OWSLA is an American record label and creative collective founded by Sonny Moore, for the love of music and to support artists that wouldn’t otherwise be given a record deal.
We were asked by OWSLA’s UK label manager, Tom Riley, to put together a proof of concept web application that allowed content producers to browse, download and license their entire back catalogue.
As Aux was to be an unprecedented addition to the music industry, we would need to work with OWSLA to devise processes and user journeys, both for users of the application and for the internal team tasked with managing it.
Brand & identity
It wasn’t known whether Aux would be clearly marked as part of the OWSLA collective or a separate brand of it’s own. It was clear, however, that it’s identity would have to fit with OWSLA’s other projects.
Market & audience
The potential audience for Aux would be online content creators who had built up a massively online following and, as such, were regularly very busy and working on multiple projects at the same time. Aux would need to be fast and easy to use to appeal to these time poor and often distracted users.
Setting a creative direction
To make sure that Aux worked seamlessly with OWSLAs other sub-projects, our design team reviewed as much of their online and offline material as possible.
Once fully immersed in the brand, we decided completed our design research by creating moodboards exploring the creative options that were open to us.
From this, we decided on a creative direction that reflected the geometric outline style of OWSLA’s logo and the regularly repeated colour tones from their Instagram accounts.
User-centred design and prototyping
As a entirely new and complex application it was necessary to spend a lot of the project budget exploring how the application would work from a user point-of-view.
To keep this process lean and rapid, we created wireframe-style prototypes which could be downloaded to handheld devices for user-testing.
This was invaluable to the success of the project as it allowed us to quickly iterate and test user experience decisions without days or weeks of development time.
Super-fast search integration
We used cloud-based search service, Algolia, to serve results within milliseconds, so there was no noticeable wait time for our time-sensitive audience.
Using Algolia also made it relatively simple to include useful search filters, so not only could users search for artists such as KOAN Sound or Basecamp, but they also had the ability to filter by BPM, genre or whether a track has vocals or not.
Planning for future investment
Once the proof-of-concept was ready we collaborated with the project owner on a business proposal which would be shown to potential investors with the intention that our previous effort would not be wasted.
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