Apple Podcasts is the built-in podcast App in the Apple ecosystem. It streams over 750,000 shows and owns a large number of users. According to our user research, however, many users have complained about the poor management and navigation experience on using Apple Podcasts. I rethink the playlist features to help users manage their content quickly and happily.
Version: 3.6.2. 2019.10 - 2019.11
Podcast users are growing. People enjoy it largely because of its convenience and portability. They listen to more than one episode and build up a big library. Both of these call for easy control of the podcasts app.
As the largest podcast platform holding 62.5% market share,however, Apple Podcasts users are currently having huge difficulty in managing their listening experience, which includes poor experience in saving, locating and customizing.
It is important to understanding Apple Podcasts users then to find out what is the need in their podcast experience. I performed 8 interviews including both power users and beginners and synthesized an affinity diagram to learn about user patterns and their problems.
Users tend to have a huge library and sometimes find it hard to locate specific episodes. They hope there is some ways to save, mark and categorize episodes.
In current Apple Podcasts, each section is structured by stacking upon the other. It takes time for users to scroll all the way down.
People usually use Apple Podcasts in free time, commute or other multitask situations. They value efficiency and fear of losing control.
From the user research, I gathered problems and opportunities in user's podcast experience and decided to narrow it down in the following key area:
Empower users to manage their listened episodes easily. Users will spend less time on finding contents they want.
Rethink the information structure. Provide a clear and user-friendly structure.
Enable users to play customized content by simple click.
The design principle is being organized, efficient and intuitive. The UI and visual treatments will follow Apple Podcast design system.
Feature 1: Changing stacking structure to a separate bar
Feature 2：Collect your loved episodes with simple clicks
Feature 3：Quick play
I sent the prototype to a few of previous interviewees and got positive feedbacks.
"Here I see really good improvements!"
"Some of the new features are quite interesting. I love that I can play my customized collection."
The most important part might be always being open-minded and never lead questions. When I was thinking about the design goals, I'm glad that I didn't draw the conclusion too early because I have difficulties in using Apple Podcasts personally. Instead, I stood in the users' shoes and dig out their real need behind different voices.