We developed little details and features within the interface that guarantee the user a long listening session filled with great music.
Anghami is an app for streaming great music. Our core aim is to get users listening to music soon after they open the app, and to listen for a long time.
If they ask for one song, don’t just give them that song
Users can search and listen to a specific song from our huge library. A search for “my heart will go on” will return results starting with the original song by Celine Dion, which is most likely what the user wants. The remaining results will be the same song as part of several albums and compilations, remixes of the song, covers, and a karaoke version of “My Heart Will Go On”.
Following the original song search, Anghami does something different, taking listeners into new directions in their listening experience. Instead of playing the list of search results when the song finishes playing, Anghami plays the album this song belongs to. If the song is a single, Anghami will play similar songs instead. It’s very likely the user will enjoy this unasked-for listening experience, as opposed to listening to the same song over and over again before reaching versions of the song the user did not want to hear. Our goal is to seamlessly introduce them to music they may enjoy while going about their daily affairs.
Repeat is on by default
Anghami contains a big variety of playlists that suit different moods and music styles, and these playlists are quite long. Once a playlist finishes, it repeats from the beginning. There’s no repeat option to turn on or off. It is unlikely the user will be annoyed since playlists are long. They will not notice the repeat given that the same song won’t play again until after a while.
Try hard not to interrupt
If the connection goes awry while streaming a playlist, Anghami looks for cached or downloaded songs in the list, and starts playing them. By doing so, the music keeps playing without pause. Since listening to music is often a passive experience, users will not even notice the app skipped a few songs. On the other hand, stopping the music will irritate the user.
Promote an experience, not an instance
Songs are often consumed in a moment, but we want to provide an entire experience through playlists that follow from musical tastes and moods. Our current homepage highlights the latest and greatest hits, while playlists are secondary. Indeed, the set of new songs forms a playlist, but it’s not coherent and doesn’t blend well. This will soon change by highlighting playlists first and foremost within the homepage. We want users to choose their listening experience without having to choose a new song after each one. By establishing playlists that follow their musical tastes, we ensure that they can listen to music for a while without interruption. To keep a familiar musical connection, each playlist highlights featured artists, and playlists are carefully named to be attractive while giving a sense of what the experience will be.
My aim as a product designer at Anghami is to enable users to play music they like, quickly, and for a long time. Giving users the best possible experience to play the music they want, and to explore new music, means constantly reflecting and tweaking the app’s capabilities. The ones I mentioned here are small tweaks that made a huge change. I encourage other app designers to take our experience and see how they can make these ideas work for them.