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Melon

Digital

Transforming Korea's top music streaming service into a holistic music experience

MelonMelon
Introduction

From music tool to connected platform

With over 2.6 million monthly active subscription-paying users, Melon is the #1 music streaming service in South Korea. Melon is owned and operated by Loen Entertainment, a vertically integrated music label and service provider. Loen approached us with a vision to push Melon beyond a music streaming tool into a holistic music and lifestyle experience.

We helped Loen achieve this vision through a series of strategic user research and design projects spanning over a year and half. Our partnership resulted in a complete redesign of the Melon brand identity and a ground-up, user-centered redesign of their mobile experience and interface.

Loen took ownership of our outputs and successfully launched the newly designed brand and mobile experiences.

IntroductionIntroduction
Research + Strategy

Put music and artists first

Based on insights from a series of user interviews and internal workshops with executives at Loen, we developed a strategic road map for Melon's brand and UX renewal.

We heard that users wanted the basic music experience—listening to music, watching content, and managing content—to improve before the platform integrated new content, features, or services. "Music and artists first" became one of 6 driving design principles that guided our design decisions. Loen's strategic vision, however, was to serve broader content, such as artist related news, concert tickets, and artist fan communities. We helped Loen address this tension in a way that met user needs and allowed for the integration of new features over time.

Prior to our rebrand work, the San Francisco Health Network's messaging placed emphasis on the providers and the system. The Network described itself as the City’s “only complete system of care.” The Network logo was an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Through our work, we wanted to shift focus from describing the system to communicating the value added for the patient. We sought to:

  1. Publicly reaffirm San Francisco’s commitment to accessible health care for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status or insurance;
  2. Create a unifying brand that resonated deeply with patients and staff; and
  3. Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
Research + StrategyResearch + Strategy
Research + Strategy
Research + Strategy
Brand + Visual Design

Creating a pitch perfect brand identity

In music, a circle signifies a whole note, and a dot signifies a half note. To reenvison the Melon logo, we borrowed from this language of music notation. The center circle is the “whole note” of Melon music: the listening experience. The upper dot (the “half note”) represents everything that elevates Melon beyond a simple streaming service—the connections with artists, with other fans, with live venues, and with a broader culture and lifestyle of music. The simplicity and conceptual power of this new brand identity provided the refinement and recognizability that Melon needed to pursue its strategic goals. Our comprehensive redesign was supported with a detailed brand guideline book, ensuring the new brand identity was readily reproducible across Melon’s broadly distributed organization.

Prior to our rebrand work, the San Francisco Health Network's messaging placed emphasis on the providers and the system. The Network described itself as the City’s “only complete system of care.” The Network logo was an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Through our work, we wanted to shift focus from describing the system to communicating the value added for the patient. We sought to:

  1. Publicly reaffirm San Francisco’s commitment to accessible health care for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status or insurance;
  2. Create a unifying brand that resonated deeply with patients and staff; and
  3. Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
Brand + Visual DesignBrand + Visual Design
Brand + Visual Design
Brand + Visual Design
UX Design + Testing

Iterate to improve

From the first few weeks of the user experience redesign to the private beta launch, we evolved and refined Melon through multiple rounds of prototyping and testing. For each iteration we recruited target users, identified key assumptions and questions, and received feedback on our designs. In later-stage user tests, we brought fully interactive prototypes, which helped us uncover usability issues around playing, finding and managing music.

Our tests and iterations helped us improve the product in 5 different ways. We:

- Simplified the information architecture and feature organization
- Improved music playback and overall usability
- Increased the connectivity between artists and artist-related content
- Created a modular and consistent system of UI components
- Balanced content personalization and platform curation

Prior to our rebrand work, the San Francisco Health Network's messaging placed emphasis on the providers and the system. The Network described itself as the City’s “only complete system of care.” The Network logo was an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Through our work, we wanted to shift focus from describing the system to communicating the value added for the patient. We sought to:

  • Publicly reaffirm San Francisco’s commitment to accessible health care for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status or insurance;
  • Create a unifying brand that resonated deeply with patients and staff; and
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
  • Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
UX Design + TestingUX Design + Testing
UX Design + Testing
UX Design + Testing
“Daylight was critical to our growth and success. They identified and prioritized customer needs that drove loyalty, usage and access to content, and helped us bring to life our strategy to become a connected platform for music life and culture. With Daylight's rebranding and complete overhaul of the app experience, Melon continues to dominate the Korean streaming market. The user centered design and brand principles continue to serve us well.”
– Je-wook James Lee, CEO, Loen Entertainment
Impact

Seamlessly connected music platform

As a result of our collaboration, Loen successfully launched the updated Melon brand and new mobile experience to millions of users in the Korean market. More than 85% of users from the beta service rated the new mobile app as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. Users found that the new UX made it easier to manage music, get accurate personal recommendations, and intuitively browse for new content. The new UX also gives users a more natural way to discover and connect with both artist-related content and other fans.

After our engagement, Loen Entertainment was acquired by Kakao, one of the leading tech platforms in Korea. Melon continues to bring significant revenue and profit after the acquisition.

Prior to our rebrand work, the San Francisco Health Network's messaging placed emphasis on the providers and the system. The Network described itself as the City’s “only complete system of care.” The Network logo was an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Through our work, we wanted to shift focus from describing the system to communicating the value added for the patient. We sought to:

  1. Publicly reaffirm San Francisco’s commitment to accessible health care for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status or insurance;
  2. Create a unifying brand that resonated deeply with patients and staff; and
  3. Give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.
Impact
Impact
Impact
Digital