Mobile, Product

muve-bannerAndroid & iOS redesign of +2 million user Muve Music app.

From the ashes of failed music startup Beyond Oblivion there came an even more challenging and unique opportunity, by way of an established player in the mobile industry, Leap Wireless (Cricket Mobile). The core team that Beyond had assembled were experts in digital music, having worked for some of the biggest players (Apple, Rhapsody), and due to the implosion of Boinc just before the Christmas holiday, our team just so happened to be free at exactly the moment a similar product—Muve Music—was in the throes of a serious crisis, and desperately needing a plan B.

Leap Wireless developed the Muve Music subscription service for its Cricket Wireless pay-as-you-go mobile carrier. Packaged free of charge with mobile plans, Muve Music was one of the — if not the most — popular music subscription service in the country. The most recent subscriber number was 1.6 million.

In 2012-2013 I was the creative UX director for One Step Beyond Consulting, which was set up to work exclusively for Muve Music, a subsidiary of Cricket Mobile. Our team prototyped and tested new features, brand directions, and radically redefined the UX and visual design of the flagship Android product experience. Cricket (and Muve Music) was purchased by AT&T, which sold the service to Deezer in 2015.

Muve Music had quite an interesting story and background. What began as an experiment incubated within Cricket in order to attempt to move the needle on a few important business metrics, in a short period of time Muve ended up becoming hugely relevant for the company, but with an immediate and unforeseen cost. Because of the speculative nature of such ventures, Muve was never architected to scale properly. Its development had been outsourced to a third party firm, and in order to go to market quickly, they cut corners. As the service became hugely popular, it crippled Cricket’s network infrastructure.

Our team quickly re-assembled under the banner of One Step Beyond, in order to save Muve Music.

While the engineering team rebuilt the infrastructure, the design team worked on a completely new interface for the core app, as well as a new radio feature.

The existing app was functional and popular, but the UI was pretty dated—the original design still had remnants from the flip phone era.

The new Muve 4.0 designs for Android:

The new Muve 4.0 designs for iOS:

Muve Radio Executive Brief

Muve Radio User Research Discussion Guide

I bought this vintage stereo for 50 bucks off Craigslist and outfitted it with Bluetooth. It increased office morale by 8 million percent.


Life at OSB


Check out these additional files:

Muve Radio Executive Brief

Muve Radio Concept Testing Discussion Guide

Muve Radio & Social Card Sort Data

Muve Radio & Social Test Results