UX Awards Submission | Mobile Design

A mobile application that allows users to explore the DNA of a song with a single tap.


Ted Talk: How Sampling transformed Music by Mark Ronson

All of a sudden, artists could sample from anything and everything that came before them. We heard it, we wanted to be a part of it, and all of a sudden we found ourselves in possession of the technology to do so. We live in the post-sampling era. We take the things that we love and we build on them. That’s just how it goes.

Problem Space

•   Currently there are no applications on the market that enable users to instantly search a song’s roots and influences.

•   Despite the fact that we have both the technology of sound-based search engines (i.e: Shazam, Soundhound) and many online databases for sampling references, no one has ever combined the two together to explore a new possibility of discovering music.

•    As of now, when one wants to know the origins of a song, he or she will most likely use up to three different applications or search engines.

These realizations not only provided me a solid reason as to why BeatsGuru should exist, it also fulfilled my design principle as an UX designer – to identify unsolved problems, to design delightful solutions, and to improve the current interactions we have with technology.




Creative Direction

In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece – Wikipedia

Highlight: inspired by the art of sampling and the urge to create as an artist, I intentionally sampled various UI patterns from current sound-based search products to construct the look of BeatsGuru. The interface has been designed by combining the best aspects of Sound Hound and Shazam, based on the insights I gained from my user research and competitive analysis. The creative direction here is to reference and draw inspiration from existing works, just like how music evolves in a historical context. Click here to view in-depth design research and process.



In this particular project, I attempted to combine both art and design into my creative practice, and use interactive technology as the medium to provide a delightful user experience in music exploration. Ultimately, BeatsGuru is not only a functional application that can help users to discover the correlation between various genres of music; its artistic value is also aimed to represent the idea of sampling, created through the technique of sampling.




BeatsGuru has won the People’s Choice Award at the Vancouver User Experience Awards 2015!

This award was presented by Microsoft and was voted by the UX community for the best experience: the work is evaluated on its simplicity, elegance, innovation, joy, and impact. The award was presented at a gala event at The Imperial on November 25, with professionals from throughout the Lower Mainland.

For more information, please visit Vancouver User Experience Awards. Emily Carr University of Art + Design also published an article on BeatsGuru, click here to see the complete story.

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