I still remember the first playlist I helped name at Spotify. I’m a UX Writer on the Personalization team at Spotify and naming — communicating what a playlist is — is a big part of what I do. A product manager, a designer, and I held a quick brainstorm. We set a three-minute timer on my iPhone, threw names up on a whiteboard (with one rule: no such thing as a bad idea), and then talked through our ideas. That brainstorming led to what would eventually be called Family Mix, and what would be our first ever Namestorm.

It was a scrappy process, but it worked. Brainstorming (or Namestorming) is still at the heart of how we name personalized playlists at Spotify, but as the number of made-for-you playlists has grown, we realized our process for naming them needed to evolve, too. We needed to think of our entire ecosystem of personalized sets, how the names would work together, and determine a way to document all the thought that went into this process.

Our world of personalized playlists

When Janey Lee moved to Stockholm to join Spotify Design, one of her main goals was to learn more about designing products for the entire world, and not just the US and Europe. Over the past year, she has learned that designing for the globe meant nothing short of undoing most default behaviors and assumptions she held as a designer.

We took some time to speak to Janey about the process of critically examining and evolving her design practice.

Tell us about what changed in your design practice since you joined Spotify. Where did it all begin?

Anyone who lived through 2020 knows that the assumptions we hold about the world are, more often than not…

Every December, millions of Spotify users around the world experience Spotify Wrapped, and reflect on their audio habits from the past year. To bring this experience to life, many teams and functions within Spotify rally around the Wrapped campaign in order to deliver a delightful experience, year after year. In this story, you’ll learn about some ways product design translated important pieces of the 2020 Wrapped brand campaign to make them look and feel beautiful on Spotify mobile apps.

Brand ↔ Product

Scalable: Reflected Imagery Effects


As creatives, we tend to draw inspiration from the things and people around us. We love that moment where the penny drops, the stars align and clouds part. To get some fresh perspective, we reached out to four people who craft different kinds of experiences and asked them some of the questions we ask ourselves as designers on a daily basis, to find out how they make “aha! Moments” happen.

We collected pearls of wisdom from:
Jade Coles, Event curator
Refik Anadol, Digital artist
Oliver Lansley, Immersive Theatre Director
Liz Alpern, Chef and Creator of Queer Soup Night

Spotify operates at a massive scale: We have millions of listeners whose activities generate huge amounts of raw data. Raw data by itself is not that helpful though; we need to be able to process, manage, and distill it into insights that can inform new features or improvements to the experience. And to do that, we need usable, well-designed tools that ensure these insights can be easily understood.

Up until recently, the tools Spotify’s data scientists used every day were designed mostly by engineers. There was no one dedicated to looking at the problems data scientists were experiencing holistically. …

Sure, this is the Spotify Design Medium, and I dive a little into engineering in the article below — but design systems are cross-discipline at their heart and require a little bit from everyone and all disciplines to truly succeed!

Author’s note: You’ll notice that throughout this article I use the word “customers” when talking about a design system’s primary users — your teammates. In most cases, you’ll be building a design system for your internal colleagues to use in their applications. So when I mention “customers” that’s who I mean.

Picture this: You’ve landed yourself a killer new role…

Behind the Scenes is a new Spotify Design series that offers an inside look at creating experiences at Spotify.

“I feel like we’re in such a unique position to really create evolution…Spotify can take it to the next level and incorporate a lot of creative things — it just seems to make way too much sense,” says Cole Cuchna, creator of Dissect, a Spotify Original podcast that spends an entire season breaking down the lyrics, meaning, and music of a particular album.

Podcasting as we know it today really took off in the early 2000s, when portable audio players adopted…

What did you do before joining Spotify Design? That’s the question at the crux of our first Spotify Design podcast, Past Lives, a series dedicated to exploring the unexpected and interesting careers of our designers before coming to Spotify.

Co-produced by Shamik Ray, Principal Designer, and Eda Yu, UX Writer, the series was a new, exciting project to work on. With the help of Maggie Zhang as project manager, we navigated creating our first-ever podcast for Spotify.Design, learning about production, live interviewing, and podcast branding along the way. …

While I know our design community is hungry for Figma plugins, I’m here to talk to you about a different plug-in: the social impact kind. I’ve learned first-hand what kind of impact us product designers can have when we venture beyond our product bubble. This post is about why it’s important to get plugged in beyond your design org.

Spotify just launched the biggest non-partisan voting campaign in the company’s history and it might not have happened if it wasn’t for despair, a rooftop happy hour, an idea, and some designers deciding to get politically involved two years sooner.

Eagle-eyed readers may have stumbled across it already, but if you haven’t found your way to the Spotify Design Listen hub yet, you can be forgiven. We were stealthy with its release. However, now that it’s been out in the world for some time, we thought we’d take the opportunity to properly introduce you to the place on our site where design and audio come together.

When we revamped Spotify Design, we wanted to build on what we already had (written and visual stories showcasing our projects, tools, and community), by experimenting with new formats in our storytelling.

Bringing the Listen Hub to Life

As a…

Spotify Design

Spotify Design are a cross-disciplinary product design community. We love to create great experiences and make connections between listeners and creators.

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