Equipping Musicians with Tools to Stand Out

As home to the largest online independent music catalog in the world, CD Baby needed a digital presence to better reflect the depth of expertise and exceptional customer service they offer artists. Partnering closely with CD Baby’s senior team, we designed a visually fresh, fully responsive artist site focused on delivering value across their customer journey.

CD Baby empowers over 300,000 artists to thrive in the cluttered music landscape through a robust hub of production, distribution and promotion resources. They needed a more usable platform to support the passionate, supportive, and symbiotic relationship between their employees and artists—beyond touchpoints on the website.

We brought together key stakeholders to explore business goals and user needs in a collaborative, full-day Design Thinking workshop. Realizing there was a disconnect between the existing digital experience and what musicians needed, we leveraged personas and mood boards as a baseline for our conversation.

Surveys, heat map tests, and interviews with customer service representatives helped gather real data from CD Baby customers. User research and workshop findings provided the foundational layer to develop a detailed customer journey map and experience design approach going forward.

To accommodate for CD Baby’s extensive array of products and services, we needed to create an environment that provided artists relevant, usable information when they most needed it. By gaining a deeper understanding of existing content, we were able to propose new ways of introducing content to artists at key points along the customer journey.

With a past in CD manufacturing and distribution, the CD Baby history became a key source of design inspiration. We designed a “retro meets modern” visual aesthetic to speak to the brand history—and future. This foundation informed fresh brand elements and a new digital style guide for their teams to use as a reference point going forward.

Throughout the design phase, we validated design and functionality for content responsiveness across desktop, tablet, and mobile. Designing content elements to shift around changing user contexts ensured a smooth handoff to the CD Baby team to engineer and develop.

New product pages were specifically designed to provide high-level information that would be supported with crucial how-tos and 101 guides. We aimed to strike a balance between cool and fresh, without alienating core users: the artists.

On the heels of the Artist Site launch, the team at CD Baby partnered with Copious to envision a dynamic and informative dashboard to serve as an artist’s home base. We explored every step of the artist experience through client workshops and user research. Before design even began, we tested high-fidelity wireframes with real content and surveyed users to validate a holistic, user-centered experience. A new onboarding process reduced the amount of effort needed for CD Baby musicians to quickly and easily get their music out. Statistics and sales reports dynamically change based on users’ needs and progress, showing relevant content while not overwhelming them. The new dashboard facilitates even better management, distribution, and analytical tools that musicians really need.

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