The word "wrapped" first came into our lives with the campaign launched by Spotify in 2017. And now, every December since then, Spotify users get a visual insight into their year with music based on the data Spotify collects on their music consumption.
I remember when I first saw mine, I was surprised by how much time I spent listening to music and also seeing my favorite bands and songs. But the best part is that it's not just informative, it's also visually engaging and interactive.
This campaign is successful for a few reasons. First, the way the data is presented is visually captivating and engaging. We know that data is boring sometimes. Just imagine if Spotify shared a list of numbers or the "most listened artists of the year." Sure, it might be cool to know, but it wouldn't be nearly as exciting as the personalized and interactive summary that Wrapped provides. They share this data with us with fascinating designs every year. In this way, the data came to life.
Another key reason why this campaign is so viral is the personalization. Wrapped is all about “your year” in music. It's tailored for you, based on your listening habits. Make them look back on their whole year and refresh their memories. And when it comes down to it, we all love a good yearly review. At the end of each year, it is common for people to take a look back and reflect on the past year and set new goals for the next year. This practice is not only done at the end of the year but also on birthdays.
Spotify presents the Wrapped campaign in an interactive and user-friendly format, by sharing it in the form of stories. This format allows users to have complete control over the content. You can easily navigate through the story by tapping right to skip to the next story, left to go back to the previous story, or holding the story with your finger to take a closer look. The story format adds an interactive and dynamic aspect to the campaign, making it more engaging and memorable for users.
This was a great opportunity for us as we are already creating Stories. So why not let our users experience this.
Storyly is a mobile user engagement platform that is transforming the immersive, full-screen experience of Stories into a new kind of channel that allows brands to embed Stories into any mobile app or website.
Thanks to Storyly's user property feature, we were fortunate to generate personalized data and create a Wrapped experience for our users. We collaborated on deciding what data to present to our customers in a visually appealing way.
User properties, in the context of Storyly, are specific data attributes or characteristics of individual users that allow for personalized and targeted Stories. By utilizing user properties, app and website owners can provide personalized content, offers, rewards, and messages based on unique attributes such as name, birthday, preferences, or past behavior, resulting in an engaging and customized user experience.
As a product designer, I have to continue with my favorite part: design (duh?). First, we determined what kind of content we could prepare Stories with. Then we started to create Story designs on Figma according to the content we have. It was an intense but fun couple of months to design all the experiences for Storyly Wrapped.
One of the challenges was the placement of the data. There will be many edge cases we have to handle. To begin, we need to work within the boundaries of limitations and placeholders that have a specific range of characters for data input. This allows us to calculate the exact number of pixels each piece of data covers. So we can design fancy shapes properly and precisely around that. It was also important to visually design relevant Stories to show what the data represents for the users.
Secondly, some users never used some of our features before, so we wanted to show them separate Stories. It was a great opportunity for feature adoption. We use different Story groups and segmentations for these users. Using segmentation helped us to create more personalized and powerful Stories.
After the designs were finished in Figma, we removed the dynamic content and exported the static design from Figma. We uploaded each static design as an image to Storyly’s Design Studio. We placed related user properties in each story design.
We conducted extensive testing to ensure that the user properties we incorporated into the Stories precisely aligned with the data and appeared seamlessly in the appropriate sections of the Story. Testing allowed us to fine-tune the placement of user properties, ensuring a flawless and personalized experience for our users.
Finally, we added music to the background during the transitions of the Stories to activate even more emotions. And ta-da, Storyly Wrapped is ready. All the personalized wrapped Stories are presented on Storyly’s dashboard for our users.
We aimed to create a full-screen, personalized, and interactive experience for our users. We also wanted to inspire them and let them create this experience on their app or website. There has also been a feature adoption process regarding the use of Storyly’s User Property feature.
We received great feedback from our users. Our Storyly Wrapped feature has been so inspiring to some of our users that they have created their own versions of Wrapped to share with their own users.
According to Nieman Lab, Jessica Gilbert, Head of Product at the Washington Post, said in an email that Newsprint offers a way to further personalize the reader experience. “We developed Newsprint iteratively throughout 2022, responding to user research and internal feedback,” Gilbert said. “We initially built a ‘look-back’ experience but pivoted when we learned that our readers are more interested in insights that center on their reading ‘personality’ and content discovery rather than revisiting news from the past.”
The key is personalized content. Personalization is all about making things feel special and unique. When it comes to products and services, personalized content can make all the difference.
As I was designing our Wrapped feature, I realized how amazing it would be if other products and services followed suit. Imagine receiving a personalized report from your fitness app that details your progress at the end of the year. Or a "year-in-review" feature from your social media platform that showcases your most-liked posts. Even a personalized "shopping wrap" that shows you your most-purchased and most-viewed products from e-commerce brands would be exciting.
What makes Wrapped special is that it's not just informative, it's also visually appealing and interactive. It satisfies our natural human desire to reflect on the past year and set new goals. Plus, it's highly shareable, leading to its viral success.
Other industries should take note and consider how they can create similar personalized and visually engaging experiences for their users. It's an excellent way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
Overall, the Storyly Wrapped campaign has been a great success and we look forward to continuing to innovate and improve it in the future.