I have been a Spotify user now for over two years and I applaud all the improvements they have made to their software over that two year period. Well I decided to give Apple Music a try, since I am an Apple fan-boy. Well, I am not going to be dumping Spotify anytime soon.
I upgraded to the latest iTunes and iOS release and began messing around with Apple Music. I soon came to realize – this thing is an overcomplicated hot mess. The user interface design on both iTunes and iOS is a HORRIBLE experience. When you first setup Apple Music it comes up with a bunch of circles and asks you to choose what types of music you like, trying to push the whole Apple Watch UI in my face. Then it compiles a page of artists based on your answers. I found that to be very frustrating. I don’t give a crap about some of those artists, why not just let me find the artists I like and put together some playlists? Why throw me into a convoluted, overcomplicated, congested pile of crap filled with artists I don’t really like?
For a company like Apple who has prided itself for decades on making clean, positive, user interfaces – Apple Music is essentially heaped on top of an already overburdened app (iTunes/Music app). It relies on the functionality that has already been built into iTunes and then piles on more complicated user interface elements. I mean, finding what I wanted and figuring out how to do something simple like make a playlist on my iPhone was a CHORE!
When I look at Spotify and Apple Music side by side – I see this: Spotify is what Apple should have made and Apple Music is something Microsoft would have made. When you put the user through hoops, hurdles and gigantic stone walls to do the simplest task, its an instant failure. An instant bad user experience.
Don’t force users down a narrow path to reach something they ultimately won’t want to see. Allow users the freedom to do what they want to do, to add the bands and artists they want to add. That is the key. When you force users into doing something, regardless of whether or not you think it’s a fun idea – it’s always going to be a bad experience. Users want to be able to do what they want to do, not what YOU want them to do. That is a very Microsoft mentality. I understand you want to find out what the user likes and then take them to a screen which displays every friggin artist in those genres, but most users just want to find their favorite artists and add them to a playlist, listen to the music and share their playlists and who they love to listen to. Guess what, Spotify does that in a clean and non-forceful way. Apple Music does not.
I think Apple needs to get a big slap upside their head and they need to go back and rethink this. Until they do figure out the RIGHT WAY to make a music service app design, I will be on Spotify.
I already cancelled my Apple Music account renewal. Because Apple Music is just a DISGRACE from a user interface and user experience design perspective. And I know I am not in the minority, I have heard the same complaints from several people already who have given it a try.