What Laws of UX Design Does Spotify Follow?

11th May 2022

Much like the laws that citizens abide by, user experience (UX) has it's own set of laws that are generally considered as gospel in the design world. These laws are best defined by Jon Yablonski as "a collection of best practices that designers can consider when building user interfaces". In this article, we take a closer look at popular music app, Spotify, and identify which laws of UX are applied and where.

  1. Jakob's Law (Familiarity)

Jakob's Law UX/UI

Jakob's Law revolves around having a similar design to your competitors. This might sound counter-productive as everyone wants to stand out against their competitors, but users actually prefer for apps to work in a very similar way to what they already know.

With Spotify here for example, we can see that the traditional play, pause, skip actions are used which makes controlling the app easy and familiar to past music playing devices. The icons are familiar and this helps to guide the user to a nice, easy experience.

2. Aesthetic-Usability Effect (Beauty)

Aesthetic-Usability EffectUsers automatically perceive designs that look good to be more usable - even if they aren't. This is the Aesthetic-Usability effect and Spotify's user interface follows this law by using crisp, high quality images and graphics that contrast beautifully with the use of bright green's and dark backgrounds.

3. Miller's Law (Simplicity)

 Miller's Law UX/UI Spotify

Miller's Law focuses on human brain capacity and states that the average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory. Spotify follows this law particularly well as it only ever displays 2-4 options when browsing for playlists to listen to. Imagine if there was 50 on display at one time, how much harder would it be to choose what to listen to?

4. Fitt's Law (Accessibility)

Fitt's law UI/UX Spotify

Fitt's Law is all about providing the user easy access to the button's they need the most which creates an easy and enjoyable experience.

Spotify follows this law by including all of the main navigation options (Home, Search and Your Library) at the bottom of the page along with the song that's currently playing which enables the user to use the app easily with one hand.

5. Law of Proximity (Relativity)

law of proximity spotify ux

This law speaks for itself, and simply refers to items that are closer together are viewed as being related, whereas other items that are more apart are not related. Spotify uses this law consistently through the app to highlight differing content such as categories, songs, albums and more.

6. Law of Similarity (Grouping)

 Law of similarity spotify ui/ux

Similar to proximity, the human eye tends to associate certain shapes with various content, even if those shapes are seperated.

An example of where Spotify follow this law can be seen between the artists (which have circular images) and other content such as playlists (which have a more square shape).

7. Common Region (Seperation)

Law of common region spotify ui/ux

The final law that Spotify follows, is Law of Common Region. This law states that items are percieved in groups if they are sharing the same area with a clearly defiend boundary.

Spotify adds a slightly lighter coloured background to the top section titled 'Your Library'. This section includes all of the filters available for the user's music library, whereas the conent below is the actual content of the user's library (the playlists and songs). This helps guide the user to distinguish that these are filter options as opposed to the actual content itself.

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