Spotify Is Bringing a New ‘Wordless’ Icon-Heavy Interface to iOS

Spotify redesign
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Spotify redesign
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Photo Credit: Spotify

A new Spotify redesign is headed to the iOS app – dropping all the words.

The changes prioritize universal icons and visual indicators over words. Spotify says the change makes the Spotify experience more accessible across the globe.

One of the most significant changes is removing the “shuffle play” button that appears on artist and playlist pages. Now that button is green with the play and shuffles icons. Other familiar icons have been reorganized for this Spotify redesign.

Premium users will find the ‘like,’ ‘play,’ and ‘download’ icons grouped under one menu.

There’s also a new icon for listening without a Wi-Fi connection. Spotify says the latest changes to the app should make it easier to navigate one-handed. Yet music discoverability still suffers.

Tapping on an artist still only shows the top five most popular songs. Competing services like YouTube Music and Apple Music make it easy to browse their music. While making the app more accessible for the rest of the world is a noble (if profit-driven) goal, Spotify has bigger fish to fry.

The lack of focus on just how terrible the Spotify app is to use compared to competing music services is just abysmal. As for Android users, as usual, you can expect this Spotify redesign to be ‘coming soon.’ Some of these changes also make less sense to power users of the app.

The search bar for playlists used to be easily accessible. Now it’s moved to a menu under an option called “Find in Playlist.” Now instead of a single tap to find the song you want, you have to rummage through a menu.

Spotify often removes or changes features – but the update gap between iOS and Android is terrible. Can we please have an app that is easy to navigate and not an eyesore, Spotify? You’ve got millions of paying subscribers, yet the app is one of the worst experiences for users.

Just, why?

2 Responses

  1. Sad reporter for a sad blog

    You say two very contradictory statements.

    Spotify’s app has the best engagement and retention of all music apps, that’s how they outcompete the tech giants. I understand that this is a blog that only hates on Spotify, but it’s kinda sad to see someone that has clearly never built an app in her life claim with such authority that Spotify is one of the worst experiences for users.

  2. Matt M

    I can’t speak for the blog writer, but honestly, the Spotify app is a train wreck on Android. I have never seen such a poorly implemented UI in my life. I keep trying it out, HOPING that it will be less of an absolute clusterfuck, but every time I am even more amazed at how bad it is. It never lasts more than 5 minutes on my phone before I uninstall it in disgust. Now, compare that to the elegant and easy to use Pandora interface and it is night and day. Pandora is simple, all the basic music player controls are right where you would expect them to be and the menus are straightforward and intuitive. The only reason Spotify is doing so well is that people can make playlists instead of having a curated radio experience. That is it. Otherwise the experience, at least on mobile, is vomitous.