Oct 2015 - Apr 2016

Whale Farm is the brainchild of Jay Knowles, a country songwriter from Nashville. The current workflow for getting newly-written songs to the right people in the music industry is incredibly cumbersome. Sometimes songwriters email an MP3, or even send a CD, but there’s very little visibility into what happens afterwards. Songwriters write as many as one song a week, so it’s very easy for good songs to get lost in the mess.

"Whale Farm is revolutionizing the process of pitching, discovering, rating and sharing songs. We provide unprecedented access as well as a simple platform for listening, collecting and recommending songs among music professionals."

I worked closely with Jay and his associates to translate some bare-bones mockups into simple workflows and a feature-rich website. Top songwriters and industry execs receive a personalized invite code to try the platform. Once they set up their profile, he or she can start listening to newly aded songs, sort, filter and save songs to playlists. If they like a song, they can add it to a playlist, send it to other associates or reach out to the songwriter directly.

The Invite Flow



The biggest challenge of this project was replacing each songwriter and industry exec’s personalized process with a brand new one. It’s incredibly difficult to make someone (especially in a non-tech space) adopt a new methodology because of the expected learning curve. However, making Whale Farm invite-only provides a certain amount of intrigue, and offers the benefit of hosting only the top players from both the songwriting and industry communities.

Because the members of this community may or may not be tech-savvy, we focused on a simple workflow with a clear mechanism to save good songs. Thumbs-uping a song is the most basic function of this site, and all the other actions only matter if the listener likes a song. All actions include a text label so there’s no confusion about what a button does. The copy is conversational and instructional in tone—what started as “advanced catalog management” evolved into “the new network of undiscovered songs for music industry professionals"

Adding a Song to a Playlist

Whale Farm is in development at the moment. I delivered pixel perfect specs in Zeplin, and worked with the developer to deliver all the assets. The team will launch the product on desktop first, and based on interest, pursue mobile.


"Thanks so much for all your fantastic work! The few people I've been able to share it with are super impressed and, most importantly, can tell exactly what it does and how to use it without any explanation or prompting from me. Success!” - Jay Knowles, Product Owner