Apple Music Designers Use Invisible Ink

When browsing Apple Music, I’ve found that, in many cases, it’s hard to see what I’m looking it. Lists of songs or albums are fine, but when I see an album highlighted at the top of a genre list, it’s often displayed using invisible ink.

Here are a few examples:


Invisible ink1 Invisible ink2 Invisible ink3 Invisible ink4

To look at just one of these more closely, here’s how Titus Andronicus’ new album The Most Lamentable Tragedy looks on an iPad in landscape mode:

Invisible ink5

The text is more visible on an iPad, both in landscape mode (above) and portrait mode.

Invisible ink6The iTunes Store app displays music much differently. It’s not much better when you tap an album to see its contents, because the entire list uses the same color scheme; in some cases, it’s hard to read the names of songs.

It looks as though the designers tried to mix things up, using different colors, notably color palettes that come from album covers. And my guess is this is all generated by algorithm, the way albums display with colors in your iTunes library. I can’t imagine a designer doing this manually.

Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work in many cases. I’d prefer banality and readability to this type of display.

4 thoughts on “Apple Music Designers Use Invisible Ink

  1. All thanks to iOS7+’s flat design that has been pushed to ridiculous extremes. I’ve never been a fan of it, and this is precisely why: the usability suffers.

    Add a shadow behind the text, and the problem’s solved. But nope, that’s against the UI guidelines because it would make the interface too skeuomorphic, too pseudo-3D.

  2. All thanks to iOS7+’s flat design that has been pushed to ridiculous extremes. I’ve never been a fan of it, and this is precisely why: the usability suffers.

    Add a shadow behind the text, and the problem’s solved. But nope, that’s against the UI guidelines because it would make the interface too skeuomorphic, too pseudo-3D.

  3. “…Lists of songs or albums are fine…”
    Well, actually, they’re not. You haven’t been able to read long titles for years.
    You may recall that one could adjust the column width to suit in earlier itunes. But that was changed to, amongst other reasons, increase the click count/track user usage uses.

  4. “…Lists of songs or albums are fine…”
    Well, actually, they’re not. You haven’t been able to read long titles for years.
    You may recall that one could adjust the column width to suit in earlier itunes. But that was changed to, amongst other reasons, increase the click count/track user usage uses.

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