Spectra

App Design - 2018 / 2019
Spectra is a spectrum analyzer app designed for music producers, enabling the opportunity to analyze songs or sounds outside of the studio.
Project Overview.
Self Initiated Project
This project was made for educational purposes only.
The Brief
Identify a problem in one of your daily life activities and present a solution to it by creating a ‘one action’ application.
Responsabilities
  • Research
  • User flow
  • Wireframes
  • Visual Design Direction
  • User Interface Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Animation

The Problem

As a non-professional music producer, I make music in my spare time. As I got more into music production, I began to perceive sounds more visually - It happened to me more than once that I heard a song outside of the studio and I wanted to see what it looks like on the spectrum analyzer, but I was lacking the equipment. Spectrum Analyzer is a tool which allows you to visually see the frequency range of any sound. It is often used in music production for many different purposes, one of them is Referencing - Using spectrum analysis for comparing a reference track to your own mix. The problem is that in order to do so, you usually need to go through 3 stages: Download the reference track, load the track to your DAW (your production software), load a spectrum analyzer plugin to your DAW - Relatively slow and complicated process which is limited only to the studio area.

The Solution

Spectra will enable the opportunity to scan and analyze any song or sound around you with a simple to use, one action application.
App Features.

The Project

Even though it is designed primarily for music producers, the app is very simple to use, so basically anyone can use it. By pressing the button on the home screen, the app will scan any song around you and will show you its spectrum analysis alongside its peak levels and rms values, enabling the opportunity to see how your favourite songs look like - anywhere, anytime. Additionally, the app offers a ‘Live spectrum’ feature, which allows you to analyse any sound in real time.

Goals

Making music production more fun and engaging by allowing fast and mobile access to analyze any song, thus encouraging creativity and innovation among its users.
Mood-Board  - A collection of VST plugins.

The target users

The main target users of Spectra are young professional & non-professional music producers between the ages of 18-30. These users have a strong preference for fast, real-time actions, as they always look for new plug-ins, apps and features that can help them with the music production process.

Research Findings

I conducted user interviews with a group of professional & non-professional music producers who had previously used one or more spectrum analyzer apps. I learned from them that there’s a few spectrum analyzer apps out there, but they only provide a real-time analyzing feature - which means it can only analyse live sounds, but it cannot detect a specific song and show you its specs. When it comes to referencing a song, you want to get the most accurate results as possible, so using a real-time analyzer wouldn't be the best choice - not only that the microphones on standard mobile phones aren't good enough, the results you’ll receive will vary due to your distance from the sound source. To put it short, a real-time analyzer shows a live analysis of a certain sound, instead of the full ‘picture’ of a song - so it is not very useful when it comes to referencing. Spectra on the other hand, allows the opportunity to choose between detecting and analyzing an entire song, or using a real-time analyzer, while it doesn't rely on any technical or recording capabilities.
Here are the two main features that seems to be missing from spectrum analyzer apps according to the music producers I interviewed:
  • A song detector which analyzes the full picture of a song, showing its name alongside its analysis.
  • History feature which shows you the songs and sounds you've analyzed.
Quotes from my research study text group:
  • “I mainly used the app to analyze certain songs I heard outside the studio. The problem is that it wasn't accurate enough. I also kept forgetting which song it was, and I also couldn't remember how its specifications looked like.”
  • “ I think it could be very useful if one of the spectrum analyzer apps included a song detector that can give you the specs of the entire track, in addition to the real-time analyzer”.

Wireframing

One of the earliest stages of the project. My goal was to ensure that the content and functionality of the app are positioned correctly according to the user needs.
Icon Design.

Visual Design

My focus was on having a simple and minimal visual design in order to create a comfortable and efficient user experience.
Logo Design
The inspiration for the logo design came from frequency waves. The name of the app is 'Specra', that is why the icon consists of the letters "S" and "A" (Also stands for Spectrum Analyzer), representing a frequency wave.
Colors
I wanted to create a sense of creativity, innovation and professionalism. When it comes to color psychology, creativity is most often associated with the color purple.

Final UI

The final design is a simple, easy to use one action interface, in which users can easily navigate through.

Outcome

As a result of this experience, I learned that when designing a new product, it is vitally important to conduct in-depth and comprehensive research in the early stages of the project, as it helps things move smoothly later on in the process.

Want to get in touch?
Drop me a line!

I usually respond within a few hours.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.