Kristine Nguyen — UX Designer / Developer based in Alameda, CA


Rootify visualizes your taste in music and allows you to branch out and discover new artists and tracks based on your Spotify listening history.

I was the lead designer and developer for a team project CMPS 115 (Introduction of Software Engineering) at UC Santa Cruz.

RoleDesigner & Developer DateSeptember – December 2017

Below are screenshots of the web application.
You can visit at

Click Here for the Design Process

Background: This is a class project for CMPS 115 (Introduction of Software Engineering). The class is composed of all engineers in each individual group that they are interested in joining based on the product owner's (classmate) idea.

What is Rootify?

Rootify visualizes your taste in music and allows you to branch out and discover new artists and tracks based on your Spotify listening history.

The Process

The User Story:

Initially, the team knew what the product owner envisions from his idea. However, the team had trouble understanding what is the user stories. I step up and explained that it’s not “As a developer wants” but the user needs. So we brainstormed and came up with this.

“As a spotify user, I want to visualize new tracks and artists based on one of my top related artists and tracks so I can explore new music.”

But doesn’t Spotify have this?

Yes and no! Spotify has ways to discover new tracks by Daily Mixes, Discover Weekly, etc. However, Spotify is limited because it doesn’t directly specify your top tracks and artists based on your short-term or long-term listening history and it doesn’t specify certain audio features of tracks

The Challenges

Realistically the team and I only have about 6 weeks to create the web applications within our 10 weeks quarter system. It will be tough since all of us are seniors with some additional difficult classes that we get swamp with homework. The next challenge is limited time to do user research – I couldn’t fully take time to do user research because it’s based on the product owner’s idea. However, I did some research looking through Spotify Daily mixes and asking opinions of others if they often use those features. We needed to finish the design in our first week of sprint because judging our team, the other team members will most likely take more time learning unfamiliar languages, so we adjust accordingly. The third challenge that there were too many ideas in the initial process, so I step up and help break down what we really need to focus on due to the skillset and time we have. Lastly, the other challenge was designed disagreements.


There was many different ideas and features that the team wanted to implement. However, I stepped up and break down the four important features that the team should focus and finish before diving into the product backlog.

[1] Visualize Spotify account’s short term and long term tracks and artists & populate related tracks/artists
[2] See details about selected track and artists & be able to preview tracks
[3] Create a recommended playlist from selected tracks & artists
[4] Filter certain attributes of your top tracks and artists (and of those that are related)