A Songwriter’s Guide to UX / UI

Craig Martinson
2 min readApr 20, 2021

Part 1: Defining the Problem

Before we get started, let me tell you a little about myself and what I will be doing here…

Who Am I?

Ohh hai, my name is Craig Martinson and I am UI Designer transitioning from a 20 year career as a musician! (I STARTED YOUNG) In my two decades as a rock n’ roller, I’ve had the privilege of writing and recording dozens of records, touring the country, performing for thousands of people, and quite frankly - living my dream.

What‘s This All About?

I am so glad you asked! When I made the decision to pursue a career in UX / UI, it felt like a total 180, an epic late night cannonball from the roof into my neighbor’s pool…metaphorically speaking… However, it didn’t take very long for me to realize just how relevant my experience writing, performing and producing music truly was. This blog is a peak behind the UX / UI curtain through the unique lense of a songwriter. I will walk you through the design process and highlight its many inherent similarities (and key differences) to making music along the way. OKAY! LET’S GOOOOO!

Defining the Problem — Looking Outward

We can’t create a solution if we haven’t defined the problem. DUH! Good design should address a human need. We identify shared pain points in a given experience and strive to improve it. In contrast, more often than not, songwriters are looking inward and exploring their personal journey. This was a big hurdle for me and required a major paradigm shift in my approach and mindset. As a songwriter, I endeavoured to explore MY artistic vision, share MY authentic feelings, and tell MY stories MY way. Simply put, I was always looking inward. As a designer, I had to learn how to identify YOUR needs, understand YOUR feelings, and tell YOUR stories in a variety of ways. I had to look outward

What’s Next?

Next week we will dive into User Research and Analysis, and the motivations of independent vs pop artists.

Stay safe out there!



Craig Martinson

I have a compulsion and a passion to create...a compassion? I have that too.