Social Jukebox App

Case Study

UX Design for social interaction jukebox app.

The Backstory

Mood Media is a customer experience media solutions company with a focus on in-store media installations. They reach 150 million consumers each day through more than 500,000 subscriber locations in 100+ countries around the globe. They wanted to leverage that knowledge to create a branded music app kiosk for restaurants.


The Initial Design

Before coming to me to design the app, there were a few mockups created by the internal team that you can see here:


The Challenge

The idea was being pitched to KFC South Africa as a branded music app that would engage customers in a social dining experience. Not only does Kentucky Fried Chicken have restaurants in South Africa (who knew right?) but they’re actually quite popular and more like a traditional sit-down restaurant in America.

Each booth would have a small Android tablet kiosk that would play music for speakers installed in the booth enclosure. The station would run continuously like a jukebox, and while the selection of music would be pre-selected by the brand, the customers would be able to vote on which songs they wanted to hear next. A big part of this concept was to make voting a social experience. But how should this experience be presented to the customers in the least confusing way possible and also get around some of the difficulties of multiple people voting?


The Solution/s

In doing my wireframes and mockups there are two major things that I added to my redesign of the app.

  1.  An affordance for social voting behaviors grounded in research.
    I’m little bit of a voting policy nerd. Up to this point, the mood media visual team had allowed for single votes up and down to be put on songs, but this essentially made the kiosk an individual experience like you might have with Spotify or Pandora. What Mood Media wanted to bring to the table was a social experience which blended multiple people’s preferences into the mix. My solution was a modified version of Approval Voting  Read more about it here. Approval voting balances simplicity and expressiveness and is easy to implement. Additionally, while double voting from individuals is impossible without intrusive and annoying hardware requirements, Approval Voting’s simplicity enables clear social enforcement and flexibility for differing group sizes or norms.
    Approval voting has also been shown to be perceived as more fair by studies in electoral science so that’s a plus!
  2.  A refocusing on the primary verb of the app, voting.
    As you can see from the Mood Media visual team’s efforts and some of my initial sketches, the instinct for a music player app is to go for something with a nice large piece of album art from the current song, play controls etc. After doing some iteration though I realized something: we want our users to vote, not fiddle with controls.
    Due to licensing rights, they wouldn’t be able to skip songs, so there’s no point in pushing pause and play, and volume would best be handled by physical input on the kiosk. So what does that leave the nice shiny touch screen to really do? Of course you’ll want to show the current song playing and the songs locked down in the queue, but if this is about a social decision-making experience, then that’s what should be taking up the majority of real estate on the screen!