Mosic — money, music & … – UX Planet
Search & Research
The first step was to make a brief for me, to begin the investigation. You can access the brief in here. The main point of this brief was to establish the initial goal of this challenge, that was:
“Improve the time management for musicians in their everyday working life.”
But why? Have the musicians a time management problem? Do they really care about it? Following a study revealed by helpmusicians.org, in which they interviewed 2,211 musicians, I discovered that the 71.7% of all respondents believed they had suffered from panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety, and 68.5% reported they had suffered from depression. And amongst the reasons why, one of them was “poor working conditions including the difficulty of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and the inability to plan their time/future”. This was an interesting point to focus on.
Maybe through helping them to manage their time, it is possible to reduce those high level of anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Once this initial goal was settled, the first step was to really understand what were the friction points we were trying to improve. So I began a Desk Research process, including investigation about productivity techniques, time management theories, music studies methodologies and everything that was in some way useful. This process leads me to form the Research Questions around the four main points around the everyday working life of a musician: personal study, rehearsals, concerts and other related activities.
I had my questions, so it was time to ask them to my future users. What did they think about the matter? I organized the quiz in 9 different questions, involving the aforementioned parts. And I used my network of musicians to get almost 50 answers. For this questionnaire, I divided the musicians into four types:
- Students. They don’t have any income from being musicians.
- Amateurs. They sometimes have an income from playing music, but it is not usual.
- Semi-professional. Part of their income comes from the musical activity
- Professional. They make a living from their music activities.
This division comes from the need of knowing the relevance of the musical activities in the life of the interviewees. In that sense, I may get to know better the habits and times that are handled by the musicians. And I obtained a lot of interesting data:
The 53.2% of the musicians that answered receive a relevant income or made a living from the music. When it comes to the personal study, the vast majority decided at the moment what they were going to study, and a big part didn’t organize what they do. I was surprised because, knowing how hard things are sometimes, the answers reflected that most musicians in bands are kinda organized. Where was the problem? I kept looking and found something interesting. Almost 51.5% said that they take notes on the income they receive, the other 38,3% said they don’t. The 10,6% left said they sometimes do it, but sometimes don’t. But, in my experience with real musicians, this was more messy than it seemed. So I decided to do a few interviews with different profiles (professionals, semiprofessionals & amateurs), and I got a few curious findings:
- “I’m completely disorganized, but because I see what I need at the very moment”
- “In the concerts, I think we musicians are quite mistreated in terms of time. We seem to have nothing else to do but wait.”
- “I don’t take notes of my income concert to concert, although I would like to. I do a monthly account. But I don’t write it down because I find it hard to keep, where do I put all that information?”
Going further down this last insight, I learned that the musicians that take notes of their income, they usually do it on a personal notebook. Or, best scenario, in a Word document in their computers. But with no method, no real organization, just notes and notes. That was really something.
But what about the user?
To really understand if the challenge was pointing at the right direction, it was useful to try to mix it with the reality of our users. It was time to do our user personas and journey maps. This fellows down here are Andrea and Jorge. Andrea Leal is a professional musician, she plays the guitar in lots of bands, but sometimes goes crazy because she doesn’t know how to organize herself in a better way. Jorge Martín, he’s a nursing assistant. But he is also a singer and guitarist in his band. He loves the music world, but sometimes he feels anxious because there is a lot of things to keep in mind and he never has time to do everything.
But what happens with Andrea and Jorge in their everyday life? Those are the journey maps of what happens with them in a day in their life:
As shown, I extracted some opportunities in every pain point of their journeys, to guide the challenge. Andrea’s pain points & opportunities are:
- I don’t know what I have to do today → Help her in task management
- I don’t know what to study today → Help her with a methodology for personal study
- I didn’t pay my bills and I don’t know what did I earn last week → Help her manage her income
Jorge’s pain points & opportunities are:
- My band’s WhatsApp is on fire, they don’t know what to do today → Help him in task management for his band
- Tonight we have a gig, but the organization didn’t told us what we need → Help him in management of events (his band, technicians, etc)
- I have to pay the bills of the band, to get paid and to divide everything, it’s a real madness→ Help him manage his income
Do we have an idea yet?
So I made a viability-desirability matrix, to expose the different ideas that emerged from the investigation.
This matrix shows that the most viable and desirable idea to develop in this challenge was to create a management tool to handle the personal income of every musician. An app to help them take notes on what they earn, with whom, and if it’s paid or not. To help me land the idea in a more defined structure, I made a MoSCoW: a prioritization matrix that displays what Must have, Should Have, Could Have and Won’t Have this app.
And the brand?
Once I had the idea clear, and the features that this first prototype of the MPV should have, it was time to develop the brand. I chose the name Mosic, because it reminds to the word “music”, but also to the pronunciation of money. It had to be a dynamic brand, creative but also serious. We are now talking about money, not everything can be funny! So I chose dark grey and light orange to create this “modern and energetic but formal and secure” kind of vibe.
Once we had the visual style, and the goals clear, it was time to organize the information of the app.
Time to prototype!
But don’t rush it, first we have to land some ideas for the wireframes. Pen, pencil and paper are the best allies to get the first glance of what could this be.
Once I had the first idea of how the features shown in the MoSCoW should appear on the web, I decided to do some mid-fidelity wireframes, to have a more clear view of what I was going to prototype.
Once I had the Mid-Fi wireframes, it was time to open Sketch and begin the serious visual work. As I said, I wanted it to be serious, secure, but with a little glimpse of color and energy.
And finally, the prototype was nearly done. I decided to do only a few features, including the search and the add event. The first step was to establish the screens