Boiler Room

iOS concept

Overview

Boiler Room is an online music platform broadcasting live music sessions from around the world. This project is my attempt to rethink how the Boiler Room iOS app approaches search, discovery, and content organisation.

The Problem

Producing an average of 30+ shows per month in 100 cities worldwide, Boiler Room has a significant catalogue of audio and video content available to users. Despite being an avid follower of Boiler Room's YouTube channel I felt the experience within the app (particularly content organisation, search, and music discovery) could be improved in order to help Boiler Room "connect millions of music heads with the music they love".

Boiler Room is a global online music broadcasting platform commissioning and streaming live music sessions around the world.

Organising Content

Content on Boiler Room is broadcast via four channels, each focusing on different genres of music:

1) Grime, UK garage & Worldly Club Sounds
2) House & Techno
3) Rap, Trap and Soulful Rhythms
4) Live bands

The app currently uses icons to differentiate between channels. In order to make it easier for users to differentiate between genres when browsing, each channel was given a unique colour scheme to create clearer visual links between styles of music for the user.

Each channel was given a bold colour scheme to create visual cues, and help categorise content within the app

Splashes of colour are used throughout the app to signify which channel the content belongs to

Discovery

Boiler Room is a great way to discover new music - whether it's upcoming DJs, emerging genres, or underground acts you just hadn't heard of.

Currently the app presents content in a chronological feed, with the latest videos being shown at the top. Although this is good for established users who regularly follow Boiler Room, it makes it harder for new users to get started with the app. The lack of 'popularity signifiers', obvious video descriptions, and music recommendations means that a new user's first experience with the app is essentially a trial-and-error process until they find an artist or video they like.

By splitting the channel feed into 'trending' and 'latest', popular content can be highlighted at the top of the screen - reducing search time for more casual users and providing a quicker entry point to streaming content. Videos from sponsored events and brand collaborations could also be spotlighted here for additional exposure (and therefore additional $ for Boiler Room).

The current channel feed...

... with video descriptions hidden within the player screen

Updated channel feed showing 'trending' and 'latest' videos

Content is organised into cards, with a clear description to help users find music they'll like

Search

Similar to the page structure of the channel feeds, Boiler Room's search screen seems to be aimed at more established users. The lack of suggested search categories means that a user needs to have an existing knowledge of the Boiler Room archive in order to avoid empty search results.

The search screen offers a valuable opportunity to help users discover new music within the app. By guiding users with categories such as 'popular genres' and by offering pre-made curated playlists, Boiler Room can help users navigate their extensive library in a manageable way.

This tweak in how content is presented to users (supported by the proven quality of Boiler Room's curators) will subtly re-position BR as a more streaming-oriented app, and a viable 'underground' alternative to platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud.

Boiler Room's search as it is now

Updated search screen, with curated playlists making it easier to get listening ASAP

Popular genres reduces the mental load for users, who may not know what to search for from Boiler Room's archive

Channel colours are used as visual cues to help users categorise search results

This case study is purely conceptual and is not affiliated with the company presented.