Spotify finally fixed the most annoying thing about their app!

Alborz Heydaryan
2 min readMay 5, 2016

They have replaced the burger button with a tab bar.

Every good user experience needs to provide these pieces of information to the users: Where they are, where they can go, and how they can get there.

Here are just two of the issues with the burger button, and how the tab bar approach is a better solution:

1: Discoverability.
Burger button: At each given time the user is always one tap away from finding out what other pages the app has, that the user can discover.
Tab bar: The user sees the five pages they can explore, with an icon and text that helps them find what they’re looking for easier.

2: The mental model of the app.
Burger button: With this approach, the user is always dependant on the burger button. Although this may sound like a very easy to learn path, in reality, it is only pushing the problem a step deeper and introducing more trouble and complexity. Here’s why: anytime a user wants to switch to a different page they have to tap the burger button which is an extra step. The position of the button adds a huge hurdle to the user experience as it is on the top corner of the screen and is very hard to reach. After that, the user needs to select from the list of 6 pages. The problem with a vertical 6 item list is that it’s difficult to memorize the spatial position of the elements on the list.
Tab bar: Right off the bat, the user does not need to tap a button to see the button. The buttons are always right there present for the user whenever they may need them. Secondly, the buttons are in reach of the user’s fingers. No more finger gymnastics just to go from ‘home’ to ‘browse’. Lastly, and most importantly, the mental model of the app is now very clear and much easier to understand and learn for users. The average person can keep track of 7 ± 2 items at a time. That makes 5 the largest number that most people can track.

The main argument for the burger button is usually one of these:
1. It’s clean and easy. Which as I’ve argued, it isn’t. It looks clean, but in reality, it’s just hiding the mess one layer deeper.
2. If it wasn’t good, then why is Spotify using it? Well, guess what? They’re not anymore.