Designed a product that is so personalised, meaningful, intuitive and compelling that it’s the first app customers open to listen to anything audio

The Challenge

While mobile audio apps are a ubiquitous part of most people’s smartphone entertainment environment, many of the market-leading apps require significant user investment to curate their massive libraries of content.

While near-infinite choice might seem like a selling point, without a user experience that helps highlight content relevant to the customer, it can turn into so much white noise.

Our client from the Audio Sector is already hugely successful in the mainstream broadcast industry, came to us to help create an app that provided everything their customers needed and, just as importantly, nothing that they didn’t.

We partnered with them to create an app that was based so entirely on, and learned so thoroughly from, user’s needs that it transformed a whole ocean of content into a steady stream of personalised entertainment.

Ideal storyboard and need state circle

By Knowing More, You Have the Ability to Be More

We firmly believe that, when it comes to the journey, if your customer gets lost, then you’ve lost your customer. Our Audio client wanted their customers to be lost in the moment, listening to their favourite song, not lost in a sea of menus, options and irrelevant content.

To provide a firm foundation for our client’s software engineers to work on, we first needed to understand exactly what their customers valued and what they didn’t.

Since we work with our partners, as well as for them, our first step was to conduct nine stakeholder interviews with industry experts. Their expertise and insights allowed us to shape our customer research in the most productive directions.

Audio Ideal journey, Imagine a world ipad mock up

Gathering Insights Today Means Growing Confidence Tomorrow

To create a differentiated and genuinely innovative one-stop audio solution, we needed their customers to tell us exactly how such a solution would fulfil their needs.

We built a comprehensive picture of standard features of more than 50 potential competitors and reviewed up-to-date case studies across similar products and services.

Conducting online surveys with more than 300 respondents allowed us to test the viability and utility of these functions while also generating vital customer-based insights.

To further reinforce these customer verbatims, we interviewed 20 plus customers to drill down to their most honest, and therefore most valuable, feedback.

We often find that, in a world full of challenges, the toughest are the ones you cannot see. To uncover the hidden aspirations and experiences of audio users, we incepted a 7-Day Diary with multiple participants delivering daily insights on their customer journey.

Audio customer journey map

Proto Partners Unpacks Your Why, Equips You With the How, and Builds You a Map to the When

With the raw and real customer data as fuel, we set about building a user-need framework that would be the engine of our client’s industry-leading audio app.

Our in-depth, customer focussed research revealed that emotion management was the central focus of audio app users and, from these insights, we were able to create four specific need-states: Comfort, Escape, Improve, and Elevate.

With these emotion management need-states defining ‘why’ customers used audio apps, we worked closely with our client to create a ‘how’ that would build app functionality around those customer needs.

To meet the need-states that our customer research had defined, we created four enablers, Understand, Control, Identity and Community Connection. These enablers would sit outside of the app’s content and drive design and functionality to meet user needs.

Proto team at audio workshop

We Think About the Whole
Experience to Perfect What Your Customer Experiences

All great journeys start with a map.

To build customer empathy into the core of the app’s design, we created a customer journey out of our four need states. This journey highlighted the delights and pain points that customers felt interacting with current audio listening experiences.

Building in that level of understanding allowed the software engineers to step into the shoes of the customer and really empathise with them.

Alongside a customer journey that intrinsically connected the app designers with the needs of their userbase, we mapped our clients’s development journey. Connecting the Jobs to Be Done to each of our four enablers provided a solid foundation for developing the features of the product.

We Working with you to create better experiences, together

All great journeys start with a map.

The global audio app market already has some large and convincing players. To assist them in creating a new innovative audio option with a truly unique value proposition, we needed to know exactly what the customer required and build our solution around that.

Working hand in hand with our client and their customers, we created a user-driver framework that mapped out all the steps they needed to make the ultimate audio companion.

Close up of the audio customer journey map

Delivering phenomenal outcomes


“Working with Proto was a leap of faith, but they have become a major strategic partner in our CX evolution. The work they've developed and the way we've been able to embed it in the organisation has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're getting the outcomes we want.”

Felicity Clark
Felicity Clark Customer Experience Manager

Creating empathy to deliver outstanding results


“Proto were a pleasure to work with. They were adaptive and responsive, and developed a deep empathy for both the client and their customers. The quality of their products and services was outstanding.”

Michael Storey
Michael Storey Manager of Customer Research and Strategy at Sydney Water

Halving your customer churn


“Without the customer experience insights from the research program, we would not have been able to identify the acquisition issues that we had. Changes to the customer interactions that led up to financial protection have reduced the outflow rates by 50%.”

