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“A novel—and functional—approach to user interface that goes past the conventions we generally see in music apps.” —juror Eric Karjaluoto

“The name of the game here is fine-tuning. What Milk Music can do in terms of personal settings is promising, with no long lists to go through, just a swirl of the dial.” —juror Ginny Golden

Overview: Milk Music is a Samsung mobile streaming radio app powered by Slacker. The design features a distinctive, elegant and easy-to-use dial that users tap or turn to find stations. There are 200 stations to choose from, offering a library of more than thirteen million songs.

Design and development were accomplished internally, within Samsung.
The project started in mid-2013, and the app launched March 7, 2014.
Pre-caching of the first few seconds of every song in the lineup allows music to play instantly when users tune from station to station.

Comments by Samsung:
What are the project’s core features? “Milk’s core feature is its unique dial design, which helps distinguish it from other mobile music apps. Users can easily navigate stations with a tap or turn, and the gestural dial interaction, accompanied by gentle haptic feedback, makes browsing music stations effortless. The design helps users discover much more music than they would through typical menu-list interactions.”

What was the response? “Milk has been well received by the press, and considering that the app launched in March 2014 and has been available only on select Samsung Galaxy devices in North America, it has had very strong user adoption and engagement. Within just four months of its launch, Milk surpassed two million downloads, and it remains highly rated by users. In addition, Milk has won four design awards to date (including this Communications Artsaward): an A’ Design Award, a W3 Award and a US Mobile & App Design Award.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Our field research revealed the opportunity to design a more mobile-friendly interface for users who listen to music apps on the go. Differentiating Milk from other music apps by designing a unique, innovative interface that’s elegant and easier to use than existing competitors’ designs was the key design challenge for this project.

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