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Spark DJ

Client: Spark DJ

Discipline: Brand Identity, App Design, Marketing

Team Members: James Jones, John Boss, Will Lakow

In 2017 I took on Spark DJ as my main client. Spark DJ is a consumer-facing app that “streams music in DJ fashion” by allowing song requests, voting, and blended song transitions. Throughout the course of my time working with Spark DJ, the startup was accepted into TechStars, one of the most prestigious accelerator programs in the world. 

Spark DJ team at TechStars Demo Day, Los Angeles, California, 2018

While this project is not super current, it was pivotal in my career as a designer. At the time, I had a comfortable full-time job at a mid-size, privately owned printing company. I spent most of my time designing direct mail pieces. (I promise, it wasn’t as boring as it sounds!) At almost the same time my husband accepted a job across the country in LaGrande, Oregon, John and James asked me if I had capacity to take on more of a full-time work-load with Spark DJ. 

I felt it was the right time to take a chance and accepted their offer. Suddenly, I was hurled into the world of a tech startup. We were a team of four, working remotely (keep in mind this is pre-pandemic) with a decent amount of funding. I did everything from designing the website to touching up pitch decks, to designing elements of the app. 

The app hasn't quite “made it big” but I am forever grateful for my time with Spark DJ. I was way out of my comfort zone and I didn't always know what I was doing. But through the experience I learned things that made me a much stronger designer. I gained a ton of experience designing for digital (up until this point, I was primarily a print designer), I learned how to work through imposter syndrome by taking risks and being ok with failure, and because of the wide variety of things I was doing, I learned what type of work I enjoyed and what type of work I did not.


When I started working with the Spark DJ team, a prototype of the app already existed. I worked closely with our developer, Will, to help update graphics, create brand consistency and improve the overall user experience.

Much of what we did was small iterations that were tested over time. A few examples shown below are the "Browse DJs" menu page along with the "Select a Playlist" popup. It was interesting to see how these small changes greatly affected the feedback we received in our user testing groups.

Another element I was responsible for was the Spark DJ website. Based on the mentorship and advice we received in the TechStars program, we pivoted our target audience from consumer (21-34 year old adults) to businesses (bars and entertainment venues). Because of this, both the website and the app went through a major design overhaul. Below is an example of the business-facing website.

The change in target audience added an entirely new element to the app - a screen display. Now more than an interactive streaming app, Spark DJ evolved into a game, or source of entertainment, for bars and venues. Users are able to vote on the next songs and follow along on a projected screen in the venue. Color became of higher importance and much time was spent designing the look and flow of the voting element.


Under the title of "Marketing Director" was a whole slew of different tasks, some that I discovered I loved, and some that I did not care for. One of the things I loved doing for the company was managing the Spark DJ brand. to be continued


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