Felicity Rowcliff Dean
Felicity Rowcliff Dean Customer Centred Design Manager

Take your NPS score to the next level


“From an NPS perspective, I have gone Spinal Tap on you guys and gone to 11. I still think the work you did with us, the way you went about it and the deliverables amounted to one of the best pieces of consulting advice I've ever commissioned.”

Matthew Liebmann
Matthew Liebmann Former Chief Operating Officer

Enabling customer-centric design


“Over the last 18 months, we've constantly referred to the work Proto did for us when designing and developing all the improvements to the app we're making. We've found their work to be highly valuable and has resulted in significant improvements to the MyOptus App that, without their insight wouldn't have been possible.”

Lucy Turner
Lucy Turner CX Design Launch Manager

Exceptional prototyping


“The outcome of the prototyping has been exceptional and we continue to use the knowledge and expertise that Proto shared with us during their engagement. The icing on the cake for me was that Proto captured all of the insights from the customer workshops into an organisational asset that we now use as an integral part of our toolkit for training and briefing new team members.”

Sharon Nanetti
Sharon Nanetti Optimal Care Program Director

Prioritising what matters


“Proto's in-depth customer research helped us to uncover underlying customer needs that wouldn't have been possible without an 'outside-in' approach. The team identified the core customer problems and provided actionable insights that enabled us to remove key areas of customer friction and frustration and redesign a credit card experience like no other.”

Christian Johansson
Christian Johansson Head of Marketing, Customer Finance

Achieving a 20 point increase in NPS


“I have worked with Damian and the team at Proto for several years. In this time, they have worked collaboratively with us to build a roadmap of strategic 'outside-in' initiatives that ultimately resulted in a 20 point increase in NPS. They imparted a great deal of CX knowledge, approaches and tools that have been invaluable to the team and the business.”

Amanda O'Donnell
Amanda O'Donnell Head of Customer Experience

Insight driven, customer centric ideas


“Proto revealed and captured a ton of insights, putting Gumtree in a position where we can take our experience from good to great!”

Coen Horrevoets
Coen Horrevoets Head of Product

Award-winning customer experiences


“We won the AFR Smart Investor SMILES award for Best Online Broker. This award is based on customer voting and I believe this was as a result of a clearer focus on our existing clients which you helped us to understand.”

Arni Selvarajah
Arnie Selvarajah Chief Executive Officer

Design that reduces cost to serve


“The Proto team demonstrated flexibility in their approach which made such a refreshing change. They took the time to coach and mentor each of us in a highly creative and energetic environment. Furthernore, they helped us exceed our customer satisfaction targets, all whilst stripping out in excess of 20% of our service costs in under 12 months. Proto helped us to stay focussed on the customer which enabled us to win in the market.”

Matthew Anderson
Matthew Anderson Chief Operating Officer

Service innovation at scale


“We worked with Proto on an exciting & unprecedented challenge at Optus, to design the customer experience of the future. Damian & the team had high energy & together we operated as 'one team'. Proto worked hand in hand with us to bring the internal team up to speed, & also brought in global experts to work with us to take our deliverables to another level of quality & innovation.”

Dan Sunderland
Dan Sunderland Director of Customer Experience Strategy and Planning

Actionable Customer Strategies


“Proto developed a membership strategy that addressed points of friction along our members journey, identified opportunities to improve and clarified the types of engagement that our members needed at the different stages in their career. We were impressed with the depth of insight that Proto were able to bring to the project - as well as the energy and ideas that they helped to generate.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Prescott-Thompson General Manager Shared Services

A partnership for CX


“Working with Proto was very much a partnership. We worked hand-in-hand to put CX on the map within the organisation. The team are flexible, trustworthy and do what it takes to achieve the best outcome. If you’re looking for a quality agency, providing quality data and insights – Proto are your guys. We received over 90 initiatives from the project of which 79% have now been implemented and we are seeing the benefits flow through!”

Customer Experience Specialist

Unique Product Innovation


“Proto integrated into multiple simultaneous projects to ensure we achieved the best outcome. They brought real clarity around customer needs, the fundamental elements of our value proposition and provided a clear roadmap of where we're trying to get to. This allowed us to differentiate beyond the traditional proposition. As a result, one customer-informed initiative we developed was loanScore™. This unique innovation helps customers see how good their home loan is and evaluate their options for a better deal.”

Anthony Justice
Anthony Jusitce CEO

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