Previously launched in 2008 as Turkey’s first music search engine, fizy quickly gained global popularity and won a Mashable Award in 2011. Due to copyright infringements and legal rights services, it was blocked in Turkey and later acquired by Turkcell and was changed to a different subscription model under Turkcell Music name.
While Turkcell Music became one of Turkcell’s major digital products shortly afterwards, it was announced that fizy would soon return, and Turkcell’s all music services would be branded under fizy name, something everyone was missing of.
My agency, Lemonat also designed Turkcell Music long before fizy, shortly after I joined I was tasked with redesigning of Turkcell Music, which later was decided to be renamed to fizy which I believed would be a great opportunity for me to improve my skills both as a product designer and a UX researcher.
As mentioned before, app had a new name. But not just that - a new logo, a new visual world, a new communication. While we were a digital studio, we also wanted to contribute to this visual design and brand aspects of communication. This evolving change led us also consistently changing our assumptions pre-design or design schedules.
Biggest challenge were re-establishing an app with an audience while gaining new and “old fanbase”, and setting balance between previous user experiences and new features. This was not just a facelift, this was also an opportunity to set better instinctive behaviours, and build a better product.
Even though previous brand was centered about being domestically focus, what we had in our hands was a brand looking forward to global market, both mentally and visually. So we had to do everything proper this time and convinced client to help it making so. We sparred no expanse timewise, started on an already existing app structure but also building fundamentals from scratch -from establishing current issues to planning informational architecture of app.
Briefly after laying out current functions and screens, we built wireframes on those existing ones, created new, and modfied few along the way. One of bigger things app missed were states and contextual directions. Over 30 of 200+ those wireframes were implemented to provide users a more better experience on states or problems. Shortly after we needed to creat a workflow, both for helping everyone on project to see a better view and defining key interactions repeated or slightly altered to help app run smoothly.
Before getting into visualization of any sort, we were handed with new brand logo and fonts -Gotham Rounded from Hoefler & Co. While Gotham Rounded visually explained new face of brand in both digital and printed works just fine, we needed some alternative typeset in cases GoRounded fell short. We also had to establish some colorbase to primary yellow and black colors in logo itself.
While for interface, GoRounded was enough with even just two weights, our supplementary fonts were required for anything else we might do in near future. Some of them were: playilst covers, moods, genre covers, exclusive contents or custom websites for promotional resources. Our visual work wasn't just about interaction design, it had everything with fizy needed.
While desiging app, we were to work with development team over at Turkcell. While both teams assisting and working to the full potentials, we also evolved. We had to. Circumstances changed, even many features were dropped out because of some timebased limitations, but we still tried to add others. We always had to come up with quick and stronger solutions to issues that were presented during internal test.
Even though few sentences wouldn't explain the effort or up and downs behind months of work, project design and development went smoothly. Even that client expressed it came as a surprise on a such large scale of time (6 months) and a larger scale of content. And even if any number were to indicate otherwise after launch, we were glad how app shipped in form of a well-deserved global approach of things.
One thing to add to this case besides in-app content was exclusive and promoted content both pre-launch and post-launch. Such content were usually advertised through Turkcell's mobile network channels and social media. It had a large variety; from exclusive live concert streams to timely exclusive album launches of country's lead artists and bands.
One of difficulties were to both keep a visual connection between pre and post states of app on this exclusive content. While some were basicly demo music sites that played 30 seconds of in-app content (well, songs), others were mostly to promote websites that run inside app designed in a mobile-first manner.
As mentioned before, we were set to build a brand. This wouldn't happen without analyzing what we saw a big part of visual communication of fizy: Artworks. While first of features were to add a promotional banner area in home screen to promote content, we designed standards and exceptions of upcoming content design. We introduced a programmable standardizated way of promoting album covers and playlist covers.
But we wouldn't have gone without improving another part: fizy exclusive playlist artworks. To this day there's around 7k built over last 4 years. It was a long road but we had to start somewhere; categorizing any content curated in contextual ways. We started with day-themed arts, established a ground design for "Best of Artists" theme, fizy branded moods, holiday/seasonal playlists.
On 15th of December, fizy 6.0 launched on iOS platforms and a week later on Android. Due to marketing purposes there were only a brief social media announcement. However impact was far more bigger than anticipitated increasing every statistic on app usage. Majority of feedback were so positive that app received its highest rating on both platforms since first version.
Many of post-launch feedback marked problems related to software development or time based limitations. What is planned and was not in there were put under development to be included in next major updates for next year. This great success even led to planning of launching fizy on other platforms such as tvOS and desktop platforms.