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LUO

04

UNA AIMS TO EMPOWER 18 TO 24 YEAR OLDS TO ENGAGE WITH activism and social education in a Remote society

LUO embraces collaboration and encourages the sampling of music BY using DRM as a means of crediting the original artist rather than blocking creative expression. Artists can allocate royalty rates to their music as they seem fit, whether they want to maximize their revenue, streams or samples. LUO aims to empower artists to take control of their craft.
view the process
Objective
Liberate ARtists Through DRM
Scope
2 weeks
Project Type
Individual
My Roles
Research, Analysis, Sketching, Wireframing, Prototyping, User Testing, Branding, Visual Design

Tools Used
FigmA, Photoshop, Principle, RotatO
An Isometric mockup of the Una Application
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Digestible, variable medium content delivery
When designing the Royalty Rate slider I knew that it had to be as intuitive as possible given the importance it will play in an artists' career.

Considering this I utilized a smooth gradient mask over the individual slider markings, this gradient is indicative of the location of the optimal royalty rate for their goal (maximize samples, revenue or streams).
In addition to this, when the slider is active it enlarges to provide the user with visual feedback so that they are made aware that they are actively changing their royalty rate.

Furthermore upon changing the royalty value, the slider changes colour in order to once again guide the user towards the optimal rate and inform them once they have gone too far past the optimal value.
How the slider functions within the page provides even more context as to the design decisions that were made.

The placement of the label above the slider allows users to still be able to see the value of the slider as they are changing it.

In addition to this by placing the slider at the bottom of the screen it is an easily actionable and comfortable position for the human thumb to interact with.

Placing it at the bottom of the page also ensures that the user is not obstructing the forecast panels in the centre of the page.

The combination of these design choices allows for suggestive animations to be implemented on each panel so that as the user manipulates the royalty rate, if a metric improves then the panel will illuminate to provide visual feedback to the user of a positive change.

Improving quality of life through intermdiary states
Compared to current market solutions, an extra playback sheet state was added to Luo to improve the overall music consumption quality of life and provide the users with some extra context as to the upcoming songs in their playlist/album and the ability to execute song related functions such as liking a song.


The objective being that this extra state increases usability as it affords the user extra context and functionality that otherwise only exists in the fully expanded state, requiring the user to access a touch points that has poor reachability at the top of the display.
Enabiling musical comprehension and sampling
Luo is founded off of the notion of sampling as a positive force for musical creativity. Keeping this in mind, users can access the digest of their favourite songs where they are presented with all of the components that make up the track.

From here they can toggle between them and upon finding a particular section of interest can press the sample button and generate a sample of that instrument to save to their libraries for later use.
When they generate the sample it creates a referential ID to that instance of the sample so that when integrated into any consequent tracks, the appropriate royalties are attributed to the original artists as per their set royalty rate.
Supporting revenue streams and audience engagement
As to empower independent artists and those without the resources or knowledge to sufficiently market their tours and manage their merchandise, artist profiles on user operate as a hub for all of a fan's needs.
Instead of redirecting off to a third party booking site, Luo reduces boundaries to booking concert tickets and creates a direct channel of communication by which artist can update their fans about concert, tour and new music updates.

How it started

moving the conversation around copyright from control back to creativity.
Over the past decade the music industry has migrated to a predominantly streaming oriented market which has greatly benefitted consumers but has punished the majority of artists.

This is a result of high levels of competition due to increased accessibility and flat rate subscription based models.
On top of that the rise of DRM (Digital Rights Management) has stifled creativity within the music industry and punished those who sample other artists.
“The most important thing about intellectual property vs. creative expression is that copyright law was created not to stifle creativity but to encourage creativity.”
These changes alone impact our nation, but when combined, can be devAstating.

-Shepard Fairley
The problem
Over the past decade the music industry has migrated to a predominantly streaming oriented market which has greatly benefitted consumers but has punished the majority of artists.

This is a result of high levels of competition due to increased accessibility and flat rate subscription based models.

On top of that the rise of DRM (Digital Rights Management) has stifled creativity within the music industry and punished those who sample other artists.
The Solution
LUO embraces collaboration and encourages the sampling of music.

DRM is used as a means of crediting the original artist rather than blocking creative expression. Artists can allocate royalty rates to their music as they seem fit, whether they want to maximize their revenue, streams or samples.

Each time a song that uses one of their samples is played, they get royalties. LUO aims to empower artists to take control of their craft.
Problem Statements
New artists find it hard to grow as they struggle to gain exposure as their music when their music is sampled with no credit or financial kickback on platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube.
Independent artists have their creativity stifled by fear of big labels threatening legal action for sampling their songs when the labels sample smaller artists all the time.
Rising artists need help with selling merchandise and organising tours but are scared of getting locked into bad contracts with labels that have low streaming royalties they will outgrow.
The process

01

define

02

develop

03

deliver

define

taking into account the short scope of the project, proto personas were created to quickly represent the users, their context's, needs, pain points and motivations, as to inform the solution ideation in the develop phase.
user personas
When introducing new or unfamiliar functionality to an application it is important to provide clear distinctions in the different potions of the application.

