a different way

A screenshot of the new feature

Select among frequently listened artists, then decide the music tempo

Have more control over the music listening experience

A screenshot of the new feature

Enjoy the self- curated music

No more mood spoiling

A screenshot of the new feature
Design process

How did we come to the solution

a person with a magnifying glass icon
Empathize & Define
Conduct interviews & surveys, competitive analysis to understand music listeners' behaviors, current experience and pain points
paint palette
Ideate & Prototype
Define early concept, and high-level workflow for the new feature.
Create high fidelity wireframes to demonstrate detailed screen layouts, and prototype to present interactions of the feature
a hand touching a surface
Collecting the user feedback for the new feature
a person in front of a screen
Iterate & Deliver
Refine the design based on users' feedback, and present the project to Amazon's VP of design
1. Empathize and define

Understand how users listen to music

Biggest pain point
frustrated with different genres of music being mixed up hence unfit a specific mood or current activity
Most frequent activities during music listening
commute or doing house work
work out
work, relax or at a party
Common music listening habits
People listened to a variety of music depending on their mood, activity, or situation.
"I select music based on moods and genres of songs."
They stick to music that they like.
"I mostly listen to songs that I’ve been repeatedly listening to.
They are overwhelmed by too much content and recommendations
There are just so many artists, you don’t know who to listen to
People wearing headphone waiting for subway train
2. Ideate & Prototype

How might we help users have better control over their music experiences

User flow
screenshot of the user flow diagram describing a step-by-step journey user would go through when they use the feature
Early sketches
early sketches of the screen layout for the new feature
screen wireframes
user Testing
What do users think
“I would use it! I think that's a good way of organizing different purposes of listening to music.”
2 people looking at a laptop screen showing mockup for the new feature
People wearing headphone waiting for subway train
Most frequent activities during music listening
commute or doing house work
work out
work, relax or at a party
Biggest pain point
frustrated with different genres of music being mixed up hence unfit a specific mood or current activity
Refine the final design
first design iterationsecond design iteration
Present to Amazon and Pratt Institute Info Show
Very inspiring!
"It’s really awesome to hear the steps that you went through to get into the mind of customers in order to do this. There’s tons of flexibility in how to implement and incorporate this solution you came up with."
Amazon's VP of Design
team member is presenting project
Presenting our project during the Pratt Institute Info Show!
If we have more time
Smart watch integration
Auto-detect user’s activity using smart watch to activate mode and play music
Feature tutorial
Add a tutorial, such as a ‘quick tour’ so that the users can gain better understanding of the feature
Lifestyle improvement
Think of ways in which the feature can help users to set up routines and be more productive
What I've learnt from this project
Project management
Planning is key. Define scope considering time in mind, and manage time wisely
Maintain an constant communication, share the work, and trust my teammate
Embrace changes
Don’t be afraid to change the direction based on the user’s true pain point in order to propose an effective solution
members smiling with each other during a video call meeting
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