Several months ago, Spotify began testing a new Now Playing interface that left us scratching our heads. It removed both the replay and queue buttons from the main UI and hid them under the secondary menu. Of course that was not a smart move, and Spotify is now rolling out (server-side) another take on that redesign, but with more sensible decisions. And I like it.
The new Now Playing UI makes everything bigger, bolder. The buttons are larger, filled, easier to spot. The song’s title and artist, as well as the playlist/source name, are bigger too and more legible. The overflow button moves to the top right, the checkmark that indicated whether a song was liked (in your library) is now a heart and resides on the right of the title.
But most importantly, your song queue button, which was on the top right and required some finger juggling on tall phones to reach one-handed, is now on the bottom right. It is way more easily accessible. (And it’s so much better than that Share button Spotify was testing in the same place — what were the devs thinking?!)
Left: Previous Spotify Now Playing UI. Right: New with bigger icons, fonts, queue icon on bottom.
The interface adapts when you’re playing recommended songs, like the ones in Release Radar. In that case, the quick action buttons are like (heart) and don’t like (block), instead of repeat and shuffle. You can still access those from the menu though, by tapping the overflow button.
Left: Previous Release Radar UI. Middle & Right: New with shuffle and repeat in the menu.
While this new UI appears to be spreading to many users, it still hasn’t reached everyone. I wouldn’t be sad if the company settled on it though. It doesn’t change much for our muscle memory to require adapting, and what little it does is actually improved.
- Thorsten Broers,
- Kwetsima Maluleke,