For my personal case study on redesigning the Spotify Desktop App, to identify the problem I needed to understand the "user." In this case, they are more than users, they are the listeners.
I interviewed listeners to find out what they are looking for, why they use online streaming services, how they find new music, and how involved they are when searching and listening. What emerged were four different personas, ranging from the tech savvy, obsessed listener to the casual social listener.
After studying each persona, the most important take-away is that each persona finds music from a variety of sources that are their social network or their environment. They trust others to help them find music, but those sources are carefully curated in how they move about their lives.
Music is the soundtrack and connection to their lives.
A UX in desperate need of X
The other issue I identified is the confusing navigation and interface of the Spotify desktop app. To understand and identify the problems from the listener perspectives, I examined the current desktop app and redlined issues. The "mock-up" is more of a brain-dump to note ideas on fixing the problems as I head into sketching and iterative design.
I had to take into account why people use Spotify over other listening services. Spotify is a popular music player because of the access to a huge quantity of artists, albums, and playlists. People fumble through the various interfaces (desktop, mobile, web) because of the multitude of music, the ability to download music, and the popular "Discovery Weekly" playlist that creates a unique playlist for each listener based on what they've been listening to. However, the experience was confusing to navigate, even for the most savvy tech user.
Learning from the user narratives to identify the problems, this brainstorm simplified the user interface for the desktop app. Early changes help listeners navigate the app while exploring new music; further planned fixes promote social connections because this is the single link between all types of listeners.