Spotify Groups


Interaction Design


Spotify PNZ


Cornell Tech


This project was created in collaboration with the Personalization Unit (PNZ) at Spotify, the world’s leading audio streaming platform. The mission of the PNZ unit is to create a personalized user experience for listeners and artists and to build a customized and engaging platform that provides a unique value for subscribers.

My role as one of the two product designers on the team was to conduct user research, curate the ideation process, and develop and design user flows, wireframes, interaction models, high-fidelity prototypes, as well as client facing presentations – all of the above according to Spotify’s design guidelines.














Daren Gill
Senior Director of PNZ



We conducted a series of preliminary user interviews to identify the main pain points users experience with Spotify. These interviews helped us determine potential interventions that aligned with the PNZ’s vision of reimagining users’ audio experience, and reducing frictions with Spotify products.

In our first design sprint, we evaluated the research outcomes and developed four proposals, which included a filtering engine for Spotify’s Liked Songs playlist; a group feature that enabled users to share audio content with each other; a radio-like audio experience with locally curated content; as well as interactive questionnaires, allowing users to proactively share feedback on recommended audio content.

A proposal for an analytics and filtering engine to tidy up the “Liked Songs” playlist, and enhance discovery.
A proposal for a social environment connecting users in groups to enhance shared music discovery among peers that laid the basis for the Groups feature.
A proposal for a radio feature with an interactive experience, actual hosts, and locally currated content.
A proposal for interactive questionnaires that allow users to proactively give feedback on suggested audio content.


In collaboration with Spotify stakeholders, the team conducted an evaluation session to assess the suggested proposals. For this, we created an evaluation matrix to rate our concepts with regard to Spotify’s principle business objectives: The number of monthly active users, strategic importance, new user growth potential, as well as technical scalability and feasibility. Ultimately, we settled on the Groups Feature, which met objectives for both user experience and business growth.

A evaluation matrix that the team used to asses all of their proposals.


We next conducted additional user interviews and focused on Spotify’s current social features. In particular, we were interested in how users were utilizing these features and what problems and limitations they encountered while using them.

One key finding was that users trust recommendations of their personal networks over those of Spotify. Users were also very interested in the audio content consumed by their social environment and desired new ways to explore it. Furthermore, the sharing and collaborative curation of playlists, which is already enabled by Spotify, is heavily used by users, but they expressed a desire to make those playlists easier to maintain.

A list of key findings the team derived from research.


Spotify Groups is a novel social environment that allows users to create groups and share audio content among them. Furthermore, Spotify Groups provides users with group-specific audio content curated by Spotify that is based on algorithmic analyses of the users’ individual taste profiles and collective personalization algorithms. In that way, Spotify Groups diversifies the individual listening experience of users and provides new avenues for the discovery of content, and also incorporates the social components to increase user’s trust in Spotify’s recommendations.

The Groups feature lives within the user library and consist of three main features: The Group Feed enables users to share audio contents with other group members and to engage in group conversations. The Group Charts are based on collective personalization algorithms and provide users with an overview on the group’s top songs, artists, albums, and playlists. Lastly, the Group Members list allows for more granular insights into individual taste profiles of all group members.

An information architecture showing how the Groups feature is integrated into Spotify's system architecture.A persona describing a generic but representative user that helped the team to define a list of features needed for Spotify groups. A flow of wireframes showing how users can create a group in Spotify and invite their friends to it.A flow chart showing the different ways that users can share audio content in Spotify groups.A flow of wireframes showing how users can share audio content to groups in Spotify


The last step consisted of transforming our wireframes into high-fidelity designs. Critical to this process  were Spotify’s brand guidelines. In an elaborate process, we analyzed the platform’s current UI and systematically developed our new user interfaces to ensure a seamless visual integration into Spotify’s architecture.

A flow of high-fidelity design screens showing how users can create groups in Spotify and invite their friends.A flow of high-fidelity design screens showing all features of Spotify groups, like the group's feed, the charts, and member list.A flow of high-fidelity design screens showing how users can share audio content to groups in Spotify

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