The Podcast War

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Interactive Story by Growth.Design

vs.

Now, this case study will give you actionable tips to maximize adoption of new features.

plus if you stay with me until the end, you'll get a nice bonus 🎁! 

 
 
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Hey, What's up!
Louis-Xavier here.

buckle up! you're about to witness a ruthless war between two industry titans!

So Spotify just bought Gimlet media & anchor for more than $230M...

What does that mean for apple? and for you and I?

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Listening to one podcast

milestones

🎁

I was really psyched when I heard the news.

I already use spotify so having just one app for all my audio content sounded great.

which brings me to the first lesson...

 

but as you'll see, my psych didn't stay high for long...

 

it all started on my couch with a really timely tweet...

The Power of Influencers

When planning a new feature release, collaborating with industry leaders to create content (or use your product), before the launch can become a great way to reach a specific audience.

That can play an essential role in new feature adoption.

throughout this story, I'll undergo 4 goals! (plus your gift!) 

Starting with an easy one: listening to one podcast...

Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing at Drift, coming in with an exclusive podcast release on spotify!

 

Go!

that would have been a little too easy...

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plus, the fine print for the cookie policy and the wordy description make this interaction feels more like a transaction...

✏️

Anyhow... I'm already sold so let's play this on spotify!

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Listening to one podcast

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hmm... I know it might be a technical blocker, but app-to-app linking could have helped here!

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nice Landing! exactly where needed.

I'm assuming since it's a new podcast, there are no followers?

because that number is always a good indicator of which music playlists are good!

let's play it!

This assumption turned out to be one of the biggest flaws of the app... stay tuned for episode 2!

oh by the way... I have spotify on my phone. this is why it's pretty straightforward, but I wonder where they would have taken me from their website if I hadn't already had the app installed...

🤓

"Follow" is a Good choice of micro-copy, instead of "subscribe."

it's consistent with the rest of the app where you can "follow" artists or playlists. 

✏️
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Listening to one podcast

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classic spotify play screen, so far the experience is seamless!

 

first thing I check is how to change the speed of my podcast.

Familiarity Bias

When introducing a brand new feature, try to use existing UX patterns or visuals to make people feel at home. We tend to develop a preference for things merely because we are familiar with them.

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Listening to one podcast

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they have more speed increments than apple's limited 4 choices. which is great!

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I wonder who can  actually get anything out of 3x speed... anyhow!

wait... 3x ?

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Listening to one podcast

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Perfect Speed!! 

Finishing up on this podcast, I think my expectations were a bit too high...

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Listening to one podcast

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hmm.. since this is my first time using this new feature, it would have been nice to see some sort of "reward"?

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Make your customer part of the process

When building a new feature, it's essential to create a way for users to voice their feedback. You'll get invaluable insights on how to make your product better. Moreover, users will feel like they are part of the process, which ends up making your product more valuable to their eyes.

💎Pro Tip: Make it super extra easy. It has to feel like it's part of the flow. Calm, the meditation app, does this to near perfection. Watch the case study.

⚠️Be aware of the accumulation of surveys. Your customers can easily have survey-fatigue before they even try your platform!

... or just see the powerful recommendation algorithm kick in! 

and... isn't this the best time to onboard me on a discovery path for new podcasts?

last but not least, how can i voice that feedback? 

My psych is high, and I just interacted with a new feature. It would be the perfect timing to ask for my feedback, even if it was only for a rating!

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Listening to one podcast

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now onto the 2nd goal: where can I find my podcasts? Home?

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Looking for my podcasts

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cleary spotify is still all about music and is probably trying to figure out how to evolve from there...

if you're a hardcore podcast fan, I still wonder if you'll want your podcasts mixed with music suggestions?

🤔

Let's try "your library."

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Looking for my podcasts

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while we're here... I've been using spotify for years, and I never understood the concept of a library of songs?

I thought it was just me until I talked about it with my friends...

also the "recently played" list is a Duplicate* of the first home list...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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There they are!

Death to duplicates

Offering different paths to execute one action can lead to confusion.

  • "Can I do something different?"

Users slowly build a mental map of your product as they discover new things. Make sure that map stays simple by avoiding multiple similar paths.

*To Spotify's defense, I believe the "home" lists always change. However, that is a UX decision up for testing!

Build for 90% of your users

Your product is simple to use until it isn't. You have to put as much effort into removing clutter as adding new features.

If you constantly add features for the 10% of power users, soon enough, the majority of your users will find your product hard to use and look elsewhere.

It's a tough decision to make as a product manager or designer, but with accurate data, you can increase user satisfaction by decluttering (or hiding from primary screens) what's not being used by the majority. 

...and why would I edit my recently played list?

isn't this the same as building my own playlist? duplicate Alert!

I'd be curious to understand the why behind this!

