episodic Case Study

What is Episodic?

Episodic is a podcast streaming app that offers listeners greater customization over their library and listening experiences.

scope

Solo concept project, Fall 2020

What I did

Product Design
Interaction Design
UX Research
Branding

tools used

Adobe XD

the Problem

Scaling complexities

In less than three years, there has been over a 200% increase in the number of podcast shows available on Apple Podcasts. Listenership has also trended upward. My own podcast listening has not only increased but the breadth of topics I've taken an interest in has also expanded.

I began listening to more podcasts in 2020, but I struggled to find a podcast app that allowed me to manage my library in a simple and straightforward way that met my needs.

how might we?

Enable customizable podcast library management?

Design Process

Listeners want greater control

I researched iOS App Store reviews for Episodic's competitors and found that listeners want to choose how they experience their podcast listening and need better visibility into channels that they would want to engage with.

key insights

Customers need: optionality + discoverability.

Design principles

My visual design principles aim for minimalistic in order to provide greater discoverability and easily guide listeners through (and not distract from) their experience.

As an example, the "Sort by" filter on the utility belt offers options to sort alphabetically (A to and from Z) as well as chronologically (Newest to and from Oldest). This addresses different customer needs to sort based on the title of an episode as well as how recently it was released.

In exploration of the "played" state, working with the constraints of the pattern and with discoverability in mind, I chose to demonstrate the played state by dialing back the transparency of the tile to 80% and replaced the Play Button with the Replay Button.

Failed exploration of Played State

Final Played State using Replay button

In earlier explorations of this state, I considered a checkmark to demonstrate the episode was played. However, I felt like the checkmark could be up for interpretation (e.g., "does this mean it's downloaded?").

the solution

Playback Control

Delivering on greater playback control, listeners would have the options to auto-play the next episode in playlists and channels, auto-download new episodes in their subscribed channels, and auto-archive episodes after they listen.

Home Screen highlighting Recently Updated

Modifying sort order on Utility Belt

Simple and familiar iconography styles

Improved Discoverability

Episodic highlights a customer's "recently updated" channels on the home page in order to increase visibility of the podcasts the customer has already listens to, while balancing out introducing the customer to channels/episodes that are featured and currently trending.

Simplicity drove many of my design decision when it came to iconography and organization of features. Widely-used icons were used in the menu modal as well as in the utility belt in order to appeal to customer expectations.

Navigating between Subscribed Podcasts and Playlists

Managing the Playlist list view

Playlist organization

Episodic includes the ability to create playlists and manage the visual organization.

References

Photo credit

See below for links to artist's work:
Diego Jimenez
Alex Loup
Lukasz Szmigiel
Ilnur Kalimullin
Matt Botsford
Soundtrap