Considering this, the general flow of the application is divided into 3 portions, Home, Discover and Insight. Home is where the user can expect to find their frequently played tracks, promoted music and automatically generated recommendations.

Within the Discover section they can search for songs, albums, artists and even hashtags (as a means of promoting discovery).
Finally, under Insight is where artists are able to view their music, to make this as efficient as possible they can filter by revenue, streams and samples via a tab based system.

Once they have located the song of their choice they can tap on it in order to modify the royalty rate as they seem fit.
The functionality
Artists create and upload their own original music or instrumentals.
The artist can allocate a royalty rate for the usage of their music.
The platform outlines to them how changing their royalty rate will affect the adoption of their music.
Artists recieve live feedback forceasts for how the royalty rate will impact their songs’ perfomance.
Support artists in the independent distribution of their merchandise and tour sales.

develop

Having used proto personas to define the target users, the develop phase began, this aimed at creating initial solution ideas via sketching, outlining the solution flow through user flows and low fidelity prototyping to assess the proposed solution.
Initial Sketches
Through my initial sketches I aimed to established an information hierarchy that would inform later decisions as well as explore a variety of different layouts and interactions in order to encourage discoverability and promote new music to the users.
In addition I ideated possible methods of interaction by which artists could control their royalty rates and receive live feedback as to how their music might perform with the adjusted rate.

By creating a platform where artists can create, manage and publish their music and general users can consume that music you unify the experience and promote discovery and accessibility.

USer Flow
When introducing new or unfamiliar functionality to an application it is important to provide clear distinctions in the different potions of the application.

Considering this, the general flow of the application is divided into 3 portions, Home, Discover and Insight. Home is where the user can expect to find their frequently played tracks, promoted music and automatically generated recommendations.

Within the Discover section they can search for songs, albums, artists and even hashtags (as a means of promoting discovery).
Finally, under Insight is where artists are able to view their music, to make this as efficient as possible they can filter by revenue, streams and samples via a tab based system.

Once they have located the song of their choice they can tap on it in order to modify the royalty rate as they seem fit.
Low Fidelity Prototyping
Once the general user flow had been created I designed the low-fidelity wireframes as to explore the visual heirarchy and interaction types that would be later tested via the prototype.
Such interaction types pertained to designing a draggable expandable music sheet with additional states to a convential music app, this being to provide a higher fidelity song selection/changing process whilst maintining accessibility.
In order to test the solution, I created a digital prototype in Figma based on my low-fidelity wireframes and then conducted tests over five participants, the majority of which were music consumers however several expressed heavy interest in music creation.

They were provided a prompt which explained the purpose of the application and then explained the general concepts of the interactions.
They were then asked to carry out tasks with no explicit instructions as to how to do so. Quantitative data was collected via a feedback form and qualitative data was recorded via written comments.
user testing
After conducting the user testing I then analysed the qualitative feedback and grouped it into catergories, evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed solution and considered potential solutions based on the feedback.
Prominent strengths were the control over royalty rate sand player expansion states, on the other hand the navigation was perceived as convoluted, users wanted discovery to be prioritised and the inclusion of search functionality.
LOW FIDELITY VISUALISATIONS
Based on the feedback received it became clear that discovery, search and consistent navigation had been overlooked in my low fidelity prototypes.

In order to address this I restructured the information hierarchy as to position discoverability at the top, implemented a persistent search, settings and profile bar that can be accessed at all times by pulling down from the top of the application.
Finally I opted for a tab based swiping navigation system that is more akin to what can be found in current market solutions as to reduce the barriers to use for users.

These changes should server to improve the overall user experience which is vital in retaining users and providing a platform that Artists want to publish on.

Deliver

Having made the approriate adjusments from user testing, it was time to bring the solution to life with a brand identity and high fidelity visualisation.
Creating a functional identity
A derivative of the Latin for Libero, Luo stands for the liberation of artists from the power of self serving record labels and the empowerment to control their own future.

An energising green was chosen for the brand feature colour to instil notions of growth and new beginnings.
The logomark is representative of the way in which DRM is used to promote music sampling and resizes dynamically within the application to functionally represent the quantity of samples a track is comprised of.
HIGH FIDELITY VISUALISATIONS
After creating the brand identity, it was then extrapolated, along with the visual language across the revised low fidelity wireframes to arrive at the final high fidelity solution.
Brand colours were used as signifiers to guide user attention to key CTAs, to convey desirable/undesirable changes in royalty rates and other system functionality.

Takeaways

LUO served as a fantastic way of exploring constructionist design principles in a digital context by providing context to otherwise static iconography.

Moreover I was able to explore interesting ways in which forward thinking design choices from the very first interaction can lead to a significantly enhanced user experience that otherwise would not have been possible.
Finally I was able to deeply consider information hierarchy when designing the homepage, in finding a balance between the content users are consuming and what they might want to consume (in order to promote discovery).