So today Spotify launched a slightly redesigned version of its iOS app that (thankfully) ditches the overused “hamburger menu” that’s become a lazy crutch for developers. The new layout is way more sensible! And as my colleague Jake says, it’s definitely easier to navigate. But there’s one glaring problem. Putting the app’s most popular sections at the bottom has resulted in the search bar being pushed up to an outlandishly high position on the screen. I stand 6’1″ and have huge hands, and my thumb could never dream of comfortably hitting that spot.
Anyway, who could possibly reach this thing? The moment I opened the app, the difference was obvious and unfortunate. That’s just bad design for a function that millions of people will be using a ton, often multiple times each day. Navigation is easier, yes. But search? It’s now an exercise in hand gymnastics.
I think back to the above iPhone 5 commercial when I see design choices like this. Maybe your entire app doesn’t need to take into account the natural reach of a user’s thumb. But search? Uh, yeah. This is a recipe for some serious hand cramps — or a dropped and shattered. You might wonder if Apple is doing any better with Apple Music, and the answer is a resounding no.
Again! Way up there at the top — almost at the status bar — and to the right, the hardest region to hit on the entire phone. At least there’s Reachability, I suppose, or Siri? But won’t anyone start thinking about search? Or comfort? We’re moving too far away from that in the name of what, exactly?