overview

Apple Music Visualizer is a new feature in Apple Music that translates music into visuals for the deaf and hard of hearing.

focus

User Research & Experience, Concepting, Prototyping, Motion

team

Single Project

Duration

3.5 months

There are 466 million people in the world with disabling hearing loss.
And it’s challenging for them to enjoy and understand songs.

Research

Competitor Analysis

User Research

In a survey, I asked people if they think they'll feel more connected to music if they visually saw it. And the results were:

76% yes
16% maybe

Interviews

It was hard to find my target audience in real life. So I reached out to them on Instagram using the hashtags #deaf #deafcommunity and asked questions.

Christopher

Hard of hearing

• I listen to music every single day. It’s plays a huge role in my life. It’s one of the few things that keeps me in my zone.

• The videos do help understand what the music is exactly about than my imagination.

• I use to use hearing aids but I got tired of the constant need of replacing them when they get dirty.

Lea

Hearing, ASL Music Interpreter

• The most important thing is to understand and interpret the context of a song.

• I think that everyone has their own way to interpret music.

RAQUEL

Hard of hearing at birth, currently deaf

• If the music isn’t playing on my iPhone, it’s definitely the vibrations.

• I just got a new cochlear implant recently where it connects the music I play on my iPhone directly into my cochlear, Bluetooth. I’ve been able to enjoy music now like never before. I appreciate it more because I can hear it directly.

• But if there are no lyrics, I love the vibrations of the instruments.

Insights

These are the insights that emerged most frequently throughout my research.

Videos with lyrics are helpful and help build connections

Some people can hear certain pitches

Understanding the context of the song is key

Everyone has their own way of interpreting a song

Some people may not know sign language

Vibrations play a crucial role

Userflow

I. Enable/disable in Settings

Apple already has its own system for accessibility. With a simple addition to the hearing section under Accessibility, you can easily enable Apple Music Visualizer.

II. Inside Apple Music

Out of the 5 areas inside iPhone’s Apple Music, the hearing ability test will take place in the  ‘For You' section for the first time users.

After the user takes the test, the original ‘For You' features will return and users will be able to change the visualizer settings.

'For You'
'Visualizer Settings'

Wireframes

Features

Turn it on easily.

Easily turn on and off Apple Music Visualizer in Accessibility Settings.

Test your hearing ability.

Take the hearing ability test to inform yourself as well as Apple Music, and let it handle it from there.

Watch the lyrics.

Watch the sign language.

Visual Examples

Case Study

Hello, I'm Yewon— an empathic problem solver who wants to leave a meaningful mark while having FUN.

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Made with tears and laughter by Yewon Shin