Last.fm is an online music service that profiles their user’s music listening habits to provide artist and song track recommendations. A subsidiary of CBS Interactive Group, Last.fm have established themselves as an innovator in their industry through the accurate identification of music tastes utilising their proprietary scrobbling functionality. Scrobbling (a term coined by Last.fm) involves the monitoring and analyses of music libraries and listening behaviour across platforms to provide relevant music recommendations from a massive catalogue of artists and tracks. Their high quality service has earned Last.fm a large, loyal user-base throughout Europe and North America.

As an approved and trusted Xbox Development Partner, UI Centric was approached by Last.fm to re-launch their brand on the Xbox Entertainment hub. The brief was to create a superior user experience for the community of 70 million Xbox users, with advanced features and functionality – taking full advantage of the native capabilities of the Xbox platform.

The project commenced with a thorough immersion into the Last.fm brand, including stakeholder workshops to gather user requirements and an audit of their web, mobile and desktop applications to baseline functionality. Once requirements were crystallised, UI Centric’s Information Architecture (IA) team commenced planning the user experience by wireframing the application structure, taxonomy and navigation. Designed optimally for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, content is accessible to Xbox Gold account holders using a Single-Sign-On process. Once within the application, users have access to a rich library of content, including artist radio, artist bios and exclusive ‘Live at Letterman’ concert videos.

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Following wireframing, UI Centric designed the interface, complying with Last.fm brand and style guidelines as well as Xbox’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG).

Several design routes were explored in collaboration with Last.fm before the final design execution was settled upon.

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Once design was completed, UI Centric’s experienced Xbox development team built the application using an agile project methodology, ensuring regular development builds were made available to the client. The build included complete front-end development and API integration, voice, Kinect gesture and controller navigation, analytics and social integration.

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Additionally, a customer advertising integration was implemented, which enabled ads to be served by two ad networks for both the UK and North America.

Further, custom parental controls were developed to ensure age appropriate User Generated Content (UGC) was served, managed from the user profile settings.

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