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UI/UX Fluidity

Hello. I am a new user from Brazil and I've subscribed to the premium service. I also use Google Play Music and Rdio. I have some considerations regarding the Spotify Android app. After the redesign the app received much needed polish, but I believe there is room for improvement on usability.

I use a Nexus 5 with Android 4.4.3 and the latest version of the app until this moment.

1. The three dot menu target on songs is too small. While listening tomuisc and creating a playlist I often play the song accidentally when in fact I'm trying to press the three dot menu to see the option to add it to a playlist. The touch target area gets briefly highlighted while pressing it and it clearly is too small.

2. On Rdio and GPM the Now Playing area at the bottom can be grabbed and the user can slide it up to the top in a fluid manner. On Spotify you can only click it. There is no gesture support. Most android users are used to such gestures, and it makes for a disruptive experience when using the Spotify Android app.

3. The gestures issue can also apply to the lack of support of rearranging item on a playlist or queue, by dragging them on the left side handle as in GPM or dismissing them by flicking each song sideways on either direction. These should be standard as they are part of the core android app experience and the fact that Spotify does not implement it makes it feel like the app is a bit foreign, disconnected from the system.

4. Search button. To search we must use the slide out menu, click on search and then type. On Android such frequent action as search is often placed on a persistent search button on the action bar at the top right corner. It should be like this on the Spotify app too.

5. When on offline mode, the app should only display the synced content, instead of displaying everything and highlighting what is available. It is frustrating to go through a massive collection of music when you are commuting on offline mode and just want to select something from the music you've synced to your device. And as most users unfortunately are on data caps for their wireless service the switch to offline mode is sometimes made frequent, and could be placed for quick access at the slide out menu instead of within the settings area.

6. Art cache. It seems that the app fetches the art for album covers, playlists and artists every time it is open. That or there is a lag in fetching this information from the app data on device. It would be nicer if the images would be readily available regardless of the type of connection and whether they should be refreshed. Its better to browse the content with the actual intended art than to see placeholders when to should already be on the device.

7. Play later / Queue. It should be made easy to manage and to add songs to the queue on the go. Including the gestures mentioned before for moving items up and down and removing them. Also with bigger targets for the three dot menu on individual songs.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical, but these issues amount to a less than ideal user experience of the app on Android, and I hope the developers can fix it and bring it more in line with the standards for Android apps. And also they improve how we use the service, so it is in the general interest of both the company and the customers I believe.
1 Reply

Awesome post! Going to go through it point by point.


1. Totally agree with you. I gave up trying to hit the target and long touch instead to get to the context menu. I'd say this was a bug but spotify would probably consider it a feature so can I suggest you start a new idea on this?


2. Swiping up used to be a feature on iOS but it was removed, I think, because it interfered with iOS 7. I'll disagree with you here - touching the bottom bar needs less effort than swiping up.


3. Rearranging playlists has been requested. Please add your support. I'm not sure how useful being able to drag music around on a small screen device would really be. I had a quick scan through the ideas section and don't see anything relating specifically to android so maybe post a new idea there requesting that the standard drag feature be enabled in all views?


4. A lot of android apps use the soft menu to avoid cluttering up the screen. However, it would be more intuitive for seach to be listed when I touch the android soft menu button too.


5. I don't agree with your assumption here but you can filter on offline content only already. Slide down in most views to reveal the filters one of which is "offline content only". Intelligent autoswitching would be nice though - post a new idea. I'll vote for it 🙂


6. This is fine for users with newer devices with 32 or 64GB of storage and an external SD card but what about users with older, budget devices?


7. This looks like repetition?


Overall I agree that it would be an easier user experience if the app rigidly followed Gogle's guidelines but I think we need to remember that the app also has to perform on older devices running android 2.2 and the overall look of the app is important too. I sometimes use the samsung music app and playerpro and, to be honest, I find those interfaces totally intimidating in comparison.

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