Rethink radio.

THE CHALLENGE

nēdl is a search engine for live radio broadcasts. It’s a native mobile app that enables users to search live radio by Artist, Song or Keyword. The nēdl app also gives users the ability to nēdlcast, or create their own live radio broadcasts.

 

To succeed, nēdl needs to be useable in all the places and situations where people normally listen to the radio.

My Challenge is to create "Car Mode" for the nēdl app.

current nēdl app

MY ROLE: UX DESIGNER

SOFTWARE USED

This was a team project where I worked cooperatively with 2 other team members. We all shared in the UX process and I took on the additional role of creative director, which is my background.

I utilized design thinking, agile methodologies and the full UX process to unlock the potential of nēdl in the car.

RESEARCH

Heuristic Evaluation, C&C Analysis, Surveys, Interviews

SYNTHESIS

Affinity Mapping, Card Sorting, Feature Prioritization, 

Persona Development, Journey Mapping

PROTOTYPING & DEVELOPMENT

Paper Prototyping, Design Iteration, Mid-Fi Wireframing,

Hi-Fi Wireframing, Wire-Flows, Usability Testing, Visual Design, User Flow 

RADIO & CARS, A LONG HISTORY

WHAT'S NEXT?

Car and Radio have evolved side by side over the years. It’s a perfect match, as both have grown steadily more advanced. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship with each adding value to the other. This relationship has lasted more than a hundred years. The question is what does the future hold?

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE OF RADIO

nēdl is the ultimate innovation in the radio industry. It’s a search engine for live radio and a platform for self expression.

Search over 120K Radio Stations by song, keyword or artist

Quickly access the content you love

Broadcast yourself to the world

ENTER NĒDL

THE OPPORTUNITY

Our research included surveys and interviews of over 40 people and it showed that when people listen to the radio it’s primarily in their Car. That’s why Car Mode is crucial for nēdl’s success. If Nēdl can enter the in-car radio space, its technology has the potential to capture share of a huge market.

THERE'S JUST ONE PROBLEM

IT IS NOT SAFE TO NĒDL AND DRIVE

  • Small text is hard to read quickly

  • Only way to search is to type

  • Typing into a text field is dangerous when driving(possibly illegal)

  • May require two hands

MEET LINDA LISTENER

User Persona: We can illustrate the current issues with using nēdl in a car by taking a little ride with a persona that we developed from our research. Linda Listener has a 1 hr daily commute to school. It’s a typical LA story. 

College Student

AGE: 22

 

  • Only listens to radio in the car

  • Always changes station during commercials

  • Chooses stations based on mood

  • Likes a wide variety of radio content

  • Get’s easily distracted while driving

"I'M AN AVID STATION HOPPER"

A BAD TRIP

Journey Map: Let’s ride with Linda as she attempts to use the current nēdl app on her commute to school.

nēdl has the core functionality to provide the content drivers want but the current interface is distracting and dangerous for drivers.

 

How might we create a safe, intuitive and delightful way for drivers to discover and play radio content with nēdl?

DESIGN THINKING>>

THE PROBLEM IS NOW CLEAR

WHY

HOW

WHAT

Incorporate features from proven in-car technologies into the nēdl app that make it intuitive and safe to use while driving.

Current nēdl experience is distracting and unsafe to use while driving

Simplify the nēdl experience for drivers

FIRST, LET'S SEE WHAT'S OUT THERE

C&C ANALYSIS: Identifying the best practices for in-car apps

DRIVE MODE:

An app that aggregates and simplifies all distracting technologies during driving such as calling, texting, music, maps, and social media and it simplifies the interface while incorporating voice command.

THE MOST EFFECTIVE IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST ADVANCED

It’s often the simplest solutions that work best. Virtually 100% percent of people that listen to the radio in their cars navigate content using preset buttons.

PRIORITIZING FEATURES

MoSCoW METHOD: Now that we’ve seen what’s out there, we can begin to pick and chose what features we will incorporate for nēdl

MUST

SHOULD

COULD

  • Incorporate presets 

  • Ability to add/edit presets

  • Clear, large buttons

  • Vertical & horizontal view 

  • Curated presets

  • Voice control

  • Day/night mode

  • Swipe control

  • Social connectivity

  • Situational awareness

RESET THE PRESET

Our initial sketches and design iterations start to shape the structure. Based on our research, Car Mode should work in both vertical and horizontal screen configuration and preset buttons would be a key feature.

What is a preset? it’s just a preconfigured search that’s executed when the user taps that numbered preset.

IRONING OUT THE DETAILS

USABILITY TESTING: Paper prototypes helped to fine-tune the features. 

Problem:

People were confused about what a Preset even was. They thought of it more as a static playlist than a way to find stations.


Solution:

Don’t call it a preset button, come up with a new, descriptive name - Smart Scan.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

EXPANDING THE VISUAL LANGUAGE - MOOD BOARD

While there is already a set look and feel to the nēdl app, we felt it was necessary to expand the color palate to make the content more easily scannable. It was also important to make content visually distinct from interface elements. Introducing an “active” color to highlight navigation elements was also something we wanted to bring to the UI.

Spotify

Active Color

 
 
 

INTRODUCING...

THE NEW NĒDL

Featuring Smart Scans, which are really customized live searches that users can create and edit. All the current app functionality is still accessible in the global nav bar at the bottom. We also introduced a highlight colors to improve visibility. 

SO WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

What we started out thinking of as Car Mode turned out to be a more practical and effective way to listen to the radio, not just in the car. Now, Car mode is simply a focused and safe way to listen to the radio while driving.

Car Mode

Focused functionality:

  • Play Smart Scans

  • Play Favorites List

  • Voice Control Search

  • Larger Buttons

  • Swipe to see more smart scans

  • Skip/Back stations via steering wheel buttons

Standard Mode

All features available:

  • Play Smart Scans

  • Edit Smart Scans

  • New Smart Scans

  • Scroll to see more Smart Scans

  • Full global nav access

LET'S TRY THAT RIDE TO SCHOOL AGAIN

THIS TIME WITH THE NEW NEDL

 

© NADAV MARKEL 2019