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    Understanding the UX of Music Streaming Apps

    22 May 2023

    4 min read

    We might be at the gym, walking in the park, or lying down. During all these moments, we make it a point to listen to music. As artists from different eras have come and gone, we have had music of all genres and applications of all types.

    Exploring extensive libraries and creating playlists enables us to streamline music and rely on a music streaming app. But, while these apps offer what we want, have you ever considered their seamless user interface?

    Have you considered what makes these apps engaging and how UX forms the crux of the story? Well, it’s time to dive deep into the UX of music streaming apps.

    How are music streaming apps designed?

    Music streaming apps aim to attract the most users and thus include a user-centric design approach. UI/UX designers don’t try to complicate things; instead, they try to make it seem minimal.

    To create an intuitive user experience, designers must follow a few specifics.

    Navigation

    Navigation affects how music is played and found in a music streaming app. The process is detailed and requires designers to use the correct labels, icons, and buttons that make the process engaging. However, with the backing of a top UI/UX agency, such requirements are effortless.

    Personalization

    Music is meant to bring in a personalized listening experience. We all have our favorite artists and playlists that we love to call our own. Thanks to that, creating a customized experience requires one to

    • Ensure easy access to features
    • Utilize machine learning algorithms for suggestions
    • Provide scope for social integration

    Playback controls


    Based on user preferences, songs will be skipped, paused, rewound, and played. Due to this, playback controls need to be well-designed and placed effectively. Furthermore, apart from being visible, they must be accessible to all.

    Search functionality

    Users wishing to find specific songs, artists, or genres place an essential requirement on search functionality. With their preference being the main agenda, designers must weave their magic and create an app that appeals to everyone.

    Comparing the UX of top Music Streaming Apps

    An ideal way to understand the elements of UI/UX for music streaming apps is to draw a fair comparison between some of the most famous players in the market. With revenue expected to touch $100 Billion in 2023, the industry is vast, and such comparisons remind you of the market leaders.

    So let’s try understanding the UX of Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

    Spotify

    Founded in 2006, Spotify has come a long way to be known as a billion-dollar company. With easy-to-use interfaces, Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming platforms ever.

    1. The home screen
      Spotify focuses on keeping its home screen filled with music recommendations and listening history. However, unlike its competitors, Spotify aims to offer music to create an ambiance and set the mood. Hence, their UX focuses on creating sections that provide users with options and how to navigate across them.
    2. Design
      The design of Spotify aims to be more playful by following a green color scheme and circular buttons. However, with its easy-to-use philosophy, there is hardly any complication in the matter, and it understands that simplifying user experience is the key.
    3. Playlists
      Since playlists are an essential part of every music streaming platform, Spotify leaves no stone unturned in ensuring you can create the playlist of choice. With Spotify, you can

      • Create as many playlists as you want
      • Add up to 10000 tracks in each playlist
      • Discover similar recommendations

    Apple Music

    Since it acquired Beats Electronics and its subsequent streaming platform, ‘Beat Music’ in 2014, Apple has spread worldwide and is now available in more than 100 countries. The reason behind its success? Well, quality music and user experience.

    1. The home screen
      Apple follows the UX philosophy of personalization, which is evident when you open the app. For example, the streaming app uses almost all of its real estate to show you playlists, songs, and more to highlight the user library.
    2. Design
      Apple Music follows an elegant yet minimalistic design that takes center stage with bold typography and vibrant colors. The design grabs your attention and entirely differs from the philosophy that drives Spotify or Amazon Music.
    3. Playlists
      Apple Music’s efforts in personalization are also followed through its playlists. They enable you to explore your choices and enjoy a good user experience. With the focus on enhancing user experience, designers can be inspired to follow ways to upgrade a mobile’s UX.

    Amazon Music

    Amazon Music has seen several changes over the past decade, with the service initially being called Amazon MP3. Today, Amazon Music, with its unlimited option, has a huge music library that even surpasses Spotify.

    1. The Home Screen
      Amazon Music’s home page displays popular songs and new releases and provides ample space for personalized recommendations. With the added compatibility of Alexa, Amazon Music can also offer personalization and take things up a notch with user experience.
    2. Design
      Amazon’s music streaming app follows a clean and user-friendly interface. The dark color palette focuses on Amazon Music’s design philosophy and how it would like the app to be viewed. Dark color palettes are also followed by white texts and highlights, making navigating easy for the user.
    3. Playlists
      Like other streaming platforms, Amazon Music also offers the option of creating playlists for all members. In addition, they also boost a feature called ‘Amazon Music Unlimited,’ which brings together an endless collection of songs from different genres, artists, and more.

    Closing thoughts

    Creating a commendable user experience requires hours of research, planning, and execution that aligns with the requirements. For example, music streaming platforms generally attract many people and need a complete user experience where users can easily navigate and select options.

    With advancements in design and music, the future of streaming will only improve.

    Are you looking for an experience-driven digital solution for your product or service?

    Pepper Square

    Author

    Over the last 20 years, we have helped 350+ leading companies maximize their outcomes with UI UX Design, UI Dev, Software Dev, and Analytics.