Long & McQuade

Buy your music equipment anywhere in Canada

Project Overview


Why I made this project

I chose this project because I love instruments and musical equipment.

As a user, I found that the application looked outdated and was not user-friendly. 

The Long and McQuade app allows you to search, buy and order musical products online across Canada.

Long and McQuade also offers instrument rental services and music lessons.

Despite these useful features, user reviews still ranked this app poorly.

Where: Toronto
What: App IOS
Why: Portfolio Project
Role: UX Designer
Category: Music E-commerce
When: August 2022

Market Research


The claim

The global musical instrument sales market was estimated to be US$9.82 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$11.58 billion by 2030.

Market Opportunity

In recent years, online sales have increased dramatically. Users are looking for faster and easier access to musical instruments and equipment online. They want to place their orders quickly.



Unfortunately, the Long and Mcquade app is rated very poorly on Apple Store (1.9/5) and on Google Play (2.6/5), reflecting the dissatisfaction of many users. This could potentially have a negative impact on the brand's reputation and reduce the number of orders.

I researched the reviews by looking at both positive and negative to know the opinions of the users. I wanted to find ways to improve based on the data.

Comments on App Store

This app freezes all the time. It’s basically just the website poorly laid out on an app that hardly works. The search bar is a disaster. It’s similar to using a non mobile site on a mobile device. Why would I ever buy something from them with this unstable app. Online purchasing is extremely important right now. Fix this please.
Julia O.
This app is still an embarrassment and has not changed much in years. Their headhunters section is hilarious. You click a product and the screen gets a grey haze and you can’t do anything but leave the screen. Seriously using DOS is more fun than this.
Erik H.
Horribly developed This app is worse than dealing with a bad mobile website conversion. It’s sad to say because I’m a fan of the store. Don’t download this on your mobile, get yourself on a desktop computer and properly browse the site.
Melissa C.
I tried but I couldn't find a single relevant positive review about the app. 

Competitive Analysis

I started by analyzing the Long & McQuade application to have a point of reference. I continued by analyzing the Thomann app and as well as the Woodbrass mobile website. I finished my analysis with the Amazon application.

I have divided the competitive analysis into 2 parts, Advantages and Disadvantages.

Long & McQuade

  • Large choice of products and competitive prices
  • The largest network of physical stores across Canada
  • Possibility to pick up your order in store
  • Wide variety of services (Lessons, rentals, musical events)
  • Aesthetic outdated
  • Overloaded screen
  • Unhappy app user
  • App not mobile-friendly
  • Confusing layout
  • Sometimes very slow navigation


  • Clear Navigation
  • Payment facility offered
  • Good zoom functionality on products
  • French market leader
  • Customer service for product selection
  • No app is available, only a responsive design website
  • Sometimes slow to use
  • Layout is a little bit confusing
  • Unclear product description


  • Very clear home screen
  • Clean UI and Layout
  • Product image adapted to mobile
  • Reviews highlighted
  • Many product photos
  • Multimedia content available (video, audio, 360° view)
  • Satisfied users App Store (4.9), google Play (4.6)
  • Price clearly presented
  • Multimedia content is not uniform on all products


  • Clear Navigation
  • Biggest e-commerce site in the world
  • High-performance zoom module on product images
  • Recommended product adapted to recent research
  • Clear product category
  • Shortcut to access the most frequently used menu
  • Sometimes too much advertising
  • Flash sale notifications can be a bit intrusive
  • The product screen is a little bit confusing

User survey

After completing the competitive analysis, I asked this question to musicians (12 people) who regularly buy music products online.

"What is important to place an order on a musical instrument e-commerce application?" 

Additional Comments

It would be great to have access to products that I have already purchased.
Lynda T.
I really like to have access to different pictures of a musical instrument
Carole W.
It's important to find the last research I did.
Mathew D.
It is important for me to have good search results, because most of the time I know precisely what I am looking for.
Dave S.

Research Conclusion

Research shows that the clear display of prices, the ease of adding a product to the cart, and purchasing a product quickly are important for users. As a result of the additional feedback, users would like to have recommended products based on their searches and purchases and to be able to see a list of their previous purchases.


I created 2 personas based on two categories of potential users of the Long & McQuade app. The Novice musician "Tom Garfield" and the music producer "Nelly Lee".

Flow Diagram

To start the redesign of the Long and McQuade app, I made a flowchart. I represented the basic actions, like searching, adding a product to the cart, and placing an order.


Once the diagram was completed, I started with sketches and wireframes of the main flows.


After the diagram and the wireframe, I was inspired by the colors and the font from the existing branding and used these to create the high-definition prototype.

Alignment and grid

As often in my projects, I used a grid with multiples of 8 (8p,16p,24p,32p,40p) to get a good proportionality.

Accessibility Evaluation

The colors were tested to meet WCAG standards.

I started with less accessible colors, then, I improved them by checking the background and foreground colors.

Project Summary

During this project, I started by evaluating the online market for musical instruments. I did a competitive analysis, I created a flowchart, wireframes, and high-fidelity prototypes.

I finished the project with a quality assurance audit on the colors and contrast ratio in order to respect the WCAG standards.