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productivity with Spotify

Unlocking design productivity with Spotify


We worked with Spotify’s 350+ person design team to help them analyse and improve the way they work across the organisation. Our team created a blueprint for design productivity, and identified opportunities to streamline internal processes, to ultimately unlock more time for creativity.

  • Researching, identifying and recommending improvements, tools and automation to unlock more time for creativity at Spotify
  • Creating a service blueprint and diagnostic toolkit to help map and understand the challenge and opportunity space
  • And a public version of this blueprint on the Figma community that has since attracted over 12,000 downloads

The challenge
Defining ‘design productivity’ and
identifying opportunities for change

Our services
  • User research
  • Process mapping
  • Jobs To Be Done
  • Service design
  • Prototyping

Spotify are respected across the global creative community for the quality and consistency of their product design. They operate across a vast, interconnected product ecosystem.

Spotify’s Design Platform leadership are tasked with monitoring and improving the way internal design teams work. They asked us to run a organisation-wide review of their design practice to meet their OKRs.

In essence, the brief was to:

1. Understand how Spotify’s designers work across their diverse range of projects, and what ‘design productivity’ means to them

2. Visually capture individual designer workflows

3. And identify common pain points and actionable opportunities 
for change, with the goal of freeing up time to work on more interesting and creative problems

Spotify Digital Strategy

Our approach
An end-to-end research and service design process

Over the course of the project, we embedded ourselves across Spotify’s broad spectrum of design teams across the business. Our goal was to gain a deep understanding of their real-world processes and how we might be able to improve them.

Our team ran a series of workshops to help the key working group to help them define what productivity meant to them. 

We then designed bespoke process to solve the brief, stepping through the following key activities:

User research: We conducted a series of interviews with 30+ 
Spotify designers and engineers to gain first-hand insight into their needs, pain points, and ideas for change.

Service design: We mapped out each individual product design workflow to visualise their process. We then generalised this into an ‘as is’ blueprint to express the ‘typical design workflow’ — using it as a canvas to plot the common pain points and opportunities for change that we identified.

Experiment design: We articulated a series of hypotheses about the key challenges designers were facing and designed a series of experiments to solve them. We then scored and prioritised these experiments with key stakeholders to determine where to focus 
our efforts.

Prototyping & Product design: Isolating the two highest priority experiments, we created 2 interactive digital prototypes to test these ideas for improvements with designers. We then shipped one of these experiments to the Spotify design community, promoting it within their internal channels.

Spotify Digital Strategy

The solution
Creating a living blueprint for service design transformation

Opportunities to improve workflow productivity were backed by our research and data

One of our key outputs was a Design Productivity Blueprint.

This illustrated the ‘typical designer workflow’ across Spotify’s plethora of projects and teams. We used the map to identify and highlight the critical common pain points, blockers, and opportunities for improvement.

For each key pain point we ran through the the following steps:

Hypothesis: Wrote a hypothesis and outlined the evidence behind it

Experiment: Sketched an experimental MVP (Minimum Viable Product) solution to the problem

Metrics: Identified how we might measure the impact of change

Scoring: Used the RICE methodology to score these pain points with the stakeholder working group.

This helped us prioritise and guide the solutions we eventually rolled out to 
the internal design community at Spotify.

Spotify blueprint design ops

Improving employee experience and spreading the love to the wider community

12,000+ downloads of our jointly-published Spotify Design Productivity Blueprint

Our research and recommendations helped the Design Platform team unlock meaningful change and to meet their OKRs.

To share the benefits more widely, Spotify and Elsewhen jointly released a public version of the Spotify Design Productivity Blueprint on Figma to the global design community — alongside a co-written article on the Spotify.Design blog.

This diagnostic toolkit includes workshops, interview templates, and a productivity canvas — to help anyone run the process with their team, and communicate findings and needs to your organisation.

To date, it has been downloaded by more than 12,000 Figma community members worldwide.


Spotify blueprint design ops

Transform how your most important work is delivered

Meet the team, discuss your ideas with our experts and receive a proposal for your project.