SoundCloud brings in former Microsoft design chief

The music streaming company has appointed Prarthana Johnson to the new role of head of design.

SoundCloud has shaken up its management structure by appointing Prarthana Johnson to a new head of design role, with the aim of making the company’s product and service strategy more design focused.

Johnson, who has 14 years experience designing for environments, devices, mobility, applications and services, joins from Microsoft where she was principal design manager, leading communication experiences on the Skype team.

“Own and drive” design strategy

A SoundCloud spokeswoman says: “As head of design, Prarthana will own and drive SoundCloud’s design strategy and promote design as a discipline within SoundCloud, strengthening our design and UXR processes.

“The goal of the design team is to delight our users, listeners and creators alike, and to find ways to represent the breadth of unique content and creativity that sit on our platform.”

Before SoundCloud appointed Johnson designers, at the company reported into the product team.

Greater emphasis on design

Although SoundCloud is looking to place greater emphasis on design, it says design has always been a core focus.

The spokeswoman says: “SoundCloud has recognised the importance of design since its very beginning. The iconic waveform is one expression of our design philosophy; simple, giving substance to content, human, and unique.”

Johnson will be reporting to Eric Wahlforss, co-founder and chief technology Officer.

Wahlforss says: “With her extensive experience designing a huge variety of products and services, and her passion for enabling communication through new technologies, she’s perfectly placed to take responsibility for design for SoundCloud and the next stages of our evolution as a company.”

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