UX / UI Case Study : A karaoke for Shazam

Clément Baron
4 min readJul 26, 2020

For this project, my goal was to analyse an already existing app and to design a new feature to it. I decided to work with Shazam which is an application I often use. As it is today, Shazam is a music scanning tool and I wanted to have fun in designing a gamified feature for it : a karaoke mode.


Shazam is an audio scanning app which identifies a sound based on a sample and gives the user its title. It was released in 2002 by Shazam Entertainment Limited and then acquired by Apple in 2018 for 400 million dollars ($). It is a free app without advertising now and it is supported on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows.

Regarding numbers, Shazam is currently the most famous tool in its field with 1 billion downloads global. There are 150 million monthly users and 30 billion Shazams all time. We estimate 5% of all music downloads come from Shazam and the app being used in 190 countries.

Market Positioning Map

From what I’ve found during my researches, Shazam’s best competitors are SoundHound and Musixmatch when it comes to sound identification. Regarding my feature, the biggest karaoke applications currently on the market are StarMaker and Smule.

First, SoundHound and Musixmatch are two sound identification tools that work pretty much the same way as Shazam. Exception is that when you scan a song on SoundHound or Musixmatch the lyrics are instantly displayed on the user’s screen which might push the user to sing and have fun whereas in Shazam the lyrics section is more hidden inside the menus.

Secondly, I tested two main karaoke applications on the market to understand what would be the main competitors for my feature.
StarMaker is free with ads but there are a lot of features and quite a complicated learning curve to fully understand it.
Smule seems to be a bit more “pro” at first glance because its interface is clearer and simpler to understand but it’s a paying app and only the solo mode is freely accessible.

Based on that market, I aim to gamify Shazam a little so that it would be more entertaining and less used as a pure tool while keeping it as simple as it is today and still free.

The feature

My user flow

Here above is the main user flow of Shazam with my feature integrated.
The grey path is the current Shazam main feature starting from “music played from an external device”.
I added to it my karaoke path in green that includes music addition to karaoke mode, song selection, group creation, singing and at last ranking score table.
Also, the blue path stands for the option “TV connection”.

From mi- to hi-fidelity prototype

Once I built the mid-fi prototype, I did usability tests with six users from whom I got interesting feedbacks that helped me a lot in creating the design of my feature. Everything was quite simple to understand for them overall.

The final prototype

What’s next?

During my tests I asked users what they would be interested to see as improvements regarding gameplay and personalization for short and middle therms.

  • Players score tracking displayed from the “game” page so you can know where you stand compared to the other players.
  • Possibility to record videos during karaoke and add effects to them to create good memories.
  • Possibility to choose the voice you want to sing in a duet.