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productivity with Spotify

Unlocking design productivity with Spotify

Overview

Spotify is the world’s largest streaming music provider. Its services are available on a wide range of platforms, including iOS and MacOS, Android, Windows, web, smart TVs and in-car entertainment systems. To ensure a great customer experience across all these platforms, Spotify has a dedicated design team of over 350 people to implement, maintain and continuously improve the design of its products.

Elsewhen worked with Spotify’s design team to help them analyse and improve the way design work is done across the business. Our team created a blueprint for design productivity – and identified opportunities for efficiency gains by removing impediments to internal workflows.

Highlights
  • Researching, identifying and recommending improvements, tools and automation to boost Spotify internal workflows and productivity.
  • Creating a service blueprint and diagnostic toolkit to enhance workflows – with a subsequent public-domain version attracting over 6,000 downloads.

The challenge
Optimising digital workflows to drive productivity and quality

Our services
  • User research
  • Process mapping
  • Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) analysis
  • Service design
  • Prototyping

Spotify is respected across the global creative community for the quality and consistency of its digital design. Spotify’s Design Platform leadership is tasked with improving the way internal design teams work – to continuously push the quality and speed of design execution.

Spotify initiated a business-wide review of its design processes to improve productivity. They asked Elsewhen to review design workflows – and recommend changes to support Spotify’s objectives and key results (OKRs).

Spotify needed an in-depth understanding of workflows – to remove bottlenecks for designers, while enhancing productivity and the working experience.

Spotify Digital Strategy

Our strategic approach
Researching work processes for evidence-based improvement

During the project, we embedded our people into the Spotify design teams – to gain a deep understanding of their real-world processes and how to improve these. Our activity was focused in four main areas.

User research — We conducted interviews with Spotify team members to gain first-hand insight into user needs and working processes.

Process mapping — We mapped out the current product design workflows, and visualised our findings – as a basis for discussion and identification of opportunities.

Service design — We then proposed enhancements to methods, tooling and workflows. All our work was delivered as live and interactive artefacts – captured in Figma, Miro and other collaborative tools.

Prototyping — Our team created digital prototypes to test ideas for improvements in the design workflow. Moving from static mock-ups to clickable prototypes helped the team gain invaluable user feedback. It equipped Spotify with tested ideas ready for further development.

Spotify design team user research

The solution
Creating a living blueprint for service design transformation

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

The new service blueprint was a key output of the project. This illustrated the workflow across people, systems and processes – and the areas where our research showed opportunities for improvement.

We approached this from a data-driven perspective, specifying metrics to track areas for improvement.– and make sure that all opportunities for positive change were backed by meaningful data evidence.

With this aim, we augmented the blueprint with an outline of the data flow through the process – and the metrics to focus on at each step.

Spotify blueprint design ops

The outcomes
Delivering on a commitment to employee experience and efficiency

6,000+ downloads of our jointly-published Spotify Design Productivity Blueprint

Elsewhen’s research and recommendations enabled meaningful change to help Spotify meet its OKRs.

Our work helped the Design Platform team to support Spotify’s target of enhancing employee effectiveness.

To share the benefits more widely, in 2021 Spotify and Elsewhen jointly released a public-domain version of the Spotify Design Productivity Blueprint to the global design community. This diagnostic toolkit includes workshops, interview templates, and a productivity canvas, to help communicate findings and needs to the organisation. By mid-2022, it had been downloaded by more than 6,000 Figma community members worldwide.

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