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“I play music for the enjoyment and fun.”

“I like to socialize while playing music.”

“I am motivated to play and learn the songs I like.”

“I am just too busy.”


During the brainstorming sessions which followed, we tried to gain a better understanding of the user’s needs by asking ‘why’ for each of the pain points. This eventually led to the realization that most users prefer to have the right information given to them at the right time, especially when they are engaged in time-bounded activities. Keeping this in mind, we were able to come up with a few features which may help to address this problem. 


The first iteration of wireframes and an interactive prototype were created using Adobe XD. These will be used for our usability testing.

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Usability Tests

A total of seven participants were recruited for our usability test. They were chosen based on their general similarity with the two identified personas in terms of musical background. All seven tests follow a similar process where each participant was first greeted by one member of the team, followed by a short interview aimed at understanding the participant’s mental model and define which persona he/she belonged to. 


The actual testing then begins with the tester reading out a scenario to set the context. The participant would then be asked to complete a set of tasks using the interactive prototype. Observations were made on how participants navigated and attempted to achieve the objectives.


Once the tasks are completed, the tester would conclude the session with a list of follow-up questions to summarise and encourage feedback.


The results from the usability test revealed that most users were able to navigate through the app with little effort. However, a number of minor design flaws were also identified. Based on these findings, a second iteration of wireframes were made in an attempt to fix these issues. 


Finding Ways To Help Beginners Of Music Practice More And Practice Better.

Case Study

This was our final project in GA’s UXDI course. Our team of two was given three weeks and assigned to work with a Hong Kong startup, Soundbrenner. At the time of this project, they were in the early stages of researching for a new ‘Tutor’ feature for their mobile app. 


Igor Stravinsky, Composer

"There is music wherever there is a rhythm, as there is life wherever there beats a pulse."



Competitive Analysis

Data Synthesis



Wireframes & Prototype

Usability Tests


A new tab which will be added to the existing app which allow users to practice their favourite music with a gamified experience to increase motivation; Document their practice sessions using an in-app practice log; Review their progress on an intuitive user interface.


How can we expand the reach of Soundbrenner’s existing mobile app to include features which appeals to new, aspiring musician without affecting the experience of existing users? How can we help this target group practice more effectively?

Our Client

Right at the beginning of the design cycle, we arranged a brief meeting with Soundbrenner’s CEO, Florian Simmendinger, to discuss the scope of the project and his vision for the next iteration of the brand’s mobile app. It was revealed that Soundbrenner’s brand strategy had been targeting the “Prosumers” of the music industry while the market of “Novices” remained largely unexplored.

Having established that “Novices” in music would be the target audience for the next update, our team had to decide on our approach to research. Considering the idea behind this feature is still relatively new in the mobile apps market, we agreed that it was necessary to conduct additional research. Hence, we split the work into three parts, literature review, competitive analysis, and user interviews.


The Deep Dive...


One typical way to summarize our research findings in UX design is to generate “I” statements which serve to illustrate the users’ preferences and attitudes. For this particular project, we based our feature designs on the four “I” statements.

In order to have a clearer understanding on what drives beginners to practice a certain skill, we sampled a plethora of scientific publications with topics ranging from psychology, motivation, habit forming and goal setting. We then summarised out findings and discovered several insights. These findings will later on serve as a guide to our user research and design decisions. 

First, a bit of reading...

_ People are motivated by progress, mastery and control.

_ People are more motivated by intrinsic reward than extrinsic rewards.

_ People are more likely to commit to something big if they first commit to something small.

Competitive Analysis

During the chat we had with our client, we learned that the team at Soundbrenner had already started to draw early design inspirations from fitness apps and devices available on the market. However, we believe it would be beneficial to broaden our research and examine apps which focus on different activities, but still contains mechanisms which encourage users to work towards certain goals. We examined apps such as Duolingo, Headspace and Nike Training Club and drew inspirations from their features and overall design.

User Interviews

The final part of our research consist of a series of interviews with potential users of this new feature. They were recruited based on the fact that they are currently in the process of learning a music instrument. Six interviews were conducted in total. All data was then analysed using an affinity diagram.


After our initial research, we summarised our results and developed two personas which we believe served as a good representation of typical users for this new feature.



Casual Player

Practice Inconsistently

Dedicated Player

Practice Consistently

 Thinking Caps On... 

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