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Harrogate Community Radio App

Harrogate Community Radio is a grass-roots movement to give people in the local community a voice. To give everyone who feels under-represented a voice for change.

harrogate community radio logotype full colour rgb
harrogate community radio logotype full colour rgb

Role

User Research, Visual Design, UX Engineer

Time Line

March 2021

Tasks & Deliverables

  • Interviews
  • Testing
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Journey Map
  • Task Flows
  • Interaction Map
  • Interactive Prototype
  • Wire Map
  • Build
  • Deploy

Project Overview

This was a one-man project from idea to completion. I even got to do the coding, which was fun!

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Researching The Listening Experience

This was done through participant interviews and Analytics. I then went about and put pen to paper to flesh out a few ideas.

harrogate community radio logotype full colour rgb

User interviews helped provide some interesting insights into the goals, the context of use and pain points users often face when tuning in to Harrogate Community Radio on the app. I learned that the majority of visits to the app were for research and to see what was on air.

crap radio in town
very crap radio in town
To get an understanding of the landscape I also compared and benchmarked  4 competitor apps (two direct competitors and two indirect), which served to highlight parts of the process that were so ubiquitous that I didn’t end up trying to reinvent the wheel with no real benefit to the user.

Defining The Problem

After gathering enough research data I began to cluster common themes, frustrations and opportunities together in an affinity diagram to highlight commonalities and draw insight.

post its scaled
Clustering the qualitative research data into groups showed consistent themes in where v1 of the app was going wrong. I saw that other local radio apps efforts to help users tune in and plan their listening were well received, but that all their users had very similar annoyances with adverts and privacy concerns – thankfully Harrogate Community Radio doesn’t have adverts.

Design Problems

My next step was to move into the design phase and to begin thinking about possible solutions. Research had shown that users had a strong idea of what they think a radio app should be (think BBC), so I primarily focused on getting rid of snags that the user would hit, when they try and tune in to the station on the new app.

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I then began sketching and iterating on possible solutions for the different screens that the app would have. To do this, I began by determining the high level navigation for the App in very rough sketches, before refining the best ideas and moving on to sketching out full screens and interactions necessary to complete the primary flow.

Design Solutions

My aim was to provide an intuitive, frictionless listening process that offers new features for the specific use cases of returning customers and first time listeners, the former of which research had shown were most common in terms of app visits.

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Home Page & Menu

A simple set up was made so that people could keep heading back to the home page and easily access the pages of the app with a fun animation. The audio would continue streaming when they are there, had it been activated previously.

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Stream Page

One page, one function – the whole point of the app is that people can stream the station. This is the streaming page for the station. When people navigate away from it there is the option to keep the audio playing.

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News Page

The News Page is an RSS Feed direct from the website – so, there is not double posting. Update the site and then the app gets updated. This page helps with the UX because it boost the community vibe of the station – ensuring they return to listen again.

Next Steps

If time had allowed I would have loved to test the prototype more with users, and to have identified and iterated for more use cases, especially in further improving the streaming aspect of the broadcast journey.

For example, taking a deeper dive into user behaviour and goals whilst looking for show inspiration and the social element of community media could be really interesting problem area to explore.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this build – it was a bit of a personal project because I am one of the founders of the station. I hope the app is a success. It is currently out on the iOS Store and Google pending publication.

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