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Creator Stories

The Objective
Creator Stories is a podcast that engenders honest, intellectual and progressive conversations that amplify and inspire women starting their career.
I teamed up with the founder and host Chelsea Hassler in conducting market and user research on popular podcasts and their websites. This resulted in a podcast network built of luminaries and creative professionals creating social impact, as well as a digital platform that raises Chelsea’s professional profile as a speaker, writer, UX consultant and brand builder.
The Problem
While many find it daunting by the saturation of content in the podcast realm, we embraced the challenge with great optimism and positivity. There can always be more daring and intellectual voices that promote inclusivity, especially when it comes to inspiring young professional women.
  • Create a consistent podcast format that attracts listeners in the target audience
  • Develop a podcast website prototype
Roles and Responsibilities
  • Market Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • User Research
  • Generative Interviews
  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping and Testing
  • Usability Testing
Target Audience
Female, well-educated career professionals from their mid 20s-30s.
Market Research & Competitive Anaylsis
With so much out there, we wanted to learn from the best.
We listened to episodes and analyzed the marketing strategy from six popular podcasts that cover inspirational stories, with a general Q+A narrative format. We chose these podcasts due to their popularity (ranging from 1-14 million listeners a month), audience demographics (similar to our target audience), and topic.
After listening to three episodes per podcast, we gathered and compared quantitative (how many listeners per month, social following, podcast length, etc.) and qualitative research (type of host, episode notes, marketing research, website design) on each podcast. 
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Generative Interviews
In order to learn more about our desired listeners, I conducted 6 interviews with participants in the targeted demographic for Creator Stories on their general podcast habits. The targeted demographics included:
  • 4 women ages 23-26, listen to podcasts 1-7x a week, careers: law, marketing, social justice, HR
  • 2 men ages 28-32, listens to podcasts 1-2x a week, marketing/copywriting, entrepreneurs
The interview questions were categorized by general listening habits, the technical aspects of podcasts, favorable qualities in podcasts, hosts, pain points, marketing, and lastly, thoughts on the podcast name. Our findings concluded:
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Combining our generative interviews with the competitive analysis confirmed many qualities that we wanted to implement into ‘Creator Stories’, such as the podcast run-time and format. While we were wary that a well-known host from an established media group is important, our generative interviews concluded that Chelsea’s beginning experience in the podcast world should not deter listeners as long as her conversations are well-researched and intellectual.
Sitemapping & Wireframing
After analyzing the six podcast websites and hearing how frequent the participants checked the website, we agreed that ‘Creator Stories’ website must meet these goals:
  • Contain an archive of the podcast episodes with title name
  • Provide links to play episodes on website as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.
  • Post information about the podcast, latest events, merch, etc. This made the sitemapping process straight forward:
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Interactive Prototype
Usability Testing
After completing the prototype on Figma, I conducted usability tests on five of our previous participants. This included:
  • Initial impressions of the homepage
  • Playing the latest episode
  • Sharing an episode
  • Finding an episode from a previous date
  • Buying one merchandise item
  • Submitting a story
  • Learning more about an event
  • Pain points
100% of our participants could easily play the most recent episode, share an episode, find an episode, and buy merchandise. However, the lack of ‘submitting a story’ item in the navigation bar led to a 40% success rate, and only 60% knew to learn about an event through ‘get in touch.’
The process to play and find episodes were high functioning, however our other information lacked clarity. Our player at the top of the prototype window made participants reluctant to play in case of potential site disruptions.
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Outcomes and Results
After applying the recommendations to the prototype, the website moved into the development phase. Due to technical constraints, we could not add a podcast player at the top of the homepage; however, this constraint worked in our favor as our participants were reluctant to hit the player and rarely listen on an internet browser. The Creator Stories website and podcast launches June 2020. 
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