Guitar! by Smule

Guitar allows you to provide the accompaniment to singers from Smule's Sing! Karaoke app and was the first Smule release to allow cross-app collaboration. It started off as a 4-week prototyping sprint and I developed the guitar interactions and playback engine, created the guitar samples, wrote the audio engine, arranged several songs, and put together the menu system in this time. We put a small team on the project and after about a month of additional development, user testing, visual updates, and song arranging we launched ‘Guitar!’ on the iOS app store. It received 3.5M downloads in the first week, peaking as the #7 free app.

In the months that followed we fleshed out the monetization strategy, guitar selection, and song library. We also added a lot of backend support to allow for more flexible cross-app collaboration, designing a more generic system to handle any app talking to any other app.

You may notice a big difference in visual style between the launch video and the screen shots. When I became Director of Product Design, one of my main initiatives was to unify design across all of Smule's major titles. Over time Guitar began to take on the new Smule look-and-feel while still keeping the eye-catching elements that made it unique. It also received a gorgeous re-skin from Smule's visual design team.

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Here's the video we put out for the original Guitar! launch.