Giving hobbyist musicians control of their sound.

Product & Visual Designer, UX Researcher
Arsh Saroya, Reine Abubakar, Pari Gabriel, Sierramatice Karras
October – December 2017
The brief
For this project, our prompt was simply to choose a user group, find a problem they face, and solve it. My team and I chose hobbyist musicians, who we defined as people who play music in their spare time and don’t make a living by performing, but occasionally play at small venues.
We spoke to six hobbyist musicians about their performances and practices to understand their characteristics, problems, and needs. We learned that:
Personas & Journey Map
Defining the problem
Hobbyist musicians need better control over how they sound during performances because inconsistencies in sound lead to decreased confidence.
Design goals
Drawing on our research, we decided our product should:
We created storyboards with solutions like an app, a wearable, and a physical device. We decided a mobile application would be the simplest, most accessible platform, as it prevents the need to purchase additional equipment.
Bringing Roadie to Life
To define the app, we created an information architecture diagram. As we refined our concept, it became clear that the app would utilize machine learning to give users better suggestions over time. We decided that giving an identity to our AI would help us brand and explain our product.

Thus, Roadie was born. To explain how Roadie creates suggestions, we created a graphic.
Roadie takes shape
Paper Prototype
Usability Testing
We asked users to complete three tasks with Roadie. We found:
With usability testing feedback, we created wireframes, which our class critiqued.
Finishing touches
Visual Design
Our visual design was informed by two key principles: simplicity and context of use. Hobbyist musicians can tweak various settings without being overwhelmed. A dark grey background and bright amber accents make it easy for users to interact with the app in dimly lit venues without distracting people around them.
Final Mocks
Given more time, I would have conducted usability tests with our high-fidelity mockups to further refine the product. Additionally, we would have interviewed more hobbyist musicians to have multiple perspectives on the performance experience.

This project was my first dive into the design process of creating a product, and I realized that my true passion lies with design rather than research. I have always been a hands-on learner, and this project further reinforced my desire to create.