Design a collaborative music creation app for iOS and an identity system to support it.
Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
Most music production apps are geared towards people who are already musicians or hobbyist. They include advanced functionality like mixing songs or automation which can be daunting for beginners. Collaboration apps are no less inviting because they retain these advanced features but add the ability to collaborate. Music communities reach a separate market; They are used by indie artists and listeners who seek content they can't find anywhere else.
Brainstorming key terms and phrases helped to clarify my vision. The goal was to solidify the experiences and interactions that would underpin Echo. I started with 85 terms which I worked to consolidate.
From these I chose 7 to serve as first principles. Some relate to the look and function of the interface while others describe UX goals.
To visually reinforce these principles I created a mood board. I later referenced these elements in branding and interface assets.
The basis of the Echo brand is to liberate the user’s creativity while enabling them to connect with a wider community. I sought to channel this message through shapes that evoked movement, transformation, and expressiveness.
The final form resembles merging wave pulses. It also recalls typography used on the Roland 808, perhaps the most revered drum machine of all time for it’s simplicity and iconic sounds.
It was important that the visual system represent the spontaneous experience of using the app as well as it’s simplicity. This was achieved through careful selection of an expressive color palette and modern unadorned typography.
A user can take two paths within the app by creating original songs or browsing tracks from the community. The flow is optimized to maintain the user's momentum whether they make music, share it with the community, preview other’s music, or create a remix.
After creating a user flow I moved onto wireframes. The challenge was making music creation simple and intuitive for user's with no prior experience. As I have been making music for several years, questioning my own assumptions through testing was crucial.
In the next version of the prototype I focused on the structure of the app. In pursuit of swift navigation I designed an instrument rack organized in accordion style panels.
The explore and create views evolved through several iterations. Each version was a practice in simplification. I removed many custom views and found solutions in implementing modal elements which animated upon user interactions.
Final screens with visual design applied.
Indpendent Project: Airlift
Role: UX, UI, Visual Designer
Tools: Sketch, Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC
Typeface: Brown TT