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
In looking at learnability, Spotify is an easy-to-learn product. A large part of this is the simple and distinct user interface that’s consistent across its desktop tablet and mobile apps. For instance, they utilize mappings well. The volume control within the desktop app is symbolized with a slider, signifying decreasing and increasing volume. The audio progress bar acts similarly in that you can fast forward or rewind by sliding it left and right. Throughout the app, there’s easily identifiable affordances. Despite the product interface largely using black as a primary color, things like arrows to page through a carousel, media play icons as well as the consistent use of content blocks implies click interactions. And for the most part, these various CTA buttons are green.
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
Prior to the onset of streaming content, listening to music you wanted to took some time. Even before iTunes, you had to buy a CD, download it on your computer and then sync to your device. With Spotify, there’s great efficiency in being able to simply search for a song, artist, album, playlist or podcast and then play what you looked for. Unless there’s a licensing issue, virtually every popular artist and band has a presence on Spotify.
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.
As an avid Spotify user, this app has brought my life great satisfaction and made my life easier and better. With its overall pleasant usability, it’s allowed me to be introduced to new music and podcasts that I would’ve never discovered. Beyond usability heuristics, they utilize customer data to provide various catered playlists and fun interactive elements to you as a unique, individual experience. It’s quite literally tailored to you and your listening activity.
Spotify has made some recent improvements with their mobile application in terms of accessibility and providing an inclusive experience for all types of users.
- 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.