Spotify: Usability and Accessibility Principles

[This post was written for Designlab’s UX Academy course]

As someone who loves music, Spotify is a product that I use on a daily basis. Whether I’m in the car, working on my computer or cleaning the house, Spotify is an integral part of my life. And despite using it daily, I’ve never dug deep into the intricacies of the app itself. And I’m going to do just that!

Spotify provides utility, as it meets the need of music listeners. With that, they provide a usable product that’s easy to use and access with free and paid options as well as syncable mobile and desktop apps. Users desire Spotify as a product with its simple interface. As a brand, Spotify has a large, known presence that is very recognizable and noticeable. This is largely due to following usability heuristics.

Learnability and Memorability

When considering memorability, Spotify provides backward and forward arrows to navigate through the various playlists, genres and more. Again, its simple UI provides for memorability, especially after not using the product for a period of time. In fact, they recently did an update on UI. The changes were subtle though, with no relearning needed.

Efficiency and Errors

Along those lines, if you aren’t able to find what you’re looking for, Spotify offers up various error messages in different formats. Additionally, if something is done incorrectly, they notify users of this and provides them with links or buttons that will correct the error. In this same vein, they’re also helpful in certain ways, like letting users know they’re adding a duplicate song to a playlist.

Satisfaction

Accessibility

  • Buttons colors, text formatting and size adjusted to accommodate those with low vision or visually impaired users to spot these buttons.
  • Users can increase their text within settings. This is a great addition as some screens had been small in scale within the mobile app in the past.
  • Auto-generated transcripts of select podcasts allow users to read the text of the podcasts with or without sound playing. They hope to roll this out for all podcasts on the platform.

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