Social Network and Marketplace for Musicians Auxyn
- Discovery phase
- Product development
- 700+ development hours
- 825 streams; 300+ overheard tracks
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Initially, we were asked to develop a professional social network for music artists. The client imagined it as a revolutionary platform for all types of musicians. We were glad to bring his vision to life.
At first, we thought about making a simplified version of LinkedIn that connects bands, solo artists, producers, and listeners. However, Auxyn grew bigger as we get into details. Over the course of Analysis and Specification stages, the project became a mature social network with multiple unique features inside.
Still, we kept Auxyn committed to the one true goal: to hear new, innovative, and different sounds that exist in a vast community of music artists.
Listener is a basic user-type that can log in and set up his/her account: add a photo, background image, connect with other social profiles, and what’s important: add genres, subgenres, artists and producers to a list of favorites.
Upon filling in their profiles users can easily find new artists, listen to their portfolio samples/albums or enjoy music streaming feature which pre-selects tracks from genres and groups user likes and follows.
As any other user, Listener can use live chats and watch live feeds about events/publications/songs and album releases. In future the live chat feature can be turned in a paid one by taking a fee from Listeners for a directly communication with their favorite bands.
In addition Listener can create an event with certain terms (e.g. invite a rap group to perform at home party for $500). Bands or their producers can negotiate on this conditions and then perform at the event. All financial transactions are handled through the website with a certain fee collected by the platform.
Producer’s role has the same functionality as a Listener’s but with one big exception. In addition to Listener’s features, Producer can negotiate with bands or solo performers and become their manager.
Manager of the musician can then apply and bid on events, taking a certain percentage of musician’s income for their work. Producer can have an admin access in order to manage artists’ page on Auxyn.
In addition, Producers can answer to listeners’ feedbacks on behalf of the band. The feedback system can be used to get a refund for bad performance or spread the word about the band and attract new users. On top of it, we enabled social sharing to raise engagement rate of events, tracks, and band profiles.
Besides the basic Listener profile, Musician can create an additional band page. It can be managed directly by one of band members or their producer. Band page contains dedicated portfolio and information about it.
Besides that, musicians have their individual portfolios with tracks they did on their own. Artists can post requests for musicians to join them. This option can be monetized through website as well: when a musician gets hired through the website the band may pay a fee.
Bands and solo artists can apply and bid on events, have ratings and feedback on their performance. Musicians’ tracks are rated too and the best ones are shown in top-artists section. Unusually high number of likes can be seen and managed by website administration to prevent fraud.
There is also admin role. Firstly, he is a ‘web admin’ in the most basic sense of this term. Admin oversees user activity. Plus, admin can act as an independent enforcement power. He can make refunds according to contract violations (bad raider, artist’s performance, etc). In addition, admin will have reports for all financial transactions and events happening on the website
The client was struggling to find a simple and catchy name for his project. Still, he’s been persistently coming up with multiple domains every day since we started.
In order to define the graphics that would characterize and describe the platform, we advised him to start from writing down answers for some basic questions: What’s the purpose of the platform? What’s its targeted audience? Is it made for young people in their 20-30s or an older audience in their 40s? Is this project made for musicians or studios and producers at first place?
Finally, he narrowed the name down to Auxyn, which we saw as a brilliant idea and immediately started playing with graphics.
Our first suggestion was to make the lettering logo. Fortunately, this idea was rejected after several references we’ve sent to the client.
While the naming has not been determined yet, we decided to move forward and take advantage of this fact. We started working on a color scheme and general style having a full freedom.
As any other industry music portals also have their inner trends. We noticed that gradients are very popular and are oftenly used on websites to depict UI of equalizers and mixing consoles. Still, we suggested not to overplay with gradients since the general trend in design inclines towards flat colors.
Our client agreed to select only 1 or 2 vivid colors in order to highlight primary UI elements and headers. Plus, we decided to apply gradients to few minor buttons.
General style and layout
Building a social network we kept in mind an average time user spends on such kind of platforms (which is around 10 to 30 minutes). That’s why we took light colors for the background so that people have no complications in using the platform for a long time.
Since the network needed to be very straightforward and user-friendly we focused on making a flat design. We excluded all 3D-effects, heavy animations or realistic icons while most music sites still used them at that time.
We used two layout types. One is for public landing page. We designed it to be very eye catching but not too overloaded at the same time.
In addition we designed a second layout specifically for mobile devices and tablets. For this purposes we used a left access panel. The big plus of using such panel is that users can close it at any time or slide it out when it is required.
This feature keeps the layout very light-weighted and accessible at the same time since navigation menu is hidden behind the panel. We added the possibility to close/open the panel by swiping it when required.
Images and fonts
We suggest to use sans-serif fonts and avoid effects like cursive because they get hard for reading.
Our research across music websites revealed a very intense use of imagery. Therefore, we decided to use blurred album covers for a background as well.