Wonder.fm is owned and maintained by Hydric Media. It aims to simplify new music discovery, delivering what’s new as soon as it's released. This is accomplished through a unique blend of human and tech curation to surface the best new music uploaded to SoundCloud each day.
I was part of the core team of curators ensuring what made it onsite was consistently new and inline with our audiences taste. I was also involved on product-side, implementing the roadmap for updates and enhancements, sketching wireframes, prototyping transitions and working closely with design and engineering at Hydric Media.
In 2016 we relaunched the website with a refreshed design alongside native apps for iOS and Android. Our iOS app was quickly featured on the App Store under 'New Apps We Love' with a glowing note from the editors.
"Honestly, we're a bit bummed Wonder's about to get huge. For a while, we've known about the coolest indie playlist on the web — but none of our friends did. Now, instead of coming straight to use for music recommendations, our pals are just going to load up Wonder. They'll be greeted by a gorgeous, streamlined, constantly refreshed, killer indie music that plays without even making you sign up."
App Store Editors — Apple Inc.
In 2017, we then started working in partnership with SoundCloud to ensure streams generated via Wonder would be counted towards each artist's official Billboard ranking. This brought with it some new challenges which forced us to rethink Wonder's core experience.
Since launching on mobile, we had identified that the average user was listening to approximately 15 minutes of music each day predominantly via our iOS app. With this in mind we decided to double down on iOS, temporarily shutting the web and Android versions off for us to trial a new direction.
The app would now only feature a handful of new tracks each day. The catch ... if you didn't open the app that day, you missed what was featured. We used this as an added incentive for super users to keep coming back.
To accomplish this, we went through a few different iterations but eventually settled on one closest to the original experience. This ensured existing users wouldn't have to re-learn how to use the app and also streamlined the engineering effort being able to re-use a lot of the existing codebase.
Wonder won awards and was well received by music fans and tech sites alike, but unfortunately limited studio resources and the unfortunate state of SoundCloud has forced us to shut it down for the time being. Perhaps in the future we'll be able to bring it back online.
Client — Hydric Media
Agency — Hydric Media
Platforms — iOS, Android, Web
Product & UX Lead — Tom Knox
Visual Designer — Jack Murphy
Lead iOS Developer — Kseniya Volkova
Lead Android Developer — Kelvin Bulwinkel
Lead Web Developer — Simon Hales
Project Manager — Eoin McCarthy, James Gauci
Quality Assurance — Tom Knox
Marketing Manager — Lachlan Kirkwood
Music Curators — David Lowry, Lachlan Kirkwood, Tom Knox