Woman singing on microphone in front of crowd


Several years ago, I had a music badge for SXSW. SXSW hosts thousands of artists every year and it is difficult to find out which artists you want to see and when they will be performing. So I created a simple app called Your Spotify at SXSW that would scan your song library and find matches in the festival's schedule. The app was a big help to peers and myself that year.

After not traveling for over a year in 2021, I was eager to see what future adventures I could take. I had a desire to know all of the music festivals out there and how relevant they were to my own listening habits. FestFoo uses your listening habits to determine the most relevant lineup out of 600+ music festivals. Not only that, it will filter the lineup down to who you already love and make extra suggestions.

Communicating Relevancy

A large improvement made in FestFoo from the previous Spotify app was the loading experience. Your Spotify at SXSW had a loading experience that scanned every song in your library. This could be an incomplete profile on the user or make the loading experience too long. That's why I turned my attention over to two other API endpoints:

  1. Getting your "top artists" on a short, medium, and long interval allowed FestFoo to understand your recent and longtime favorite artists.

  2. Using Spotify's recommendations based on each of those three results the provides FestFoo with a wider net of artists you would want to see live.

This optimization was so fast, it created a new design problem for me: Users did not realize the relevancy of the results. FestFoo needed to provide more guidance and feedback to the user about what was occurring. So there's actually a two-second loading screen just to communicate to the user that FestFoo is scanning their listening habits and comparing them to all of the music festival lineups.

Encouraging Shares

The truth is that asking users to share content is not the most effective method of marketing. However personal referrals work so well when they are actually made! So having users share their personal results seemed like a much more easy ask. FestFoo generates square and vertical graphics of the user's recommended lineups. Sharable links are also generated in case the user does not want to bother with sharing graphics.

James loves to design, code, and talk about weird web apps from ATX. He also writes snippets from the third-person.
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