An experiment in musical collaboration

Yoop is a multiplayer iOS-based toy designed for collaboration and musical creation with friends and family. The app, which started as a passion-based experiment in November of 2015, lets users connect their phones via Bluetooth and collaborate on sounds together by adding to and building on one another’s recordings. 


When projects often spend two weeks with the team orienting themselves within their problem space, how can a team structure their work with a bias towards action focusing on learning through building, rather than learning and then building?

Back in November of 2015, Ally-oop was an internal project where we experimented with our approach towards product design.

In this project we made the intentional decision to move away from upfront-planning, and artifacts-as-deliverables, to move towards a just-in-time approach to decision making, and shifting our perspective to the product as the deliverable.

With a team of three generalist designers, in three weeks we went from a literal blank slate to internally releasing an iOS app that makes music making collaborative, fun, and accessible.


Experimentation and iteration are somewhat of a lifeforce for ustwobies, and no project, whatever duration, internal or client-based, is complete without tracking, documenting, and reflecting on each sprint.

A full documentation of our time crafting the foundation of Yoop, from setting goals, to our first iteration, to user testing, to a deep-dive in which technologies we chose to work with and why, can be found on our blog.


Continuing the tradition (and slight addiction) of pushing boundaries and experimenting in our spare time, we really just couldn’t let Ally-oop rest on its internal laurels once the sprints were completed.

With buy-in from the New York studio, Ally-oop evolved, grew, lost team members, and added new ones. Slowly, its design, persona, and backend began to take new shapes, all while never losing sight of its humble beginnings as an experiment in musical collaboration that any generation could enjoy. With this dedication and passion, Ally-oop leveled up to Yoop, the app you can download and experience today.




The original sound packs featured in Yoop were designed by New York-based musician, London O’Connor. A friend of the the New York studio, London instantly connected with the idea for Yoop, and set out to soundtrack the toy’s brand and aesthetic. He created five sound packs for the app that users can play with – GLEEP, BUZ, BEAM, CLIF, WUP – all with their own style and offering something a bit different to the experience.


Enjoyable as it is irreverent, Yoop’s purpose is in its pointlessness. Allowing people to toy around with music in a social context, it makes the music process both approachable and ephemeral. In its current iteration, which releases today, no saving or exporting is included, and only five layers can be heard at a time. We don’t know what the future holds for our little experiment, but it has certainly come a long way, and we’re excited to continue iterating. 

Download Yoop on the App Store today.