To enhance social engagement on a music streaming app Spotify, we proposed a case study of an imagined concept.


September 2021 (3 weeks)



My Role

User Interview
Market research


It’s prominent that the music industry is heavily influenced by social engagement, so is the streaming platform.

Music has become one of the ways a person can express themselves. Spotify's current music-sharing flow has allowed users to make and share playlists with each other and its listening status feature has allowed users to predict what their friends are up to based on the music they are listening to.

The current user flow of the social engagement features on Spotify app is not efficient, causing users to drop at the end of the flow

Hey, there! Before we start, in order to validate that we're solving real problem for real users, preliminary research was done about the Spotify product, the community, and the industry. Although I found those to be helpful UX process to understand the people I'm designing for, feel free to skip to the user research here.

product research

Spotify has recorded 31% of its global users as of Q2 2021, making Spotify the market leader with the highest market share according to MIDia Research. As a daily Spotify user myself, I wanted to dive deeper into one of the highly voted topics in the Spotify community, an additional layer of a social aspect.

Spotify has became one's personality trait

About 14,700 results with the keyword "weird spotify playlists"

Before diving deeper into HOW we solved the problem of lacking efficiency in sharing, I wanted to quickly talk about WHY we are solving this problem. Spotify has successfully broken down the traditional boundaries of genres and introduced a new area of 'personality' into streaming experiences. The playlists are no longer just a set list of liked songs, it's almost an experience of curating one's experience with the help of sharing status, sharing playlists, personalizing the cover image, and algorithm-based music recommendation.

user research

How users share

I have found some interesting alternatives that further validates the needs for more efficient socializing.

case 1: spotify code

case 2: sharing spotify wrapped on socials

case 3: blend feature to mix songs with friends

case 4: tangible fabrication of the code

→ It's prominent that users LOVE to share songs and playlists with their friends and that Spotify sees potentials of playlist being made in collective efforts. As there are multiple alternative ways Spotify has offered instead of a direct in-app sharing, I wanted to see how users react to the current user flow.

Spotify Inbox that no longer exists

In 2017, Spotify has deprecated Inbox/Messages feature permanently, because of "the huge disparity between the use of the feature and the manpower required." What can we learn from the past?

→ The likelihood of a user finding an inbox feature with no previous experience is low because the inbox feature requires 2+ clicks. The contents around setting/profile tend to be permanent, contributing users to take the bottom section for granted
→ There was no other ways for the users to find about the inbox feature organically, as there was no push notification or a hint/tutorial of the feature

The issue rooted from the cost efficiency of the inbox feature, so my hypothesis was "improving exposure of the sharing feature will increase the engagement."

How Do Users Feel?

In order to gather behavioral and attitudinal dimensions on the social features on Spotify app, we sent out survey and conducted interviews to 42 active Spotify users.


Uses a mobile device as a primary platform when using spotify


Has an experience of sharing songs or a playlist with someone else


Uses text messages to share songs with text messages

→ Based on Spotify users, sharing mostly happens outside of the app although users LOVE sharing their playlists and songs. Not to mention that Spotify already offers various ways of sharing which didn’t seem like the most preferred way to the users.


1. Spotify style guidelines The new feature should feel cohesive with the overall visuals of Spotify
2. Cost efficiency
The  feature's impact should worth the feature's effort
3. Natural flow The feature should flow seamlessly with the existing flows


1. Transparent Content User get greater control over privacy and personal activity.
2. Increase Engagement
Sharing songs with friends not physically together.
3. Decrease Distraction Increase interactions without having to leave the app.


Potential Features

step 1: card sorting (12 features)

step 2: calculating cost efficiency(9 features)

step 3: impact / effort matrix (2 features)

Final Features:

1. being able to tag friends
2. being able to see how I am displayed to others

Information architecture

Usability Testing

Friend's Activity

Activity details

generated playlists


Key Features


Enjoy the collective history between you and your friend through auto-generated playlists when sending/receiving songs


Get a greater control over how to appear on the activity from your friends point of view


Share songs seamlessly without having to leave the app within Spotify app with your Spotify friends

Thank you!

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