SoundCloud is a free and interactive music steaming service. Here's how I redesigned their search page.





Project Type

Case Study

Project Origin

Kleiner Perkins Fellowship Application

Project Overview

Redesigning the Search Page

     This case study was created for the Kleiner Perkins Design Fellowship. Kleiner Perkins instructed me to choose a partner company and redesign a feature from their platform. I decided on SoundCloud and redesigned their search page and new music discoverability features. 


Redesign a feature from a Kleiner Perkins partner company


Redesigned SoundCloud's discoverability features into their existing search page

User Research

Interviews, Surveys, and More!

     Before starting my design work, I conducted user interviews to better get to know SoundCloud's design strengths and weaknesses. I talked to six college-aged and recent college grads about their SoundCloud likes, dislikes, and wants. I found that, for many of my interviewees, they use SoundCloud alongside other streaming services. The biggest complaint I heard was difficulty finding music within the platform, and not from external sources like TikTok.



All users had another streaming service on top of SoundCloud. For five users, this was Spotify or Apple Music.


Four users said that they often use SoundCloud to find songs from other places, such as TikTok.


Three users independently mentioned that they wanted features that would let them explore new music and see what other people are listening to.

UX Diagnosis: Search Page


SoundCloud's current search page

     Interestingly enough, SoundCloud has the features the students want. However, they’re hard to find and unorganized. These features can be found in playlist formats far into the home tab. Here, both personalized recommendations and non-personalized recommendations, such as "Top 100", are both found in this same spot. Between two categories of content, what users want is buried deep and far down on the home page. I suspect that users are simply not finding the content they want.
     Furthermore, the search tab, which is the place where several users indicated that they would first look for content, has no content on it. This is a huge missed opportunity for SoundCloud to display its playlists and songs.

Competitive Analysis

Splitting Content

     I found that Spotify and Apple Music, which I identified as SoundCloud’s biggest competitors both separate personalized content, such as "For You" playlists, from general discover playlists, such as "Most Played Songs in America Today". This is an important step in helping users find the content they want without missing out on playlists hidden within another playlist in a horizontal scroll.
     Some platforms, like Instagram, vary the type of content visually displayed on their search page. By showing different kinds of content in different forms, Instagram allows users to differentiate between different kinds of content instantly.

Spotify and Instagram's current search pages. These both show non-specifically curated content. This helps users understand that they are searching through all of the platform's available content.

Final Design

A New Search Page

      My final solution is a redesign of the search page. This design changes a few key elements of SoundCloud's original design. First, I eliminated all horizontal scrolls. Instead, my design displays the first three songs from a playlist and then gives the user the option to explore the playlist further.
      Second, I separated out personalized and general content. This page only features content that is for all users, such as "Top Rap Songs" or "Most Viral Songs" playlists. I chose to put these on the search page to convey to users that they are searching through all of the platform's content, and not just their own.
      Finally, I differentiated between types of content. Artist profiles are displayed in a different format than single songs or playlists, which helps users understand what they're looking at without doing any additional work.
      The next step for this project is testing, which I currently have not done. My plan is to show half of users my prototype, half of users SoundCloud's original platform, and ask both groups to try and find the "Top Songs in America" playlist. By timing both groups to see how long it takes them to find the feature, I can see which design more successfully helps users to find their goal.

More Work