SoundCloud began as a community created feed-based listening service. This led to a common issue of discovery for new users who didn't have a music community off of SoundCloud. Surfacing creators was a plausible fix but we had to understand the various types of curation on the platform.
We needed to build a deeper understanding of who curators were and how they played into the ecology of the platform. In order to create and serve this segment I began the discovery process with a set of 5 well known curators on the platform and interviewed them with our user research team. From early platform findings I modelled a simple query that yielded 500 more professional curation accounts and began to pull the new user acquisition numbers, growth potential, and overall interest. This started our deeper user exploration and we identified 5 types of curators which led to in person product co-creation interviews and curator personas. This discovery period lasted one month.
Once the exploratory period was finished I shared our results back to the org. Differing curator personas helped fuel the home page team's content strategy, which was developed by the Listener org. As a result, I led product development on playlist stats, playlist editing, label driven playlists, and an onboarding redesign. I also co created Next Wave concepts for curated playlists and sets based on various underground scenes.
I believe a big part of building anything is understanding the culture you are working with and assisting within the ethos of that culture by making it more accessible.