Playlist recovery

Playlist discovery and recovery are pathetic.

Spotify continues to boggle my mind, and not always in a good way (speaking as a software developer with a decade or so of formal UX experience)

The Spotify app (at least on the Mac) uses a Browse / Overview landing page which, at the top, lists ten playlists, scrolling to display five at a time. Let's say I start playing one of those, then pause playback while I go away from my computer. I return a few hours later and hit Play again; Spotify will continue playing back the playlist from where it left off.

So far, so good — except the playlist I'm listening to is no longer on the "top ten" list and I have no way of asking the app, "which playlist am I listening to?" I want to save the playlist; I shouldn't have to manually recreate it from my Play Queue history. Besides being much too tedious for the average user, it has other issues, such as not counting for the "listener count" of the original. This sucks; I shouldn't have to decide before getting up from my desk whether I want to save the playlist. The technology exists to preserve this sort of information, through any number of methods. I want to be able to re-listen to playlists, and I want the people who compile those playlists to have accurate feedback on their popularity. For all I know, compliers of lists and performers of songs on those lists might have their compensation pegged in part to the subscriber count; that would raise the present situation above mere incompetence.

Community engagement? What "community engagement"?

The Spotify Help, such as it is, basically boils down to a front end for searching the "community" answered-questions list. Most of the questions I have researched since subscribing to Spotify are listed as "Case Closed". The comments (from other users) are below the "Related Ideas" section of the page, with no indication at the top that any such comments exist. Then there's the problem of ideas like this one that list "44 Comments", but show ten and have zero indication of how to see others. Very poor, seemingly deliberately counterproductive UI.

Clicking on the "Vote" button increments the vote count but, for an issue with many previous votes, that might be pretty subtle; there's no additional visual feedback, so a user might click again, then give up after seeing no response to the action — which of course cancels his initial vote. Poor UI again.

If one clicks on the "Case Closed" status link, hoping to perhaps see more details of why the issue was closed without visible comment from Spotify, he is dumped onto a list that appears to be all "Case Closed" ideas. Realising that there are (as I type this) 112 pages in this list, the user will in all likelihood give up and close the page.

Adding Insult to Injury: A Badly Broken "Post Idea" Page

Headers and rules aren't "valid HTML"? Labels are required, and required to be clicked on in a chaotic, visually disorganised hodgepodge of links without clear explanations of the differences between them? Did anyone actually fire up the three or four most commonly-used browsers on each platform you support and see how well the site worked for casual users? I thought not.

Conclusion: Begging for Disruption

Again, this reinforces the growing realisation by the user that Spotify doesn't care two shakes for his opinion or for resolving his difficulties using the app; you've provided the service you intend to provide, taken the subscriber's money for access to the existing service, and seemingly washed your hands of anything further. That is a historically highly unlikely way to delight customers who then sing your praises to friends and colleagues, who then sign up. Would you settle for this as the apparent sole source of contact with a business providing a product or service that you were investing your time and money in, but had questions about? Yes, customer service is expensive. Losing customers to someone who does it better, I'd suggest, is usually more expensive. Building a great service is half of what it takes to build a great company, and many would argue it isn't even the most interesting or important half. If you don't make the customer feel as valued as he values your service, then he'll go find someone that does. I hear Apple are seriously trying to ramp up their service again, after initial teething problems drove me and several others I know to leave them and join Spotify instead. What goes around, comes around.

Updated: 2016-07-05

Hi and thanks for your contribution! At this time, I've closed this idea due to not enough information regarding what you'd like to see implemented. If you feel strongly about this idea, you can PM me at any time with more details and I can reevaluate the status. Thanks again! 🙂

Status: Case Closed
Community Legend
Status changed to: Need more information
Updated: 2016-06-29

Hi @jeff_dickey and thanks for your thoughtful submission. 

1. You can return to your current playlist at any time by clicking the album art in the bottom left corner. I recognize that this might not be the most intuitive UX decision, so if you'd like, we can rename this idea to suggest that designers consider a more obvious way to complete this function.

2. You're right to note that the Ideas section is currently in an unusual state: two weeks ago, a totally redesigned Spotify Community was launched, and it affected the Ideas board in particular. We've reported each of your primary points (search is less relevant, too large of a separation between an idea and its comments, missing staff responses/status messages next to the 'Case Closed' status, issues in the Post Idea page) to staff, and they are working with Lithium to improve this board. 

Community Legend
Status changed to: Case Closed
Updated: 2016-07-05

Hi and thanks for your contribution! At this time, I've closed this idea due to not enough information regarding what you'd like to see implemented. If you feel strongly about this idea, you can PM me at any time with more details and I can reevaluate the status. Thanks again! 🙂