Developing the symphony for new generations
The Oakland Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition of excellence in classical music. Unfortunately, the audience demographics have been aging. In order to provide continued relevance in the community for many years to come, the Oakland Symphony Orchestra is looking to attract a younger generation, primarily millennials, to its performances.
- Trevor Daunt - Jamison Roe - Nicole Cagampan - Diana Chow -
Music and you
In order to get the best view of our proposed user base we began by interviewing millennials in the Bay Area. In our initial round of interviews, my team and I talked to 14 people aged 18-30. We then synthesized the data from these interviews by affinity mapping the key points and user statements.
Why should I care?
As we began to understand our users we discovered some of the things keeping millennials from attending the symphony. There were some key misconceptions, such as tickets being hundreds of dollars and proper attire always involving tuxes and evening gowns. But most importantly, millennials didn’t see how the experience of going to the symphony applied to their lives.
What do I know?
Our team came together and focused on how we could bridge the gap between millennials and the Symphony. After many rounds of ideation and prioritization our team focused on bringing millennials to the symphony through events and activities that were adjacent to things they already did. From those conversations Movie Night, famous movies with live orchestrated scores, and Diner & a Symphony, were born.
We began testing a split home screen prototype in order to find out how prospective users would relate to the proposed solutions. After a few quick iterations and more user testing we found some of our users showing interest in Diner & a Symphony but the vast majority of our users were drawn to Movie Night. While the team really liked the idea of Dinner & a Symphony we decided to prioritize Movie Night for our MVP.
A Digital World
Having decided to prioritize Movie Night after our user testing sessions, the team focused on creating a tapable mobile prototype of the Movie Night concept and user acquisition flow. First prototype lovingly crafted, we headed out once more unto our users. Lessons were learned.
While our first test reaffirmed our belief that using common design paradigms such as the iOS action sheet icon would help our users navigate our app, every tester thereafter expressed some kind of confusion around using the iOS action sheet icon to share with their friends.
No one reads your intro
Another surprising discovery considering how often introductory slides are used in applications these days was that not a single one of our millennial testers bothered to read our introductory slides either swiping through as fast as possible or skipping it all together.
Bridging the gap, take 2, higher Fidelity
After the failure of the introductory slides. We iterated and decided to focus clearer interactions and Movie Night trailers as the best way to bridge the gap in initial understanding of the application.
Continuation of product
While the majority of our interviews and test group had iPhones, we don’t want to leave Android users out in the cold. We began to envision what the application would look like with material UI but would have to go further before release.
When testing with millennials we found a lot of excitement. There was also some initial confusion around the Movie Night concept. The idea of watching a movie at the symphony went against most millennials’ mental model but after a few seconds of hopping around the application almost everyone understood and loved the idea. During testing we heard positive quotes such as “Wow, that looks awesome”, “That would be an awesome date idea”, and “I wish this was a real app”. I would love to delve deeper into the initial period of confusion with the Movie Night concept and see what if any additional affordances would bridge that gap faster but the reactions of our testers lead me to believe that our design project is a resounding success.