Aawaz, audio platform for Indian languages.
Product and Design
Aawaz.com is an audio on demand platform that offers a diverse range of professionally produced content in vernacular languages. With a wide variety of podcasts, chat shows, and interviews available across multiple genres, the platform provided consumers with unparalleled access to rich, culturally relevant audio content.
The platform was built in-house at Agrahyah, with countless hours of user research put in to create a platform that is intuitive and user-friendly, with a focus on providing an immersive audio experience. Aawaz also opened up the floor for brands to reach out to a highly engaged audience with targeted advertising that is seamlessly integrated into the content.
While I initially came on board to identify and fix minor UX concerns in the app, a major overhaul was planned for it, which entailed a complete visual and experiential refresh, plus an integration of English content and UI, and I took up the task of redesigning it.
Business and User Value
The initial version of the app had been well met in terms of content and conversions, but since it was an early prototype, the UX was lacking. Additionally, the first iteration of the app was built with only a Hindi-speaking demographic in mind, and this update adapted English shows and app experience, while also bringing in a slew of new quality-of-life features like a recommendation engine, a variety of content types, a more powerful media player, subscription management and enhanced categorization.
The app was built with a non-English speaking audience in mind
Managing subscriptions and downloads was important for a price-conscious and storage-conscious userbase
Ideation and Design
The update aimed to enhance the overall user experience of the app, while also aligning its UI with the latest market standards and requirements. This was a challenging task given the existing Hindi audience, which meant that the update had to cater to both regular and vernacular users. To achieve this, every new feature was subjected to rigorous validation and testing to ensure that it struck the right balance between the two user groups. Additionally, every aspect of the UI, right from colour selection to microengagements, was carefully considered so as to feel familiar for every user.
One sprint in particular stood out to the team, because of its unusual development. The product and design teams were tasked with adding a set of QoL features to the app to increase stickiness and reduce friction for the userbase. Data showed us that a large majority of our listeners were coming to the platform for devotional and spiritual content.
We conducted some field interviews, and found that this content had a particular approach to listening, and was repeated a certain auspicious number of times, as opposed to the standard ‘repeat once or repeat forever’ approach. Users had to keep a count of the number of times it had to be played, and that caused distraction from their primary tasks as Aawaz went on in the background. Two days of wireframing led to the unique repeat future that Aawaz has, which offers ‘auspicious repeat’ in addition to the standard repeat options when devotional content is playing.
Aawaz let users devotional repeat content an auspicious number of times, in addition to standard repeat options
The redesign of Aawaz had a significant impact on the platform. Within two weeks of the update, there was a 20% increase in daily active users. Post-implementation user research was overwhelmingly positive, indicating that the new features and UI were well-received by users. The improved handoff process also led to significantly faster development times. Additionally, the redesign resulted in a 54% uptick in average streaming time within the first month, indicating that users were engaging with the content for longer periods of time.
Aawaz.com was a product that had already been scaled and relied heavily on taking a backseat to the content offering. Learning how to design a product that worked at scale, catered to two very varying demographics in one UI, and stayed helpful but minimal as it allowed the content to shine through was a fascinating experience, and has given me some key insights along its lifecycle.