Apple Music — Patterns & Flows

Apple Music (and previously iTunes) has been an integral part of my life over so many years so I thought it might be interesting to reflect on its design patterns and flows. As I mostly use it on mobile, I decided to focus on the app version.

Onboarding as a new user can be quite extensive for users as they’re prompted for sign-in/sign-up details and payment information plus they have to select what type of music/artists they’re into.

Part of the onboarding experience on Apple Music

However, once users are logged in, the app is set up for easy navigation with the bottom navigation bar. Having the main navigation at the bottom of the screen is useful for a natural way of holding the phone and accessing main functionalities. It also prevents a messy layout and is recognisable for many users.

Each screen follows a similar pattern with songs/albums/playlists presented on either various size stacked cards or as a list for more compact fit on users’ screens. Apple Music also uses both horizontal and vertical scrolling for content discovery.

Once users get to the artist page, they’re presented with a large thumbnail with the artist’s name and a play button as well as the latest album right underneath for easier access.

Different mobile screens on Apple Music

Once the song is in play, the user is presented with interactive view options — if users click on the bottom left icon, they can view lyrics in real-time whilst clicking on the bottom right icon allows you to view what’s going to be played next.

Additionally, clicking on the ‘More Options’ icon in the top right corner gives users more functionality features to explore.

Interactive view options — playing a song

Search is also worth mentioning as Apple Music really tries to anticipate user needs here. Users can search not only by song or artists but also by lyrics which is great if this is the only thing you can recall!

Search pattern on Apple Music

Moreover, Apple puts forward suggestions by showing all available categories that users can search through before and after they enter their query. Once you entered few search queries, they will also display as ‘recent searches’ so users can go back to these easily.

Overall, Apple Music provides an easy and enjoyable user experience with its thought-through and efficient UI design.

Task flow: playing a favourite playlist

The flow above shows how easy it is for a user to complete an apparent task for the app which is playing a favourite playlist. This clearly proves the process has been designed to be simple and with a minimal amount of steps for the user to take.

UX + Product Design