Apple Music Redesign: Part 1.

A few designers shared their visions of the service with us. They focused on UI and usability and fixed the biggest flaws of AM user experience. Is it enough? No, it isn’t.

Even after a complete interface overhaul Apple will be on the spot, where its main competitor, Spotify, was a year ago. Now it’s leaving the spot behind. Let me just mention services like Spotify Now and Running, the Swedish company wants to change the way people discover music, for the better. That said, it’s obvious that a simple UI redesign and minor improvements are not enough for Apple Music. The question is — what more?



The Core Loop

In the beginning, we need to define the product purpose, the core idea of how a user can benefit from using it. Define the core loop. I’ve written it before. For me, using a music streaming service is a constant exploration, a never-ending process of discovery. When you discover something great, you don’t want to lose it, so you save it and when this great track is safe, saved in your library, you can listen to it as many times as you want. It’s the core loop of the perfect music streaming service (for me)!

Music streaming service core loop

Explore

Users continuously explore music library searching for a new music that suits their tastes. It should be easy. No matter how do they do this: by following their friends activity, listening to a radio, browsing curated playlists or checking their recommendations.

Save

Saving a song to user library should be the easiest thing in the world. One click, no drop-down menus, etc. A simple message, quick action. The same applies to playlists. Just drag a song to create a new playlist.

Listen (and Share)

The player, a core part of the service. It’s the best thing in Apple Music, but it could be improved when it comes to UI. It should be the easiest thing to pause music, start playing or check your queue.

Improvements

Apple Music needs improvements on two main levels. It needs new functionalities and user interface tweaks.

The most important change.

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Personalisation

I’m in love with the concept of personalisation. In all the services personalisation goes only as far as proposed playlists. In my opinion, extending personalisation options will be great from a user perspective. I posted some work-in-progress designs of Apple music/iTunes on Behance and I got some nice feedback.

We could give users opportunity to arrange their welcome screens the way that suits them the best.

Some of them would like to have Top Hits lists on the first screen, some would prefer to see recommended music or their friends activity.

Every Artist is Different

Every single band or singer is different. They provide different emotions and experience.

iTunes has this nice concept of colouring every artist’s page in a different colour, putting the artist’s photo on top. But it looks like designers at Apple don’t have the guts to pull it off.

I’d love to see this concept on the bigger scale. Used more boldly. You can see my quick concept below.

Personalized Kanye West page proposal

New Ways of Discovering Music

Right now Apple Music is a very standard service. Yeah, they have these super-duper algorithms that serve you music similar to your taste, but it’s so 2010. From a company such as Apple, I’m demanding more.

I’d love to see how the whole ecosystem comes to play. How the data collected from my iWatch or iPhone translates into curated playlists created just for me.

Personalised recommendations proposals. Based on data from Apple Watch or iTunes Movies.

Integration of Apple Music with Apple Watch or third party apps would be a killing feature.

Think that you don’t need to craft your running playlist manually. You don’t even need to hope that Spotify will determine your tempo right. It’s all here. Apple has the data and the hardware to measure it.

Social Features

You can say what you like but for me Apple Music has no social features. Apple introduced Connect which was supposed to be the next groundbreaking social feature. It turns out it’s just another Facebook fan page. Meanwhile, there are no options to share your music, playlists or discoveries with your friends or the whole community. That should also be changed.

Improving “Your Music” Experience

This is a very small improvement to make, but it’s very important. Right now saving a song to your collection of favourite songs is a pain in the ass. Saving whole playlists is even worse. Meanwhile, you could do it in just one click.

Just one click to add a song to your collection.

Other Small Improvements

Beside all that I wrote above, Apple Music (or rather iTunes) needs major UI improvements. iTunes was meant as a music/video player at the start. Then a store comes in, and now a streaming service. In my article, I wrote about it in more detail. iTunes architecture isn’t good enough to handle all of these features. That’s why it should be redesigned — the whole app architecture and structure. In my designs, I tried to approach this problem separating individual sections more.

Two levels of navigation

Takeout

Hologram — UX, UI and Product Design & Strategy


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Design in the digital age

Interaction / Product / User Experience / User Interface / Design

Tom Koszyk

Written by

Founder and Lead Creative at Hologram: Digital Design Studio. Music addicted typography lover and video gamer. http://www.hologramdesign.co

Design in the digital age

Interaction / Product / User Experience / User Interface / Design