Radio for the modern listener
Reinventing a radio aggregation app to encourage exploration, learning and interaction.
Radio.de is Germany’s favourite online radio aggregation service and brings together content from over 20,000 radio stations worldwide. Radio.de came to Fjord with a brief to create new visual design concepts that would freshen up the look and feel of the user interface. We took this brief as a starting point, but went on to propose a more radical solution and reimagined the user experience.
Through our research, we discovered listening habits had changed significantly and people are looking for much more freedom and choice. So, at work, they might listen to music because they don’t want the distraction of radio; or they might listen to a radio programme with voiceover in the taxi. We saw an opportunity to go beyond simple aggregation of terrestrial radio and allow for flexibility and interaction of content that was more fitting for a user-centred service.
Initially, because we went so far beyond the original brief, Radio.de were reluctant. But, they quickly embraced our more ambitious vision. They realised there was an opportunity to create something that would be flexible enough to meet the increasingly fluid expectations of their listeners. By challenging Radio.de at an early stage and collaborating regularly, we quickly built their trust.
Mapping the World, station by station
Once Radio.de were on board, we kicked off the project with a user research phase. This meant interviewing Radio.de’s current listeners, as well as users of rival music streaming platforms and radio aggregators. The insights we picked up helped to identify the project’s guiding principles and the key areas of focus.
Next, we embarked on the design phase. One of the most important goals was that the search function should become much more user friendly. Before our redesign, Radio.de simply returned results based on the closest match: type… submit… result.
We proposed that not only should search be live – as I type the results appear – but they should also be categorised (stations, podcasts, artists, language etc.). We believed this would help show the breadth of stations and allow variation and exploration of search terms. It would also enable and support the user to input more natural search queries, as they become aware of the power of the system.
Simple but smart
We set out to create a radio aggregation service that would reflect modern content streaming habits, while offering a more authentic and human experience for the user. The result is a modern platform, which can expand to support the listening habits of existing users and old.
The clean and clever user interface design, along with the optimised search function, allows the site to seamlessly bring together thousands of stations and programmes across the globe. It opens up the listener to a wealth of content, in a simple and delightful way and allows the user to access it freely on their own terms.
Radio.de’s more human approach to encouraging exploration, is a modern approach to radio aggregation and one that sits perfectly around the user’s busy and multi-platform existence. As a result of our work, Radio.de has already looked to expand the offering and additional apps are in the pipeline for both Android and iOS and is currently updating their website based on the newest user research results.