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Reason Compact

Reason Compact is the iOS version of the world-famous digital music studio - Reason by Propellerhead. The application aims to be a complete pocket studio that enables its users to capture and create beats and melodies on the go with a simple and accessible interface that has a great depth in order not to compromise in musical quality or control.

Client

Propellerhead Software

Project role

Product Designer

Date

Ongoing

Background

The sheer number of features and content within Reason has piled up after almost two decades on the market, which has led to an overwhelming impression and a steep learning curve for newcomers to music production. Propellerhead wants to offer a more playful onboarding experience to the software and music production as a whole by introducing simplified and a more accessible version of the software in a pocket format.

Propellerhead also wanted to add value to current users of the desktop version by giving the application a great depth that more experienced users could take advantage of. To meet these demands, the desktop and the mobile versions were seamlessly integrated to enable quick ideation on the go while offering a linear learning curve into the world of Reason.

Process

Being on board from the very beginning gave me the opportunity to conduct a proper pre-study. By interviewing the stakeholders at Propellerhead, I gained a deeper understanding of the business goals and the reasoning behind the venture. Apart from this, the research gave me valuable insights into the music industry and experiences from past and current Propellerhead applications.

Since Propellerhead already have some mobile applications on the market we had some data and feedback of needs and desires. These insights together with a large competitor analysis gave us a rough direction for the new application.
To further build on our understandings, the newly formed mobile team conducted three consecutive design sprints. The design sprints were five-day processes for answering critical business questions through design. During the sprints we would ideate, evaluate, and test ideas and prototypes with potential customers. The design sprints were a way for us to fast forward the design process and test lots of ideas early before making any expensive commitments.

After the three sprints we had collected a large amount of feedback and insights which gave us better grasp of what direction to take. At this point we had a rough prototype that we believed in which we continued to develop on.
From here on the team was working in an agile process. My main responsibilities, apart from steering the design process, were the interaction design and the interface design. Further, I took charge of the user research - to iteratively test the design via contextual observations, interviews and user tests.

In order to get more feedback for future development, an MVP of Reason Compact was released in September 2018. The early release was a way for us to make sure we were on the right track and to mitigate risks of building something greater that wouldn’t succeed in the wild. After the release we started to work with user data to gain insights of user behavior within the application.

Since the release in September we have been awarded Apples Editor’s Choice and Apple App of the Day in several countries worldwide. The application is also selected as a demo app for the new iPhone and iPad series in Apple Stores around the world.