User Needs

PressUp Group plays host to dozens of live music acts each week. As such they have become a staple to the local music scene. They want to add some structure to gig planning, while providing a place for musicians to get recognised. They imagine an app that behaves like a “linkedin-lite for local music”. Bands can sign up to a profile to upload music, and fill out their gigging experience and CV. Venue owners can book bands from this profile and provide praise to bands who deliver a great show. An additional, bonus feature of this solution would be when a venue has booked-out night, a portal page is available to the public for purchasing tickets for that gig. Bands would then get a proportional cut of the ticket sales, and front of house staff would have a guest-list to fast track some people into the venue.

From the above brief I can identify two to three potential Users of such an app. As my primary focus would be designing a digital networking system for musicians, music bookers and venues to see each other and link up, they would be my key Users that I will be conducting my research on. The tertiary User would be the gig attendee, who could buy tickets on the bonus feature. I have previously worked for a music venue myself, as a Graphic Designer so I have some awareness of how gigs are organised but I have decided to conduct a few interviews with some friends to gain further insight into the industry to pin down the exact needs, frustrations and suggestions to make gig-planning easier. Here are the interviews that I have conducted (please open link to read PDF):

Conall, 38, Music Booker & Venue Promoter

Oisin, 26, Part-Time Session Musician

Eoin, 28, Part-Time DJ, Funky Uncle
Funky Uncle Soundcloud

Singer Songwriter, 34

In a deeper analysis of these interviews, I have listed out the Needs and Frustrations of a Musician and a Venue / Booker:

MUSICIAN

Needs:

  • Open communication with venue / bookers
  • Ability to network with fellow musicians and venue / bookers. Has to be community-based and music as focus
  • Platform to showcase audio portfolio
  • Reel-based showcase of music
  • Higher threshold for hiring an agent
  • Ability to escape locality
  • Getting digital press packs to venue / bookers
  • Positive reviews to boost credibility

Frustrations:

  • Inability to prove credibility as a budding artist
  • Impersonal communications with venue / booker
  • Difficulty knowing the network of a different locality
  • (Over-) emphasis on networking and going out to meet the right people
  • Social media platforms not music focused
  • Need to know how to use online presence to promote yourself
  • Proving online credibility
  • Ignorance from venue / bookers
  • Difficulty establishing a base for professional relationship
  • Effective music-based platforms such as MySpace losing traction
  • Online transparency of reviews between musicians and bookers
  • Inability to share review of venues with musician peers
  • Inability to see credibility of a venue, especially if it is outside your locality
  • Avoiding spamming venues with requests
  • Difficulty getting venue / bookers to listen to your music
  • Too much negativity online

VENUE / BOOKER

Needs:

  • More effective communication with musicians
  • All of the community has to be on the same platform
  • Big database of musicians on the same platform
  • App has to be quick and easy to use (easier than traditional way of research and networking)
  • Option to browse genre-specific
  • Visibility of musicians’ availability (ie. tour calendar)
  • Mobile device responsive
  • To be connected to as much information as possible of the bands such as SM links, videos etc. (press kit)

Frustrations:

  • Too much back and forth on emails
  • Logistical needs of a gig ie. dates, venues, what’s needed, equipment
  • Acts dropping out at the last minute and the need to fill in the slots
  • Too many digital platforms
  • Being spammed by unrelated or inexperience musicians

Based on these interviews, I have generated a User Profile and Empathy Map of each persona – Musician and Venue (please open image in new tab to read):

User Profile – Raoul
Empathy Map – Raoul
User Profile – Conall
Empathy Map – Conall