Magic Piano transforms your device into a piano and transforms you into the pianist! This game-like musical instrument is the most popular Smule app and is one of the biggest sources of revenue for the company.
I was not yet full-time at Smule when the first version came out, but I did a lot work for updates and also used Magic Piano as a launchpad for prototyping. In 2012, I felt that the code was becoming difficult to maintain so I rewrote the entire app from scratch. This duplication started off as an exercise/experiment in my free time, but when it looked as though it might actually be useful we extended the project into production code and got rid of the old version entirely. The result was much smoother development of new features and the beginning off the shared code base that is now in every Smule app.
As Director of Product Design, when it came time to update the major apps to the new Smule UI standard Magic Piano was the trickiest of the bunch. The app was extremely different from the others and also a source of revenue that could not be disturbed. The solution remains an ongoing process of slow shifting, starting with a mostly-visual facelift and slowly adapting navigational and UX changes, often with rigorous A/B testing.