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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Spotify enter the teenage years with major redesign

We all know that children like bright colours and music, even in the world of startups young companies are generally colourful and like to make lots of noise when attracting an audience. However sooner than any parent or founder would wish the teenage years arrive and for some the joy and colour vanish to be replaced by moody blacks and a lot of self loathing. Well Spotify have gone black, but they’re not miserable about it.

Spotify have just launched a major redesign, unifying their look across all platforms, desktop, mobile and web. Some people might notice the refreshed typography and rounded iconography although I suspect most won’t. What everyone will notice though is the colour. Gone are the bland, neutral greys liberally spread all over the place, in their place we have black. Deep, mysterious and most importantly, cool blacks.

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Spotify reckon this change makes album artwork and artist pictures pop out and they compare the style to that of a darkened cinema where your focus is drawn to the only colour on the screen. That’s also an area where there’s been a tweak, now all album art is displayed in a square while artist images are circular, the philosophy behind this change is that it makes differentiating between the two categories as easy as possible.

“We want to make sure Spotify users enjoy the best-looking experience of any music service – one that’s easy to use and consistent across all devices,” said Michelle Kadir, Director of Product at Spotify. “Our new design respects what’s most important: the music. And with Your Music, saving your favourite music just became truly effortless.”

Your Music could be a divisive change, although people will probably adapt to it quickly. You see the addition of this new feature, basically adding the ability to make your own music collection separate to your playlists, means the removal of the starred feature. No longer will you have a bright gold star available to instantly add an interesting track to recall it quickly, instead all starred tracks become another playlist now.

A collection feature is something the community has wanted for quite some time. Instead of having to save any music you wanted to keep track of in a playlist you can now directly tag songs, albums and artists you like. While it’s nice to finally have this feature on desktop and web, it’s a god send on mobile. We’ll look back on the days when people had to scroll through a long list of playlists to find a track or artist and shake our heads in disbelief.

So Spotify have gone black. It amuses me to snigger at the idea that they’ve become a stroppy, annoying teenager, but the design changes they’ve made certainly seem to be taking the platform in the right direction.

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