After the noise we’ve been hearing about Tidal’s “theft” of Spotify’s UI, we thought it would be interesting to compare some of the most widely used music services. These are intricate sites with complicated interfaces, so we narrowed it down to either the web or desktop version (don’t even get us started on mobile app design) and a default home page. Here are our thoughts. Spotify: The overachiever Spotify The original dark horse of the game, Spotify embraces a background in shades of slate gray and white text, with activity popping out in lime green. It’s bold, but the darker hue draws your focus to the album and playlist imagery, which appears more saturated.
In usability, Spotify puts the emphasis on browse features that consistently surface new music. There’s a banner for featured playlists and artists, with a collection of relevant curated lists below. Then it frames the application on all 4 sides with segmented features that users employ most often:Left: Sections for your personal curated music collection — your library and playlists Right: A feed of the special leads for accounts that you follow Bottom: The actual music player, so you can see what’s currently playing and your controls surrounding it Top: Your profile information and personal notifications there's also activity when you move your mouse through the interface. Tools like a “+” sign to add a song or playlist to your library, or a play button to immediately get into the music. The minimalist sophisticated use of white minimalism draws your eye to the gallery of album artwork.
Functionally, it places emphasis on a search feature, with a backup of suggested artists if you don’t know what you’re looking for (and to give the page a little pizzaz). The music player blends seamlessly into that dominant whitespace, that horizontal strip at the bottom of the page. And there’s a simple menu on the left side, where a user can browse through two main sections: A curated list of new music to discover that’s split up into trends, new releases, recommendations, people (who you follow) or a generalized browse Your personal collection of music, split into favorites, downloads or playlists profile and the notification information are on the traditional top right, with a fun addition station based on your personal music library.