With over 356 million active users, Spotify is one of the world’s leading audio streaming services. The company recently released a major update to a core feature of its mobile apps, ‘Your Library.’ The new version promises better findability and discoverability — i.e., it focuses on the system’s information architecture.
‘Your Library’ allows user to access the content they’ve saved on Spotify. This includes playlists, songs, streaming radio stations, artists and albums, etc. As such, it’s a central ‘place’ within the app. Over time, users can build large libraries. This redesign aims to make it easier for them to find content in their collections:
Now, you’ll have a more streamlined way to easily explore your collection and find your saved music and podcasts faster. Your Library’s updated design and added features will enable you to spend less time looking for content and organizing your collection, and more time rediscovering the music and podcasts you’ve loved over the years.
These changes include new filtering mechanisms (a ‘Downloaded’ filter sounds especially useful as people start flying more), better sorting options, ‘pinned’ playlists for quick access, and a new grid view that presents content in a more visually engaging way. Classic IA.
With the transition to digital media, many people have amassed large collections of photo, audio, and (to a lesser extent) video files. Each of these media types presents different findability and discoverability challenges.
Audio is especially interesting from an IA perspective, given the diversity of content it can accommodate. A podcast has different structural needs than a pop song or a classical music album. I expect most of us also interact with our audio collections more frequently than with our photo or video collections.
Improving the information architecture of the user’s personal audio collection is an interesting and impactful challenge. I expect that a well-architected personal audio collection feature can be a major competitive advantage in a competitive industry.
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