The Musical Instrument Library (MIL) App allows users to borrow instruments at a low cost and provides free tutorial videos on how to play each instrument.

Project Details

Project Scope
This project looked at a single user, identified a problem and created an app-based solution.

My Role
Researcher and Designer

3 days

Pen, Paper, Marvel


Many people and even career musicians have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument but don’t know exactly what instrument. They don’t pick up new instruments because they are expensive and people often want to experiment with an instrument for a longer period of time before they commit to invest. People starting out on a new instrument need support in learning the basics, whether it is via online videos, group classes or private classes.



People want an easy and accessible way to try musical instruments without a large investment and watch tutorial videos to learn how to play for which no solutions exists today. The Musical Instrument Library app connects people to multiple instruments to make this process easy and simple.

The Process

Day 1: User Research

Unlike most UX projects, this project started with fixing a problem for a single user. The goal was to interview our partner and through the interview process discover their interests and pain points and with this information to create a solution-based phone app.

I discovered through this interview that Jeff had always wanted to play a musical instrument but wasn’t sure which one and didn’t want to invest in buying or renting an instrument if he didn’t know what he wanted to play. I created a persona based on Jeff to help me with the solution. 

Possible Solution: A Musical Instrument Library App!




  • 25 years old
  • UX Design Student
  • San Francisco, CA

Interests: sports, running, photography, fitness and travel.
Devices: iPhone, MacBook

Goal: Find a way to acquire and learn how to play an instrument at a low cost. 

“ I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, but I don’t know which one or how I would learn. I’ve never pushed myself to do it because I don’t know what kind and it’s expensive to buy or rent an instrument. ”


I created a storyboard from the interview and persona to showcase the user journey and to help explain the problem and possible solution. 

Comparative Analysis

After deciding what direction to take the app I conducted a competition analysis. There is no direct competition so I instead looked at apps with either a similar interest or similar idea, particularly library applications, to use for a comparison.

Day 2: Sketching: Rapid Ideation

It is important to constantly acquire feedback from your users to help save time early on in the process.

First, I experimented with down a few different layout options. For navigation I sketched bottom, top and hamburger menu placement. Additionally, I sketched out a few list options. With these very rough sketch I acquired feedback from 4 people on usability, ease, and simplicity. 

Sketches after User Feedback

The user testing helped solidify initial layout menu and scrolling questions to move the process forward. The second draft uses a hamburger menu and the layout is a scroll-right layout with no additional text (inspired by the browsing style on the Netflix App).

Day 3: Iteration & Usability Testing

I redid some of the designs and included necessary details to help Users who have not seen the app decipher the navigation and answer possible questions. I had the Users work through a prototype from the home page to picking an instrument, deciding pick-up location and reserving.

User feedback:
“It needs an initial pop-up screen to tell users what the app is about.”
“What happens if I lose the instrument.” (Policy Page)

Most feedback was in reference to the product page, see the feedback and changes below. 

Paper Prototype

I made recommended changes based on user feedback and then created a clickable prototype with Marvel. 

Next Steps

The next steps I would take would be to design user surveys to ask about the necessity of a comments section, class/private lesson recommendations, navigation bar placement, and membership fee cost. Based on the survey outcomes, I would make necessary changes to the design and create a clickable prototype for user testing.