Stax is a concept of my own creation, dreamed up during the pandemic of 2020.
Stax is designed to digitise the experience of visiting record shops and fairs in the search of the vinyl you’d love to include in your collection. As a keen record collector, I’ve missed the in-store experience and wanted to think up a way to connect collectors, share their collection and potentially agree to buy and trade.
In a world where music is as easily accessible as typing in a search bar the name of an album or song, I also wanted to create a digital experience similar to that when browsing in a store not knowing what you may uncover. In an attempt to bring back the buzz of uncovering that record you’ve been searching for, Stax connects you to other users to flick through their collection and see what they may have to sell or trade.
Like any product (even one I’ve made up myself) my initial task is to gather requirements and identify pain points and problems.
With Stax, I was inspired by the following pain points:
- Because of Covid/lockdown stores and fairs are inaccessible.
- Discovering music has become a soulless experience. Music is easily accessible using Spotify, amazon, iTunes. Even supermarkets sell records now.
- Therefore the joy of discovery is removed.
- Having a wish list and visiting a store for the records you want to add to your collection are part of the experience.
- Record community cannot interact and discuss shared interest in music.
From the problems I identified I mapped out a structure of the app using miro helping me to better understand the architecture of what I planned to create.
My idea was to include:
- The ability to browse and connect with like minded collectors through a forum and chat system.
- Ability to add your own collection to catalogue and share with others.
- Create a wishlist of records you’d like to add to your collection.
The Stax name and logo is designed to represent record collections and the interaction of flicking through them. It’s a fluid logo which can be manipulated to suit it’s medium. The secondary marque is a simple circular logo used as an in app spinning loader.
One interaction I was keen to capture was the experience of flicking through collections like you would in a shop or a record fair. To achieve this, collections can be flicked through, much like you would a box or shelf of records.
My approach to Stax was to create an almost “tactile” experience, mimicking the sorts of interactions you’d have in the real world. Continuing this tactile concept, I wanted the UI to feel familiar and map behaviour to expected outcomes. A ‘neumorphic’ design was utilised for key components to encourage human interaction. E.g a neumorphic play button looks and behaves as a play button would.
I was also inspired by the work of Dieter Rams and his product design work for Braun, keeping things simple and clear on screen at all times.
Another idea i had was to catalogue and take your collection with you. By entering the unique catalogue number found on the spine of a physical record a user could ‘unlock’ the ability to play that record on the go in the app.
During the onboarding process I was keen to subtly connect the imagery on screen to the messaging on each slide. For example the second slide advertises the ability to create a wishlist and features records which reference a wish or a heart.
WHAT DID I ACHIEVE?
- A concept to connect collectors together.
- An experience that brings back the buzz of discovering music.
- The ability to expand and manage your record collection.