Helping OD2 develop a new product in the music downloading market

OD2 is the world’s leading white-label downloading service powering branded services like MSN Music. In partnership with Hewlett Packard OD2 wished to understand the opportunity for generating downloads and stimulating CD labelling by providing an online labelling tool

In-context experience research and concept testing

We conducted in-home research where participants took us on ‘tours’ of their music devices and CDs and told us the stories behind the music they’d acquired, the compilations and playlists they’d created and the CDs they burned and labelled. We then introduced participants to a prototype burning and labelling tool and explored their potential use of this in the context of the stories they’d told us.

Modelling the music experience

Our analysis of the data enabled us to develop a framework model to describe the key components of the music experience and how they relate to the medium – digital or CD. The model would help us see how the implementation of a tool to support compiling, burning and labelling could influence the digital―CD balance in OD2 and HP’s favour.

Three opportunity areas the tool could support

We identified three opportunity areas based on scenarios we observed in research. Mark and list is what people do when they create a compilation CD for use in their car or perhaps for a party. For this a tool needs to be as quick and easy as handwriting with a CD pen. Album authenticity refers to people’s craving to own the authentic item – when they buy an album. Here the authentic look of the label is crucial. Unique presentation refers to the way people create original compilation CDs as gifts or mementos, or to showcase their work. Professional finish is important combined with the ability to make the label unique and relevant both to the content and recipient. These opportunity areas each had their own implications for functionality and ease of use as the tool was developed. Towards the end of the process we conducted lab-based usability testing of the tool known as Tattoo Studio to identify final refinements before launch.

What OD2 had to say about the research and opportunity mapping process

"The insights we gained from new experience’s research, analysis and usability testing have been invaluable in helping us develop and refine this exciting product. new experience was very responsive to our needs throughout the project delivering work of the highest quality in a very tight timescale." Jane Dillon, Head of Ergonomics, Royal Mail