Spotify mobile: An experience to consider

Proposing small UI/UX improvements that could be a big deal


I am addicted to music and Spotify helps supply the fix I need. When I am not creating a playlist or jamming out to an album from my childhood, I am trying to discover new or similar artists that keep me on the happy path. I’ve used a ton of music streaming services before, but Spotify is the only music streaming app I’ve used on mobile. One day, wearing my “Designer” hat, I conceptualized a few ideas that would improve my experience using Spotify’s mobile app.

1. Persistent Search

Persistent Search proposal

While grooving, sometimes I want to search for another artist, song, or playlist from the player screen. I am not weird for wanting this. Music is processed through emotion not logic; so help me irrationally search while I am already listening to something awesome.

The search field in the current mobile app is hard to reach.
If I am in the player view and I navigate to “Your Music”, I have to press the “Back” chevron icon twice before the search field is exposed; kind of frustrating.

Search should always be easily accessible. My concept familiarly positions “Search” in the upper-right corner, replacing the “Queue-list” icon.

2. Access options by pressing album art

Album link proposal

On mobile devices, images and videos are usually easier to press than basic hyperlinks… and icons, occasionally. In the player view, the album art takes up a great deal of real estate, but nothing happens when I press it. It may be more effective to leverage the album art as a means to access the context menu, currently housed within the “Additional options” icon(…)

3. “Quick Save” button removal or make it optional

Quick Save in current mobile experience

When the “Quick Save” feature was introduced a few releases ago, I thought it was pretty convenient. I started losing interest when my songs were all over the place. I organize my playlist according to moods and feelings, so I don’t always want to hear Mozart and Metallica in the same mix.

Adding a song to a playlist is sufficient and satisfying. The “Quick Save” feature may be unnecessary.

Though, I find it unnecessary, some people may find the “Quick Save” feature useful, so having the option to enable/disable at a user’s discretion could also be considered.

4. “Additional Options” and “Queue” repositioning

“Additional Options” and “Queue list” button position proposal

The “Additional Options” icon is pretty intuitive so I wouldn’t remove it. If users did not press the album art proposed above, this button would be a backup plan or a primary point of interaction for some. The new position replaces the “Quick Save” button. The “Queue List” button is now off to the right; no longer in the prominent, upper-right position.

5. Slightly bigger scrubbing knob

Scrubbing knob proposal

Right now, the scrubbing knob in Spotify for iOS is very small. Again, on mobile, size affects accessibility. I just want to make it a little larger.

6. A better Search experience, overall.

The search field in my opinion, is probably one of the most import UI elements within an app. A basic search field helps us find what we want, but a more effective search field makes it easier for us to discover new and/or familiar experiences. Discoverability keeps me a happy user.

A proposed search experience

I would love if Spotify gave me a way to discover artists, albums, and playlists from the search experience. Once I press the search icon, it will familiarly take me to an input view that opens the mobile keyboard. Once I press the “Clear” icon (X), it would be awesome to be greeted with:

  1. What’s trending
  2. Recommendations
  3. Recent searches (Prioritized last)

7. Added depth to buttons

Microscopically, the UI could be improved if buttons/action icons had more depth.

Faint shadowing added to buttons for increased accessibility

I really love flat design but not all UI elements are effective when flat. I think the play controls would feel more accessible if depth were added to them; a subtle drop-shadow could work.

Closing

I really dig the app, and my proposed UI changes are mostly based on the visual style of the current design, so implementation wouldn’t be drastic. Other users/designers may have other improvement suggestions but I think the experience I am proposing is small but really effective.

What do you think?

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