Fender Play / Digital Learning Platform for Guitar, Bass & Ukulele
Design Director:Andrew Seles
Designers:Bill Salvador, Britt Ruggirello, Hsin Chen, Rob Goerke
Design Deliverables:Requirements, User Stories, Sitemaps, Wireframes, User Flows, Prototypes, Mock-ups, Design QA, User Testing
Fender Play® is the flagship application for Fender Digital. Fender Play is a digital learning platform for guitar, bass and ukulele on web, iOS and Android. It seeks to solve for the 90% new players who abandon their instrument by providing a step-by-step, song-based curriculum, composed of bite-size lessons. The program sets students up for quick wins while learning the songs they love. The song-based curriculum is balanced out with a library of skill lessons teaching basics, chords, exercises, technique, theory and tone.
I have lead the design efforts on Play since its inception, working with Product, Design, Engineering and Marketing teams to analyze customer behavior, ideate on features, design them and do the real, difficult work of bringing them to fruition. I have worked with the organization to bring nearly every facet of the product to life from the smallest button or interaction design, up through the biggest features that have shaped the product’s trajectory since launch
At the time of its 2017 launch, Fender Play was solely a platform for delivering a video lessons. The team immediately began building and iterating on a more robust feature set to round out the curriculum, adding supporting tablature to video lessons, auto scrolling tablature, backing tracks and a chord drilling module.
The product quickly climbed to a five-star rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store while boasting fantastic retention numbers, proving that once players are onboard, they stick around and ultimately, purchase more instruments. The product has been steadily improved and iterated upon since its 2017 launch, such as Collections, a feature which gathers themed content into playlists, better surfacing off-path content for users who want to branch out and try something new.
Fender Play has been extremely successful, growing and retaining its user base while partnering with the second largest school district in the country, LAUSD, to bring its curriculum to more and more nascent guitar, bass and ukulele players.
Recent projects have focused on opening up the top of the funnel and reducing friction on users entry into the product by offering free trials without requiring a credit card.