Hum

Hum remembers songs you’ve heard in restaurants or on the radio so you don’t have to.

Made with Sketch, Illustrator and After Effects

Personal Project

Year: 2019

Platform: iOS and Android App

The Problem

The idea for the app was born from my frustration of having to always ask Siri what a song was called when I heard a song I liked on my friends radio or in a restaurant. The issue with having to do this is it requires taking my phone out, asking Siri what the song is titled, then once it is found I either have to take a screenshot to remember the song or immediately go add it to my Apple Music library. That is a lot of work just to remember the song and I would find myself getting caught up in the song sometimes and forgetting to search for it, leading to frustration later. If I did remember I would end up missing part of the song which I also didn’t like.

The Solution

The best way to solve this problem is to have an app that is always listening for music you may be hearing and storing it for you in the app. This is Hum.

Research

When beginning my design process for Hum, I looked at other song recognition apps to see what they offered. Shazam and SoundHound both needed the user to open the app and then tap a button to start scanning the song playing. They then would save the song into a history tab. Both apps also allowed the user to search for other songs within the app. All songs could be opened in a separate music streaming service. Snapchat also allows users to scan songs, however, it will only show the title and prompt the user to open the song in the user’s music service app.

Using what I learned from studying other apps, I started work on Hum. The user’s needed to feel comfortable using the app and not overwhelmed. They needed to feel like the app had their back in the quest to remember the amazing music they had heard.

For the logo, I chose to create a custom typeface made from geometric shapes with rounded corners to convey a sense of friendliness. The light blue color adds to this concept by giving the letters a calming quality. I chose Hum as the name for the app by thinking about what people did when trying to remember a song.

I started sketching what I thought the user interface for the app should function like by creating wireframes.

The user interface is designed to be lightweight to get the user directly to the music they are searching for. The bright colors and geometric Roboto typeface further the calming nature of the app.

Immediately upon opening the app the user is presented with a list of songs they have been exposed to organized with the latest at the top making it easy to find a song they may have just heard but didn’t have time to take their phone out.

The user can preview a song to make sure that it is the correct one and then quickly add it to their music library or to a certain playlist without laving the app so they can keep looking through the music they have heard without jumping back and forth between apps. The song can also be opened up directly in the music app to provide the user with even more flexibility.

What Didn’t Work

I created many different versions of the logo trying to find one that conveyed the idea of the app. Many were too complex and wouldn’t translate well if they needed to be shrunk down or changed to monochrome. These are the different versions for the logo I created.

Some other features I tried adding to the app were a playlist creation feature and a search feature. However,  these additions made the app too complicated for the simple goal I wanted to achieve with the app. Plus if I wanted to find other music I would just search for it in Apple Music directly than having to search in one app then open it in another. That experience seems too disjointed for me. These are some unfinished screens that I used to test my idea.

What I Learned

Throughout the course of designing this concept I taught myself Sketch and added to my knowledge of Illustrator and After Effects. I became more aware of the design process and critical thinking to decide what features needed to be in my app and what could be left out. I focused on the customer first to make sure their experience would be effortless.

Conclusion

Hum solves the frustration of always having to initiate the search for a song title. Hum is your best friend when remembering music with its intuitive user experience and calming user interface. So next time you are trying to remember a songfest Hum it!

Toby Everett © 2019