Meg Monroe

︎ Product designer 
︎ New York, NY  



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︎Feature integration that encourages unbiased representation in music
︎Timeline: Sept 2022 – Jan 2023 
︎Tools: Figma, After Effects
︎Team: Me, UX/UI Designer


Recommendation algorithms are inherently biased


How might we encourage users to practice equitable listening?


Integrate a filter system into existing streaming apps


Collectively, women make up less than 37% of the music industry today: 3% of producers, 13% of songwriters and 21% of artists. Over the past ten years, only 14% of Grammy nominees were women. 


This underrepresentation exists for a number of reasons, one being music recommendation algorithms. Machine learning relies on data gathered from humans; meaning, the data sets foundational to machine learning are skewed to reflect inequity.

I started my research by talking to my classmates and understanding their music taste + goals.

Classmates  ︎︎︎ Top Artists of 2022


User research was an integral part of this project and backed all of my design decisions. I conducted 50 individual interviews & gathered data based on their top 100 songs of 2022, most of which skewed over 50% male artists. Almost all interviewees were surprised by the gender breakdown of their top 100 songs in 2022. 

Top 50 Songs USA  |  11.16.22 ︎︎︎ Only three female artist


Using what I learned from my research, I created personas for two groups of listeners: the music gurus and everyday average listeners. In these personas, I specifically focused on the user needs and frustrations. 


After conducting research and understanding the user, I created an opportunity map as a way to think through different design solutions. My aha moment from this exercise was the idea of integrating a filter system with already existing streaming platforms.


After understanding my goals for the design solution (awareness, transparency, and inclusion), I began wireframing keeping Spotify’s UI in mind. 

Mash Roundup ︎︎︎ Rethinking Spotify Wrapped


Mash, a brand that stands out on its own within the category, still lives within Spotify, a pre-established streaming service. 


Establish present filters in music streaming apps specific to your goals


Similar to Spotify Wrapped, but instead of learning about your listening habits generally, users can learn about their listening habits specifically regarding gender diversity.

Mash Roundup ︎︎︎ Rethinking Spotify Wrapped


Users can share their use of Mash with their followers by enabling the orange verification check in your streaming app settings. By doing so, those who follow you can see that you support equality in music.


The verification badge provides an opportunity for artists to promote Mash. If the orange check appears on their profile, it means the artist supports creating an equally represented industry. 


The brand for this project was very important to me and felt integral to the success of the feature integration as a whole. I used bright colors and bold typography to create eye catching graphics that encourage users to diversify their music libraries.


Users have the opportunity to learn more MASH through out of home spots with a strong call to action, MASH sponsored social media ads, and strategically placed digital posters.


Although this was a grad school project, I was able to gather direct results from my classmates. I presented this project to the entirety of my grad school class and asked them to fill out a survey after the presentation.

98% of participants said they wished this existed in Spotify today.

74% of partipants said they were surprised by their 2022 wrapped gender breakdowns, expecting their listening habits to be more evenly distributed between men and women.  

I followed up with 10 classmates last December to review their Spotify Wrapped of 2023. 90% of participants’ Top 100 songs of 2023 included at least 5 more female artists than the year before. Each participant attributed this to gaining awareness of the problem the year before.


This project was really important and fun for me. I was able to work on anything that I wanted to for my Independent Study, as long as it had something to do with Experience Design. So, I was able to spend an extensive amount of time working on something that I’m passionate about and solving a problem that most people don’t know exists. 

One of my favorite takeaways from this project was the ability to speak with ML/AI experts to learn more about the growing technology and how it lives within our world today. While ML/AI tools provide amazing solutions to problems in our every day world, I learned that now more than ever it’s important to think through the impact these solutions might have on humanity as a whole.