Project Description of Rifftime
Rifftime is an online community for musicians and their fans. The site was built to give musicians a space to sell their music and video lessons as an additional revenue stream after their touring days were over. The investors behind Rifftime wanted to enable musicians to keep more of their profit than they did from other channels. They also wanted to give musicians more control over the rights to their music. The investors envisioned Rifftime doing those things and also connecting fans to the artists and increasing exposure for smaller artists who couldn't get their music onto major platforms.
My Role for Rifftime
I conducted brainstorming sessions and interviewed stakeholders. I performed and conducted extensive competitive research. I developed the user experience strategy and Information architecture. I crafted user flows and wireframes. I provided art direction, managed the visual design and developer coordination.
Users of Rifftime
Musicians of every genre and their fans. People interested in exploring new music or video lessons.
Challenge for Rifftime
There were existing products in the market that we would be competing with so understanding the competition and designing a solution that was financially attractive to artists was paramount.
Another challenge was that most of the musicians had little to know knowledge of current internet technology. The site had to be easy for them to learn and to be able to run their own “store” mostly independently.
The project goal was to design and develop a website to provide additional revenue streams for artists who may be aging out of touring and looking to continue making money on their catalog and skills. Site would also allow music fans to find new music and learn from skilled musicians through video lessons.
Below are wireframes I created to detail out features and functionality. These wireframes were part of a 30-screen design weekly design review to ensure the cross-functional team (program manager, front-end and back-end engineering) had input and clarity on the direction of such a complex product. These design reviews were critical to raise questions early and encourage engineering to investigate methods of implementation, then come back with proposed solutions. The evolving wireframes kept all members of the team engaged and having ownership over the product. I've learned this is critical to building a great product.
Solution for Rifftime
We developed a complex ecommerce site where buyers could purchase music and lessons which had been created and uploaded by musicians all over the world – creating a bridge between artists and fans. On the other side, for the artists, we built tools for them to market their music and lessons, events, and sell merchandise.
The site and app launched with hundreds of musicians on board who had created stores and were selling their music and lessons. It was purchased a year later by an investor whose pet project it had been, providing Series B funding to the Company for future ventures.
The site is still in operation today at www.rifftime.com though it has gone through a few design and feature iterations since purchase.