Songkick: UX Case Study


Songkick provides a platform for music lovers to track their favorite artists on tour, buy tickets and to discover concerts nearby. With over 15 million users worldwide, their goal is to make sure fans never miss another show or festival.

As an avid concert goer myself I wanted to take a closer look at Songkick’s iOS app to discover any pain points or areas of friction. Through guerilla testing and research, my objective was to design and test solutions that could improve overall usability.

User Research

Guerilla Usability Testing

guerilla testing.png

In order to truly test the app’s usability, I conducted guerilla interviews with 7 participants and asked them to complete a series of tasks. 5 out of the 7 users already heard of or have used Songkick in some capacity, mostly on desktop. All of them said that they had attended at least a few concerts in the past year. I wanted to make sure that the people I was handing the app over to had an interest in music somewhat.

The main tasks:

  • Find one of your favorite artists and track them.
  • Buy a ticket to one of their shows if they're on tour (just made users go to ticket screen)
  • Explore some concerts that are near you.
  • Discover some new music you might be interested in.
  • Change your location and look for concerts in that area.


Who am I designing for?


Before diving into any insights from my interviews, I created a provisional persona to help me empathize with the typical Songkick user. I based their behaviors and goals off some of the people I interviewed and my own assumptions that I wanted to validate at the end of the process. Meet Robert:



Identify Pain Points

After the interviews I went back on my observations and feedback from my participants to identify common points of friction they would encounter while interacting with the app. Below are recurring issues that frustrated or confused the users:

  • Unclear where the buy ticket button was
  • Users didn’t like having to scroll through a whole list to find a tour date near them
  • “Wish there was more info or media on the artist page”
  • Users wanted a sample of music or access to it
  • Most users were unsuccessful in finding the setting to change location

I then organized all pain points into an affinity map to visualize where users felt most duress.

     Each color represents a separate user.

    Each color represents a separate user.

    Affinity Mapping.png


    Prioritize and Define

    Impact Graph.png

    In order to identify which problems were worth solving, I plotted them onto a 2x2 matrix aligned by what would be the most important to the user and to Songkick in terms of their business goals.

    I prioritized users being unable to find the correct link to buy tickets as the most pressing for both parties.

    The second most significant interaction I recorded was that only 2 out 7 participants were able to figure out where to see concerts in their location. They also struggled to find how to change/add locations. After giving up, I revealed that both features were on the “more” tab which was met with a lot of confused reactions.

    The last pain point that I kept hearing was that there was lack of general information on the artist pages. They delved into how it would be hard to really discover any new music within the app. 


    UI Sketches

    With the main issues identified I began sketching out possible solutions to implement into the UI.


    Lo Fi Wireframes

    Your Locations lofi.png
    Home Page lofi.png
    Event Page lofi.png
    Artist Page LOFI.png

    Prototype & Validation



    5/7 users tapped the "Ticket" sub header in usability testing.




    Call to action was clear to users in validation testing.

    Refined the artist lineup feature to give it more appeal. Also eliminates one extra screen.


    Event Page - HiFi cropped.png


    Users thought the artist pages felt bare. Unlikely to use app to discover new music.



    Added a link to the artist's page on Spotify along with bio info and an embedded music video.

    Artist Page HiFi.png


    5/7 users were unable to find the setting to change location from this initial landing page.



    Renamed the setting to "Nearby" and rearranged it into the top nav. 5/5 users found it during validation testing.

    Home Page PNG.png


    "Your Locations" screen that was hidden in the "More" tab.



    Rearranged to be accessible in the "Concerts" tab. Also made the city and state in red tappable to change location. 5/5 users were able to change location without confusion.

    Your Locations HiFi.png

    Clickable Prototype



    Final Thoughts

    This case study was definitely a challenge but gratifying in that I achieved the learning goals I set out in the beginning. During the research process, I realized just how much bias could sway what I thought were points of friction. What looks nonsensical to me could look easy to someone else. Ideating my own solutions also uncovered other problems I hadn’t seen, especially having to design for mobile. However I believe that the most creative ways to solve a problem are born out of having constraints in the first place. Thanks for reading.