Apple Music App Redesign

UI & New Features

Debuting in 2015, Apple Music was late to the crowded streaming music party. Unlimited access to over 60 million songs. $9.99/month. Listen online / offline / create your own playlists or discover new music. Seamless integration with Apple products you already own.

I decided to redesign the Apple Music app for my UI Design Master Certificate Program class at FIT 
in Fall of 2019. I am a heavy Spotify user and tried to switch to Apple Music when it came out, but 
was unimpressed. I feel that Apple Music has enough of what you are looking for in a music app, 
but nothing more. There are no features that would get users to switch over (even “Apple” people).

Competitive Analysis

$9.99 / mo
 (Free Option w/ads)

•  Easy to use
•  Excellent playlist sharing options
•  Mac / Android
•  Download music / podcasts

•  No lyrics feature
•  Ads every few songs in free tier
•  Low sound quality in free tier

Top tier is $14.99 / mo

•  30-day free trial
•  Works with Echo & Alexa
•  Scrolling lyrics feature
•  Web app

•  Price is high if you don’t have Prime
•  Limited song library lower tier
•  Can’t create stations

$19.99 / mo

•  Amazing song quality
•  Pays artists more
•  Desktop app
•  Shazam-like feature built in

•  Songs take time to load
•  No free tier
•  Expensive
•  Offline does not work great


For this project, the focus was on the UI. Due to time restraints, I did user research interviewing family & friends, reading articles, reviews, user comment sections, and more to get 
an idea of what Apple Music users are looking for. These are a few that stood out.

UI can be overcrowded

Despite Apple’s penchant for minimalist design, Apple Music’s mobile interface was less intuitive...

Despite Apple’s penchant for minimalist design, Apple Music’s mobile interface was less intuitive...

...discovering and sharing playlists is a pain

...prefer Spotify’s playlist community, which feels more active and open

Apple needs collaborative playlists. The “share” function is fine, but working on playlists with friends is a fun option that is sorely missed here

Insight Statement

Apple music is a very good product. It has everything you expect a normal streaming service to have. The problem is that Apple is not a normal company. They are supposed to be ahead of the field. They came late to this party and it shows. There are plenty of ‘Apple people’ using Spotify. Nothing stands out to make them change. Based on my research, the following are 
3 changes I would make to help Apple Music turn the corner and win over the Spotify crowd.

New Features

Collaborative Playlists
A very cool feature that is missing from Apple Music is Collaborative playlists. The user can create a playlist and share it with friends. From there, the user and the friends can add songs and listen to the playlist.

Private Mode
The way music apps work is they watch what you are listening to and make suggestions based on that information. Sometimes, the user has a good friend with bad taste in music, and does not want that friend to mess with the apps algorithms. Turn on private mode and the app stops listening.

Import Playlists
There are users who have used Spotify or another app for years and have created hundreds of playlists. This is a pretty big reason not to switch to anther services if you have to recreate them all.

Current UI

The UI is a little too Apple if that is possible. There is almost zero color except for the album art. Music is supposed to be fun and inspiring. Remember when Apple first introduced iPods with the flashy, colorful people dancing in their commercials? That is where this app should be. Users also complain about the lack of integration of Apple’s music from the users music collection. Spotify integrates them in one library, which is easier.

Sketching & Testing

Collaborative Playists:
User Flow

Private Mode: User Flow

Import Playlists: User Flow

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Collaborative Playists:
User Flow

Private Mode: User Flow

Import Playlists: User Flow

New UI Main Screens

The original UI was not very engaging. The user wants to have fun with their music & adding colors made this feel more like a music app. This is a shout out to the original iPod commercials with dancing silouettes listening to their ipods over colorful backdrops.

Feature 1: Collaborative Playlists

Create and edit playlists with your friends. Bring all your personalities and sounds together for your road trip or party.

Feature 2: Private Mode

Have you ever opened your Netflix to see a bunch of My Little Pony cartoon suggestions? Your kid has once again watched tv on your profile! Or you have a party and there is the ‘friend’ who takes it upon himself to play random music all night. Well now, in private mode, you can listen to any music and not screw up your apps algorithm!

Feature 3: Import Playlists

You have used Spotify for years and created countless dope playlists. Why would you switch to Apple Music if you have to recreate all of your favorite playlists? This feature would allow you to import your playlists from other platforms!

Feature Recap

What did I learn?

Apple Music is already a very good product, but what can they do against the dominating Spotify? 
I think they would benefit from a facelift and adding some cool features. In addition to collaborative playlists, private mode, and importing playlists, I would like to see: favorited song playlist, Shazam compatibility (Apple owns Shazam already), podcasts in app, more video playback, live concerts access & more. Apple has such a loyal following and they need to improve to get them to use Apple Music.