If you use Google Play Music on the Web, you may have noticed that the UX has been tweaked to match the company’s Material Design ethos. The experience now mirrors the updates we saw to Google’s iOS and Android apps a few months ago, infusing the beautiful animations and flat design of Lollipop to its wonderful music service.
The Verge got the scoop on the new design, which Google says is supposed to feel more like an app, rather than an actual Web site.
“We’re moving towards making the Web feel more like an app and less like a series of Web pages strung together by links,” Google UX design, Bryan Rea, told The Verge.
Rea explained that a lot of the animations, transitions and navigation menus were designed to feel as if you were using the service on your phone. You know, just blown up. In addition to the tweaked UX, the new design puts much more emphasis on artwork, so the experience is more visually pleasing overall. The Web has become all about big, beautiful pictures, and the new Google Play Music reflects that.
Another simple—but big—change is the use of circular photos, which mobile apps have been utilizing for a while now. Rea told The Verge that the change was made in order to make “artists and bands first class citizens in the experience and not just another card.” Rea added, “Circles feel more organic than sharp edged squares and rectangles, which makes them a perfect fit for people’s faces.”
I’m all for a Google Play Music redesign, but I’m still disappointed there’s no dedicated player app. That’s one of the big reasons I moved over to Spotify. Even still, Google Play Music is an excellent service, and it continues to get better. It has to, especially with rivals like Tidal, and soon to be Apple, creeping up.
The big redesign should roll out gradually throughout the day.