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Consumer-Focused Design for Live Music

We started a process 6 weeks ago with our kick-ass friends at Machine to explore the live music space, specifically to look for ways that mobile devices and apps could enhance it beyond products that are already in the market.

Today we presented the outcome of that research and design, and one of the biggest take-aways for me actually had little to do with live music, and more to do with good practices for product design and development.

Everyone talks about “user/customer-focused design”, but here it was, staring us in the face on a giant 6 foot poster board:

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This is where the work started – by developing an understanding of the fan, and his/her experience of live music. We didn’t start with specific product ideas, and we didn’t start with assets or advantages we could bring to the space. We first made sure we understood the process a fan goes through to research, get to, experience, and finally remember, a show. It’s clear to see how this kind of exploration can yield remarkable insights and ideas for products, because you’re necessarily discovering how things work, or don’t work, and identifying opportunities for change.

In an agile, speed-to-market-obsessed world, this kind of process can seem scary. But it isn’t. “How long will it take?” “I just want to build something and see if people like it.” Well, this part of the process only took us about 2 weeks. It was incredibly fast and efficient. And now our ability to build something quickly, that people will like, has been significantly enhanced because we took the time to develop a detailed understanding of the live music fan.

This kind of development and design don’t have to take a long time and certainly pay for themselves.