“I’d like to preface this case study by stating that my intentions behind redesigning Apple Music were in no way driven by indignation or spite.”
In an article published on the platform Medium, visual designer Jason Yuan explains how his rejected application for a design internship at Apple Music inspired him to redesign the iOS app himself.
The article titled ‘I got rejected by Apple Music…so I redesigned it’, details Yuan’s journey into self taught practices such as UX research and design that would allow him to present solutions that would combat many of the problems he believes the app faces. This process, he highlights, was guided by Apple’s own Design Principles as well as his own intuition.
Yuan’s redesign began by conducting research into three areas: core experience, brand identity and visual interface. These are three things that he believes need to be improved so that Apple Music can mature. Regarding the first issue, core experience, he suggests a tool named My Sampler which would replace the current ‘New Music Mix’ and instead allow users to see snippets or samples of a song before they decided to add it to their playlist.
To tackle the issue of brand identity, Yuan has showcased artists with headshots in a circular motif, limiting the colors to shades and tones that reflect the Apple Music icon. At present, the app presents collage-themed covers for each playlist that he states “don’t really communicate anything about the mood/feel of the playlist.”
The final issue, visual interface, tackles some broader issues with the app. During his research, those that Yuan discussed the app with complained that the current user interface was “too sterile” and “lacked an element of delight.” To adjust this, he optimizes the white space, slightly reduces the font size and creates a subtle drop shadow under the album artwork to add dimension. He has also removed the Downloaded Music section, reduced the amount of content in For You and merged the Radio menu with Browse.
These are only a few of the subtle, and not so subtle, redesigns that Yuan has achieved however. He highlights other issues that he believes Apple Music is facing such as a lack of integration with social media, no dedicated tab for streaming video content and the problem with Search – at present, you can search within your own library or in Apple Music, not both.