Just a moment

Musescore

Revamp the desktop platform IA,
ensuring intuitive access to sheet music and courses
Role
Product Designer
Timeline
Oct - Nov 2022
Skills
Website
Redesign
Product Design

Context

Why Musescore?

As a music lover, Musescore.com website is the largest free sheet music catalog with more than 1 million works in different genres: from classics to contemporary pop music. However, a significant number of users express frustration with the site's navigation and search functionality. Users frequently find themselves engaged in a tedious process of keyword refinement, hoping to filter their way through the sea of options to find the specific piece that aligns with their musical cravings or requirements.

Solutions

A redesigned platform with navigation

Over the span of two months, I redesigned the site so that users can find sheet music and courses they need with intuition.

# Navigation bar

#Organized & Icons

#Functionality

research

Understanding current interface

Before diving into ideating the new experience, I asked myself:

"Who do we see as our biggest competitors?"
"Who are our primary users?"
"What are users' frustrations?"
"What challenges would they face when moving forward?"
"What functions do users use the most?"
"What do our primary users need the most?"

Heuristic evaluation & Content Audit

To kickoff, I started out with heuristic evaluation since it helps uncover usability issues. I chose Jakob Nielsen's 10 Heuristics since it is a set of predefined usability principles and it provides an objective assessment. In order to understand which page needs more attention and how can the errors be removed content audit & Inventory were performed.

  • Many of the tabs link to the same page, pages are spreaded throughout the site
  • No mapping indicates where users at
  • Visibility of the system is not consistent
  • The affordance of how the features are used is misleading

Surveys & Usability testing

Having the evaluation results in mind, I sent out surveys to current and potential users. I received 17 responses and conducted a semi-structured interview with 5 users. Results revealed a sense of uncertainty when making decision and frustrating users' journeys.

Although the usability testing success rate is 84.4% among five users, but users spent a lot of time on the wrong path to attain the tasks they were assigned to.

Analyzing Market & Competitors

After collecting the survey, users mentioned these three sites were the one they often used to search for their needs. The findings shown that the site can be improved by: discoverability of sheet music, refining search functionalities, and optimizing the website's overall navigation

SUMMARY

I quickly coded the research findings and sorted them into themes with personas goals, pain points, and thoughts in mind:

Opportunities

What we purposed according to research summary

  • Accuracy: How might we create an alternative solution -> navigation bar to sort pages into categories
  • Icons: Redesign/replace confusing icons
  • Design/UI:
    1. What if we make video and sheet music be shown simultaneously -> any constraints?
    2. Fix the metronome interactions
  • Functionality: How might we help users understand where to click to find out the sheet music after pressing the video icon
  • Organized: Reorganized the pages/ hubs and sort the priority to make the most common and attractive themes/features on top (eg: top rated, genres...)

iDEATIONS

User flow

The site structure accommodates various user flows while providing comprehensive information for decision-making. To further define users’ actions, user flows was created for the top features that have been used to gain a better understanding of how users use the site.

information architecture

The top three features to focus on: sheet music, lessons/courses, play and learn music through video/midi. Based on the research results, to solve the problems and gain engagement in the process, we need to let users find what they need without frustration.

IA-Adding a Navigation Bar

design

interface explorations

Wireframing for A/B version testing.

design system

Style

The iterated version were designed based on the website aesthetic trend and the original theme color.

First version
Iterated version

Accessibility

When designing the system, accessibility is confirmed that all colors passed WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

Typography

OUTCOMES

The final design

Usability 2.0

The outcomes of users finding sheet music online, listen to the midi, and download it from usability test 2.0... 

After 5 iterations, users can now use search engine bar or through navigation bar to find the music sheets or courses they are interested in.

5

Iterations

26

Screens

98.5%

Task completion rate

Learnings

Future Steps

The improvement doesn't end here. Design is an iterative process, and as such, further research should be done iteratively to better understand the audience and keep improving the website

  • Search Engine: The relevant and accuracy of the search bar engine needs to be adjusted. I need to work with engineers to set the keywords algorithms precisely for the search bar engine.
  • Midi and Video: The features haven't not been designed in the prototype entirely. Therefore, users can only carry out the steps by clicking through the visual interface.

Key Takeaways

I gave my best during the design process and learned a ton:

  • The voice of the user: When I conducted usability testing, I found out users have their own ways of completing each task, and they encountered different pain points.
  • Don't be afraid of criticism: "Our users provided us with valuable feedback, but at times, their candid comments were painful to hear. I recall one user who expressed dissatisfaction with the site, stating "This site sucks, and I won't be using it again. I feel disconnected." Though it was initially difficult to hear, I probed deeper by asking about the specific design elements that caused this disconnection. To my surprise, the conversation was not as daunting as I had anticipated and provided me with valuable insights that greatly assisted me in producing the final design."
  • The importance of planning: With a broad problems at hand, I needed to plan the research and design process ahead in order to narrow down to the core challenge as a product designer.

thank you🫰

Hoping you have a good one 💐

Thank you for reading this case study! If you’re interested, feel free to check out my other projects below

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