Reimagining the radio

Reimagining the radio

PRODUCT DESIGNER  •  IHEARTMEDIA  •  NEW YORK CITY

PRODUCT DESIGNER  •  IHEARTMEDIA  •  NEW YORK CITY

iHeart-hero

iHeartRadio is an Internet radio platform with a user base of more than 50 million. iHeartRadio functions both as a music recommender system and as a radio network that streams audio content from over 1000 radio stations across the U.S.. It is available online, via mobile devices, on select video-game consoles, and on smart devices. [1]

iHeartRadio is an Internet radio platform with a user base of more than 50 million. iHeartRadio functions both as a music recommender system and as a radio network that streams audio content from over 1000 radio stations across the U.S.. It is available online, via mobile devices, on select video-game consoles, and on smart devices. [1]

Role

My role as a freelance Product Designer at iHeartRadio was to help the team with overflow of work. The product team was divided into squads for mobile, desktop, and game/TV consoles. By being a “floater”, I pitched concepts for potential partnerships and also worked on a variety of products such as the native iOS and Android apps, iheart.com, and an internal content management system. In order for the iHeart apps to be compliant across all screens, each screen had to be marked up with font sizes, spacing, breakpoints, priorities, and orientation. I aided in the tedious production of delivering designs to the Product and Engineering team. With a team of over 30 engineers, marking up specifications (long before Zeplin existed) and making sure assets were delivered correctly were an important majority of the job.

Dev Specifications for Android Mobile
Dev Specifications for Android Mobile

Simplifying The App

When I joined, iHeartRadio was long overdue for a redesign of the mobile app. It was outdated in UX and needed to be simplified. We were tasked to individually design and pitch our concepts for the main listening app. I focused on reimagining the app in a way that simplifies the listening experience, cutting out all the visual noise so that users can just listen to music without distractions. My goal was to give users the ability to listen to what they wanted without having to navigate through 400,000 different channels that iHeartRadio offers.

Simplifying The App

When I joined, iHeartRadio was long overdue for a redesign of the mobile app. It was outdated in UX and needed to be simplified. We were tasked to individually design and pitch our concepts for the main listening app. I focused on reimagining the app in a way that simplifies the listening experience, cutting out all the visual noise so that users can just listen to music without distractions. My goal was to give users the ability to listen to what they wanted without having to navigate through 400,000 different channels that iHeartRadio offers.

Simplifying The App

When I joined, iHeartRadio was long overdue for a redesign of the mobile app. It was outdated in UX and needed to be simplified. We were tasked to individually design and pitch our concepts for the main listening app. I focused on reimagining the app in a way that simplifies the listening experience, cutting out all the visual noise so that users can just listen to music without distractions. My goal was to give users the ability to listen to what they wanted without having to navigate through 400,000 different channels that iHeartRadio offers.

Simplifying The App

When I joined, iHeartRadio was long overdue for a redesign of the mobile app. It was outdated in UX and needed to be simplified. We were tasked to individually design and pitch our concepts for the main listening app. I focused on reimagining the app in a way that simplifies the listening experience, cutting out all the visual noise so that users can just listen to music without distractions. My goal was to give users the ability to listen to what they wanted without having to navigate through 400,000 different channels that iHeartRadio offers.

Simplifying The App

When I joined, iHeartRadio was long overdue for a redesign of the mobile app. It was outdated in UX and needed to be simplified. We were tasked to individually design and pitch our concepts for the main listening app. I focused on reimagining the app in a way that simplifies the listening experience, cutting out all the visual noise so that users can just listen to music without distractions. My goal was to give users the ability to listen to what they wanted without having to navigate through 400,000 different channels that iHeartRadio offers.

First-Time Users

The iHeart mobile app had a complex navigation, multiple ways for a user to start listening, and was full of content. Users who downloaded the app were often confused and did not know where to start. We needed a way to coach the first-time user on how to navigate through all the different channels in which they could start listening. I explored a few different ways that we could coach the user without being intrusive or annoying–one option being an integrated extended side menu which had the flexibility to have content added, and another being an integrated tooltip on each screen. These were tested against a standard user onboarding flow when they first open the app.

FIRST-TIME USERS

The iHeart mobile app had a complex navigation, multiple ways for a user to start listening, and was full of content. Users who downloaded the app were often confused and did not know where to start. We needed a way to coach the first-time user on how to navigate through all the different channels in which they could start listening. I explored a few different ways that we could coach the user without being intrusive or annoying–one option being an integrated extended side menu which had the flexibility to have content added, and another being an integrated tooltip on each screen. These were tested against a standard user onboarding flow when they first open the app.

First Time User Concepts
iheart-ftu-1-2
iheart-ftu-2-3

Partnerships

iHeartMedia owns the majority of AM and FM radio stations in the U.S. Partnerships were a very large part of revenue. What currently existed were basic audio and banner ads, so we explored ways to offer premium partnerships on the platform. I was tasked with finding ways to utilize original content for brand partnerships in a scalable way. I presented concepts ranging from minimal to high efforts and supported my case by applying competitive research from different brands that we had hoped to partner with.  Shown below are a few of those concepts which include partnered playlists, shoppable media ads, and a digital magazine that features exclusive sponsored content.

Partnerships

iHeartMedia owns the majority of AM and FM radio stations in the U.S. Partnerships were a very large part of revenue. What currently existed were basic audio and banner ads, so we explored ways to offer premium partnerships on the platform. I was tasked with finding ways to utilize original content for brand partnerships in a scalable way. I presented concepts ranging from minimal to high efforts and supported my case by applying competitive research from different brands that we had hoped to partner with.  Shown below are a few of those concepts which include partnered playlists, shoppable media ads, and a digital magazine that features exclusive sponsored content.

Content Management

There are over 850 radio stations within iHeartMedia using the same website template made to look customized with local content. I worked on the early stages of a content management system called RadioEdit that gave the radio station staff members the ability to automate, schedule, publish, and monitor local content on their station’s website. Our goal was to create modular tasks based on the most common usage so that they could be streamlined into powerful workflows for thousands of users.

Content Management

There are over 850 radio stations within iHeartMedia using the same website template made to look customized with local content. I worked on the early stages of a content management system called RadioEdit that gave the radio station staff members the ability to automate, schedule, publish, and monitor local content on their station’s website. Our goal was to create modular tasks based on the most common usage so that they could be streamlined into powerful workflows for thousands of users.

iheart-image
Photo: graymattervisual.com

The Team

Mike Thompson, Design Director
Christine Park, Design Lead
Jeff Lagasca, UX Lead

THE TEAM

Mike Thompson, Design Director
Christine Park, Design Lead
Jeff Lagasca, UX Lead