Raising the volume of independent Australian radio

Irreverent, independent and a whole lot of fun, Triple R FM is Melbourne's longest independent radio broadcaster funded by subscribers.

In 2018, I worked closely with their marketing and web teams to bring a new lease of life to their outdated website, delivering a complete redesign of their website and live on-air radio player, and a brand new online subscription flow.

I was the lead designer responsible for:

  • Designing a mobile and web subscription flow
  • Creating a whole new web player for on-demand listening
  • Site-wide redesign and information architecture
↑ Above: For wireframes, we iterated on prototypes and recruited members to collect feedback on onboarding, account and subscription management.

Audience first, on mobile

Triple R’s audience majority comprised of paid subscribers, often with multiple subscriptions per person. Existing methods of subscription were via mail, email or telephone.

We prioritised making online subscription a simple process to facilitate more sign-ups during the annual drive, Radiothon. To kick things off, I designed a mobile-first flow for new and existing members.

Account management was looped into this process, as many members have multiple subscriptions for their business, family and friends, and even pets.

Result

The site launched just before Radiothon and saw a 50% increase in new subscribers.

↑ Above: Play live radio on the player, add to your playlist from the website, or manage your queue.

Online radio

The new website also necessitated on-demand listening in addition to on-air broadcast. The structure and design of the new website had to feature a player allowing visitors to play whatever they liked, wherever they liked.

Inspired by wonderful web players such as the now-defunct Rdio, Pitchfork and Netflix, I started thinking about what felt lovely about their interfaces. On many websites with radio, the player is almost always an afterthought. We had to begin with the player in this project—it was the most resource-heavy element, and had to work well with different page layouts.

↑ Above: An early concept demonstrating player interaction and site layout during discovery

Begin again, from the red

When it came to their identity, Triple R had relied on independent artists to create artwork for the programs and campaigns. The only constants were their logo and the black/red colour scheme.

The web team and I collected artefacts of design and sites that we liked and could best represent Triple R. We settled on a modern interface design layered with artefacts that signalled for “indie” and “grunge”.

I presented concepts of design direction and a new visual language for interface design that would highlight custom seasonal artwork and program headers to show the array of design flavour that has always been core to Triple R’s identity.

↑ Above: Page banners showing custom user-uploaded artwork.
↑ Above: Design direction and a sample of the style guide.

Reflection

This was a huge project and took over a year to come to life. We had really good engagement with our stakeholders and we checked in often with one other.

In retrospect, we could’ve been more iterative. Knowing what I know now (two years later), I would’ve taken advantage of that relationship and run early ideation sessions to be sure we all aligned on how to deliver key parts of the project.