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Mideast Youth promotes freedom of expression and social justice through digital engagement in the Middle East and North Africa. Their music app, Mideast Tunes, is the ultimate platform for discovering underground musicians in the region.

  • User Experience Strategy
  • UI & UX Design
  • Native App Development
  • API Integration
  • 400k+ Active Users
Various screen featured on Mideast Tunes

Going native

Reimagined as a native Android and iOS app, Mideast Tunes would be able to offer a snappier experience and a host of new device-driven features to a captive audience of listeners.

iphone devices showing various mid east tunes screens

Discovery

The discovery process was led by a desire to keep the app simple, functional and engaging. Alongside a more intuitive user experience, our overhaul also introduced multi-lingual capabilities.

grid of various mid east tunes screens

Search

The app mitigates potentially long search delays with user psychology buffers like responsive animations and selective content loading.

In addition, we designed an economical “quick view” feature that lets users play music directly from search results, avoiding the need to switch screens and reload data.

Tailored language support

Artist profiles feature audio, video and an artist-submitted bio, in both English and Arabic.

Both iOS and Android platforms are built to accommodate the specific rendering and interactive behaviours between each operating system in their respective versions.

Offline Play

The ability to download was deemed an essential feature as app users in the target region may often find themselves without mobile roaming capabilities.

Users can grab single tracks or entire collections at at a time, while the app automatically manages download states (pause and resume) based on network availability.

Device integration

Both versions of Mideast Tunes are fully device-integrated, meaning users take advantage of all the smart touches like continuous play on a sleeping device, album art on the lock screen, Airplay (iOS) and bluetooth support, and the mobile device’s native “double buffering” feature for seamless listening.

Because double buffering wasn’t an available feature on older versions of Android, we built our own so listeners across the entire userbase could enjoy the same experience.

Music for social change

Leaning on key UI paradigms and in-built OS capabilities, the re-created Mideast Tunes apps are significantly faster and offer more stability and a smaller data footprint than their web-based predecessor.

New highlights include backwards compatibility all the way to Android 2.3.3, right-to-left screen layouts, user login, playlists, background and lockscreen music control, Airplay and bluetooth speaker compatibility, favourite artists, recommended artists, social sharing, responsive UI, notifications, and hardware controls.

apple and android devices showing mid east tunes screens

“ Mideast Tunes is the largest platform for underground musicians in the Middle East and North Africa. Launched in 2010, the site went through many iterations as we had to quickly keep up with the latest technology and design standards in order to provide our users with the best possible experience.

Our last iteration was in 2012, at the time our mobile apps were riddled with bugs, our site's design was outdated, and we had a lot of catching up to do. Having worked with Humaan on numerous other projects, we knew they'd be a great fit for our rebrand, redesign, and mobile app development. The mobile apps were developed from scratch and we've just relaunched on both iOS and Android to amazing reviews and feedback. Apart from a huge redesign, the apps also included lots of new features, and is now available in both English and Arabic. This was a great challenge that took a lot of hard work and effort to finally overcome and we couldn't be happier with the results. ”

Esra'a Al Shafei
Director, Mideast Youth