Research & Early Iteration


I began my thesis by conducting user research via surveys and testing. I used surveys to get context about how and why people listen to podcasts and learn more about their expectations of listening experiences. After getting this feedback, I designed and tested a few social listening experiences with the goal of learning how synchronicity impacts the podcast listening experience. The on-demand nature of podcasts is what makes them great, but I wanted to find out if changing this aspect of listening would alter the experience. 

For a more in depth look into my process, check out my Thesis Process Blog.

Early Iteration

After reviewing the feedback from the experiences I ran, I decided to prototype an app experience. I used my findings to determine what features podcasts listeners might be interested in, and thus, PODDIE v1 was born. You can also view the PODDIE prototype.

Feedback on PODDIE v1

After presenting v1 in class, I received the following feedback:

  • The name could be misinterpreted
  • Convos should be more prominent and feel like a more cohesive part of the listening experience
  • Consider other ways to comment, perhaps audio 
  • Further explore public vs. private, which may limit broad community feeling if most conversations are "walled off" 
  • Consider quick interactions that will increase engagement, perhaps polls
  • Tell a better product story -- focusing on a person who is impacted by PODDIE

I used this feedback to iterate on PODDIE v1 and designed PODDIE v2.

Feedback on PODDIE v2 

After presenting PODDIE v2 in class, my classmates asked the following questions: 

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Should the listening aspect happen before the discussion?
  • What is the context of use?
  • Should text (a more scannable & familiar medium) be relied on more instead of audio and video?

After sharing my work and the above feedback with my advisor, she pushed me to think more broadly about the issues within the podcast app space and to further explore why I wanted to focus on discussion. She reminded me that my goal was to bring people closer to podcasts they enjoyed, and focusing on discussion might only resonate with superusers. It was my goal to bring both superusers and new listeners closer to great podcasts, so I didn't want to alienate new listeners by placing too much focus on discussion.