An exploration of the importance of trust in algorithms and ways to increase user engagement with Pandora’s music streaming app

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The King of Music Discovery

In today’s world, we have a plethora of music streaming services to choose from. Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, Deezer, Soundcloud… the list goes on. But when it comes to music discovery, Pandora has yet to be dethroned. One of Pandora’s greatest and most iconic features is its music discovery algorithm, which is powered by the Music Genome Project. Pandora describes this as the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken to “capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level”. …

A 4 day design sprint done as a part of my application for the Kleiner Perkins Design Fellowship.

I. Introduction

Problem Statement

How could we reduce the anxiety involved with ride-share passengers being uncertain of which seats are occupied in the vehicle before entering?


We’ve all had this happen to us — the Uber Pool ride arrives, you walk up to the car and open the rear door only to find someone already sitting in that spot, staring back at you with a disgruntled look on their face.

One of the current problems with the ride-share platform is that passengers aren’t given any information beforehand as to where their co-riders are sitting inside the vehicle, making it difficult for them to confidently reach for the door with the vacant seat. This happens more frequently in lower visibility conditions, at night, and in situations where the vehicle has dark window tints, making it difficult to assess the seating situation from outside. …


Varun Nambiar

I’m a Human Computer Interaction and Industrial Design double master’s student at Georgia Tech. Check out my work!

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