Understanding the core journey

Role: Product analyst, User researcher & UX design

What is Boiler Room?

From the outside looking in, Boiler Room may seem like a party centred around a DJ but it is so much more.

“Boiler Room televises underground music as it happens from around the world to a massive online community. By doing so, we create windows into scenes and sounds from every corner of the globe, connecting millions of music heads with the specific music they love. This communal participation has redrawn the map for underground culture and proven that mass audiences now subscribe to alternative choice”

The backstory

Leading the analysis of Boiler Room’s actionable product metrics required sharing findings on a regular basis. Over the course of 3 months the Player referrer metric revealed user’s preference for finding and consuming content via the Explore tab. This was an issue for the following reasons:

  • Product - It implied the core user journey of discovering via Music was ineffective.
  • Content - It implied we were curating content on Music that our users did not want or see value in.
  • Commercial - Commercial partner content relied on users following the core journey to help them meet engagement KPIs.
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Understanding our users

A typeform survey was used as a screener to find users who had a preference for the explore on the mobile app.
The screener was left to brew for 3 days and 18 users were brought in for a conversation on their experience with our app. Through these conversations 3 clear clusters were made evident:

Understanding the user 18 people.png


"How might we better understand the content our users consume to inform a more useful Music home screen"

Dear diary

A diary study was the chosen method used to understand participants as it:

  • Allowed a better understanding of users consumption habits both within and outside the Boiler Room app experience

  • Gave an insight into what scenarios users were in when they consumed music

  • Brought behavioural triggers to to the forefront over the period of the study.

The twist

Due to the high drop off rates associated with diary studies and allocating all the budget to user incentives. WhatApp was chosen as collection hub as it kept users on the device they’d predominantly be using whilst also enabling me to probe and re-engage users with the study.


20 onboarded and committed participants were sent 2 Whatsapp messages for 7 days:

  • 11am - focused on the interesting things you listened to the previous evening, night or night out
  • 5pm - focused on the interesting things you listened to that morning to late evening


Please could you answer the following questions…
What interesting things have you listened to?
What were you doing at the time?
What triggered you to listen to this?
(feel free to mention more than one)

WhatsApp diary study in action


WhatsApp diary study findings.png

Connecting the dots back to Boiler Room

Analysing our current Music homescreen it was clear that it did not cater for users who wanted to “feed themselves” and lacked timely and reactive content for users to be “fed”. I created a list of job stories to help guide the design exploration phase.

Job stories
When I’m fatigued, I want to consume content quickly so that I can focus on other tasks

When I know what content i feel like consuming, I want to find it effortlessly, so that i continue with my work

When i don't necessarily want to listen to music, I want to find interesting content to listen to in the background

When I'm indecisive and want to discover new and existing content, I want to feel as if there’s unlimited content avenues at my disposal, so that i can expand my music knowledge

Design exploration

After a series of sketches these ideas were wireframed

After a series of sketches these ideas were wireframed


Changes made on mobile



The new card ui was implemented on the music and explore screens with the explore/search changes scheduled for Q1 2018. The content team used the ‘Feed me’ and ‘Feed myself’ finding to inform playlist and category curation on the Music homescreen. Analysing the product metrics a month after implementing the new card ui saw an increase in Player referrals from the Music homescreen. However, the referrals from Explore remained stable and led to it being acknowledged as a core journey.