KKBOX is one of the biggest music streaming platforms in Asia. It has a variety of genres and plenty of content, including great music and audiobooks for kids. But these treasures are not discoverable under the current information architecture. We started asking ourselves what we could do to bring out the values of these useful content for parents and kids?
For a mature product that’s been running for more than 10 years, any change has to be considered carefully. There are always many innovative ideas flowing inside the team, but the implementation always takes a lot of effort and time. People are worried about losing users and negative feedback, tending to stay the same. Building a brand-new product becomes a more efficient way to explore new opportunities and markets.
Our goal is not just to develop an app to solve the existing problem in the mother app. Instead, we hope to focus on specific groups and deliver a more sustainable and useful product for the current and potential users.
- Increase the overall listening time and daily usage of products in KKBOX group. (business)
- Satisfy not only the majority of users, but also focused groups considering the increase of a diverse user base.
- Discover new opportunities in the industry.
As the only designer in this project, I designed the whole product from scratch.
- Brainstormed and explored the opportunities in the market.
- Conducted user research & testings.
- Defined IA, user flow, and created user scenarios.
- Collaborated with engineers, PMs, MKT team, BD team, and the Project Lead.
- Wireframe, visual, user experience design, and prototyping
We first tested the market using multiple prototypes to get user’s feedback and make sure the product is needed. Then we dived deep into the project.
Brainstorming using mind maps
Our team brainstormed ideas related to parenting based on our understanding, research on competitors, data insights, and observations.
There are many questions and self-doubts during this phase. What should a parenting app look like? Are the amount of music and audiobooks ENOUGH? How might we build an even better product to meet users’ needs? All the ideas helped us move forward and we received instant feedback when proposing the ideas in the prototype.
User Research & Testing
To quickly confirm our hypothesis — our abundant content was significant enough to get users to use our service, I created multiple prototypes for users to view our content and to test our assumptions.
At the same time, we interviewed the staff who are not relevant to the product team and tried to get more insight about what else we could do addressing the parenting problems in the app.
The goal of the parents is more or less the same: To calm the babies down or to put kids to sleep. Having a kid is always exhausting! There’s always a purpose behind the choice.
Due to the time constraints, we needed to get every step right. There wasn’t enough time for us to spend months on understanding the parents and kids needs. What we had and our resources were our weapon.
When there’s no market research to suggest the way to proceed, we had to build, fail, and iterate to find the answer. Instead of putting lots of resources into novelties or brand-new features, we decided to use our privileges to combine all the beneficial content in our company, including the music, audiobooks, and events.
It would be more like an MVP to test the market. After it releases, we can observe the market and iterate based on user feedback.
After redefining our goal and challenge and our probe into users’ needs and pain points, I started wireframing out the concepts and ideas.
I always love doing paper wireframes because it’s so effective, I can erase everything in a second and put on the new concept right after and it works well for the internal discussions so that everyone can focus on the concept and the problem we are solving instead of being distracted by the visual elements.
We went through multiple variations and got closer to the final result step by step.
Revisit the User Story
Sometimes I got lost and stuck when designing a product, feeling suspicious about the direction. I’ll look back to the core problem and revisit the user story to make sure team members are all on the same page and we are making something the user needs.
Color & Typography
When planning for the color scheme for the app, I collected ideas from the kids’ products and did some research about how colors can influence us, stimulate our senses, and ignite our creativity.
The bluish color brings calmness to the tone and the orange represents energy and imagination. It’s added with two other secondary colors to make the app harmonious.
I created a series of illustrations that brings the energy and playfulness to fit the parenting app. I created a lot of sketches and iterations before I made them digital. Overall, I want to embed the creativeness in the illustrations, some are subtle but able to link with the subject.
Tweak to the font size
We know many parents become farsighted as they get older, it is just the stage of everyone’s life. At some point, we will start increasing the font size to read more comfortably. I especially tweaked the design in our app to make sure all our contents are legible and pleasant. Details matter.
A few mindsets I’ve learned from this project:
- Don’t panic under the time constraint — I know sometimes we don’t have enough time understanding our target users, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to save the product. What I did was to try to gather insights from as many parents as I can. Your friends, your cousins or co-workers are there to help.
- If you have doubts, clear them up — As a designer, I always get lost while creating a product. Whenever I feel suspicious about the direction of the product, I try everything I can do to resolve my doubts. For example, if I don’t know whether users can play with our product intuitively I would come up with diverse alternatives for a quick test. Self-doubts are great, it keeps us growing and pushing the limits.
- Remember your goal and think from a big-picture — There are always key points we definitely want to achieve, don’t sacrifice them easily. If we encounter difficulties or limitations, we find other solutions to approach it.
KKBOX Kids is still an ongoing project. It once hit the 7th in the education category on AppStore.
There is much more we can do, and much to improve on. For example, users easily get bored with the unchanged content because the newly updated content doesn’t stand out in our structure. The solution is to actively feed users with valuable and helpful content more often.
We are still collecting the feedback, digging more into the data insights and constantly tweaking and shaping the new direction of the product.
It was a great experience for me to build the whole new product from early stages. I learned a lot about how to collaborate with different roles in the project. Everyone considers subjects from different angles. It all comes into the discussion when we could absorb different viewpoints and focus on better solutions.