The devil’s in the detail, Spotify

This week Spotify finally updated the look of their Android app. But have they improved the user experience?

Somewhat.

Most notably, they got rid of the hamburger menu (praise be) and generally improved the usability of subcategories in the app. For example, the ‘Search’ category now is just the list of your searches, not a mish-mash of searches and recently played music.

However, there is still UI copy inconsistency between the desktop app and the Android app.

“Add to Queue” =/= “Add to Up Next”

“Your Music” =/= “Your Library”

There’s other examples (even just within the desktop app) showing that Spotify could be more thoughtful about their product copy. When it comes down to it though, I only care about them changing one instance of bad UX. This horrible screen:

The only reason I have a Spotify subscription is so I could use it offline. Yet as a Premium user, I still get this screen every time I open the app when I’m not connected to the Internet.

Even if the app has to make a roundtrip to the API, surely there’s a better way to handle this. For starters, the ‘You’re offline’ message doesn’t have to hijack the whole screen — it could just be a pop-up bar. Or some of the screen could display my downloaded playlists / albums.

Of course I know when I’m offline. The reason I’m opening Spotify is so I could listen to my saved music — so why do I always have to get past this useless ‘Home’ screen first? Please help me jump straight into my downloaded music.

The other reason I hate this screen is because — tonally — it’s the app equivalent of the good ol’ “Try restarting your router” advice. The smaller copy is useless and “try again” isn’t even specific enough. What exactly should I try again? Closing and re-opening the app, reloading that one screen, … ?

As a Premium (& heavy offline) user, I’d rather see a screen like this:

I wonder what % of other users like me go Premium for the offline functionality, not to avoid ads. How many of us have a poor user experience whenever we use the Spotify app offline?