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  • Role: Role: Design Lead | Visual Design

It’s More Than Just a Radio Station

KEXP is not just a radio station. It is an experience. On the air, online, and on the streets – KEXP has built a multi-channel approach to music that has created a cult following around the world. This multi-channel approach extends to the online experience as well. Over the years, KEXP has gathered a huge catalog of high quality content in numerous formats – video, photography, and streaming music. Unfortunately, KEXP currently has a fractured online experience making it difficult for listeners to find unique content in the various formats.

How do we create a multi-channel strategy that promotes discovery and exploration?

Understanding the KEXP Brand

Before I could begin crafting this multi-channel approach for KEXP, I needed to better understand KEXP as a brand. Who are their listeners? What differentiates KEXP from other radio stations?

I kicked off the project with a few lengthy meetings with the Music Director. These face-to-face meeting were important to getting the project off on the right foot. We had multiple site visits where I had a chance to meet with DJs, online marketing and other key stakeholders to better understand their values and desires for the project. I was fortunate enough to watch musicians in the live studio, giving me a sense of the intimacy of the space.

So, who are the listeners of KEXP radio?

  • Well-educated working professionals
  • High disposable income
  • Ages range in the 20s, 30s, and 40s
  • Avid music listeners
  • Tach-savvy

Fractured Online Experience

As I began to dig deeper into the vast library of content that KEXP offered its listeners, it immediately became clear that the radio station had a problem. High quality content was spread over multiple channels, leaving their listeners with the burden of a fractured online experience. Flickr housed a countless number of unique photo sessions from the 500+ live in-studio performances held every year at KEXP. YouTube held a curated catalog of live performances from all over the Pacific Northwest. KEXP.com added daily streaming of curated playlists and DJ favorites.

These separate channels amounted to an impressive collection of unique and intimate performances. I was tasked with created an application that could connect all of the channels into an immersive collection of content that would promote exploration and artist discovery. With Microsoft as a partner, this application would be used as a centerpiece of the newly established Windows 8 app store – showing the flexibility of the platform.

Creating a Multi-channel Content Strategy

With all of this research and information at hand, I set out to design a unique and memorable experience for the KEXP listeners. I wanted the application to create an emotional connection to the artists and their music through the combination of intimate live performances and beautiful photography. Bringing the on-air experience into the application through live music streaming and DJ comments would help to integrate the multi-channel content strategy into one cohesive application.

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Wireframe displaying the main hub of the application.

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Wireframe of all content related to the Artist of the Day.

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Wireframe of the main hub view in desktop large format mode.

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