⁉️️️

ok! let's see my podcasts!

that's when I realized I was living a lie...

finally... This screen always felt more like an unfinished wireframe to me. I agree, A list is a list, but There's an opportunity to make this one feel like "my personal curated music library"!

🎨️️️

...hmm... what's a station? Do they mean radio?

✏️️️️
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Looking for my podcasts

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jumping to settings...

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Wow! I already followed podcasts before!!!!

I sincerely didn't remember...

I guess that explains this...

📰

so how come I never got notified of newly released shows...

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Looking for my podcasts

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scrolling...

that's when I went back to apple podcast to compare...

flawless settings. You can even granularly toggle notifications for each show!

heading to ios settings...

and... after scrolling up and down a few times, I realize that a simple icon next to the category would have helped to differentiate each setting.

💡

Unless I turned off all spotify notifications?

 Everything is on...

I almost feel like I'm playing with breakers in my basement and I'm not sure which switch turns on the right light in the house! 

Hmm... where is the notification setting for podcasts?

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Turning podcasts notifications on

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...why can't I see this in the app?

I did a quick test with the POdcast app, and there's a sweet warning that says that notifications are off!

Maybe it's not possible for non-apple apps? that still gives us a good lesson...



phew! unexpected turn of events...! let's now try searching for my podcasts!

Recognition over recall

Don't assume that users will remember critical information about your product from memory.

Always display crucial details as clearly as possible to help users understand the current context and take the appropriate action.

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Turning podcasts notifications on

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heading to the search tab...

anyhow, Here are some of my favorite shows on the podcast app. Next on my list is an episode by Kalzumeus. (podcast by patrick McKenzie)

let's see if I can find it in spotify.

Juxtaposition & Uniform connectedness

Be careful of things displayed close to each other: our brains will force a connection. 

Also, elements that are connected by visual properties are perceived as being more related than elements that are not connected.

visually interesting! big tiles, easy to tap, however...

iT's hard to understand the logic behind those cards. some are related to music genres, others to formats, others to user intent like "Discover"...

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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hmm... Artists?

where can I search for podcasts?

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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The search brings me directly to results as I type the name, which is nice... but...

 

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Let's try another one...

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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hmm...

playlist?? 

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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nope... that's not it.

going back...

something was hidden all this time...

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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Design for context

When designing screen by screen, it's easy to forget the context of how a user will use the product. Visual components such as pop-ups, keyboards, notifications, menus, can overlap unwanted areas of your screen and hide critical information.

Make sure to study your customers in real-life to design for context and while you're at it, try to dig deeper:

  • Where are they? 
  • What were they doing before?
  • What brings them to your product?
  • When are they using your product?
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all this time...the podcast search was hidden!

HMM... what's the difference between podcasts and podcasts episodes? 

is it relevant to distinguish both at this point?

🤔️️️

I guess I'm looking for podcasts...

simple filters on top of the screen would have helped! (E.G., instagram)

which brings us to a critical reminder...!

💡️️️

{GASP}

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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hmm... I had to double-check again to make sure.. but after searching the web, I realized Joe Rogan wasn't on spotify...

that psych is getting real low...

I know which one to try now...

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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That might be it?

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Can't be mistaken with the one that spotify just bought!!!! 

after following a few podcasts, I decided to wait a couple of days to see if I would get a notification.

but more importantly, get my psych back...

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Searching for my favorite podcasts

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A few days later...

my psych is back uP! I'm excited to use the app while I'm flying for more than 12 hours on my way to argentina!

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but... on my way to the airport, the excitement started to fade away slowly...

watch Episode 2 to see how this story ends! but before you go, check out the key takeaways... ➡️

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Customer Journey & Key Insights

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🤗

😅

🙁

Listen to one Podcast

Activation

Retention

Phase

Emotions

🙂

Here's what you need to remember so far...

Goals

🔊

🔍

Search Podcasts

The transition from the tweet to Spotify was almost seamless. I was really excited!

A small missed opportunity at the end of the podcast where I could have rated it or get a recommendation.

nonetheless a great overall listening experience.

Finding out that I had followed other podcasts before... Clearly, the retention didn't work then!

Can't seem to find any podcast that I want to listen to... I got a bit unlucky, but my psych took a big hit here...

Maybe my expectations were high for this first experience since spotify is investing heavily on podcasts... But so far apple still has the edge...

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One last thing for you! ➡️

⚡️ Congrats, you found the secret slides!

Special thanks!

To our early access VIPs who helped us improve this case study:

Stephen Keith Szermer 

Sophie P. Desjardins 

Steve Howe 

Maxim Garant

Felix Molonfalean 

Samuel Hulick

To two masters of their craft who inspired us:

Hakim El Hattab

 - UX Copywriter @ Typeform

- Lead UX Designer @ AIG

- Product Marketer @ Officevibe

- Product Designer @ Sharegate

- Product Designer @ Eloomi

 - Founder @ Slides.com

 - Founder @ UserOnboard.com

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