I upgraded to 2.06 and now all of the sudden my Rdio app is all white. Text and album images are still visible but sidebars, etc is all white. It's super annoying/bright to look at, is this a UI bug or something? I tried restarting my system and it's still all white.
PS - Your android app still causes my phone to freeze so do me a favor and remind your android team that they have no clue what they're doing.
Definitely not a bug, just a terrible design choice.
I have to wear sunglasses to change my playlist.
I thought this was a bug too. Felt so confused. Awful UI decision.
I know this isn't a bug, but I really did prefer the more naitive looking UI on the mac app - it made it fit into the desktop much better. It'd be great if you could consider bringing it back, at least for the app!
Thought it was a bug. Restarted. Googled "all white Rdio". Got here. Agreed with every single comment on it being a bad UI/UX choice.
It comes down to this: by making just about everything white, Rdio is a lot harder to use.
Thanks for getting in touch with us—the new design is here to stay, but we are still working on tweaks to it, and would love your feedback. Once you've had a few days with the update, please let us know:
- Anything particular that's really not working for you?
- Experiencing specific trouble finding or using a specific functionality post-update (scrolling, sections, etc.)?
- Just the coloring you'd like to see tweaked?
How on Earth is the new design here to stay? If by "here to stay" you simply mean, "we are going to continue using a lighter theme than our previous iterations," then I suppose that's fine. But I really hope you guys are going to do more than "tweak" it. I honestly want you guys to send the newest version to some reviewers or your peers in the industry (or, hell, just peers in software development), without making any hints to them as to what they are going to see. I can guarantee you that 9/10 reply back to you with some form of, "Hey it looks like your app corrupted in some way, it just loads white." And if you explain to them that that's your interface, I guarantee you they will laugh in your face.
I picture the meeting went something like this:
Rdio Employee: So what's the new interface gonna look like?
Rdio UI Designer: BIG WHITE RECTANGLE
Rdio Employee: Haha, but seriously?
Rdio UI Designer: GIGANTIC WHITE RECTANGLE
Rdio Employee: Any plans on differentiating functions or sections?
Rdio UI Designer: NOPE
Rdio Employee: ...Um ok, kinda seems like literally anybody could design this. Isn't this kinda like, I don't know, a blank Word document that plays music or something? Like a blank page with a left column?
Rdio UI Designer: YEAH, BUT ITS LIKE A WORD DOCUMENT THAT MAKES NOISES.
Rdio Employee: ...Ok.. what font are you going to use?
Rdio UI Designer: THE WORST ONE WE CAN FIND
Rdio Employee: Ok, as long as you think its ok and the customers don't!
Wake up. It's a blank Word document.
This has to be one of the worst design choices I've seen in years. As someone who has spent quite some time in the UX space I can't imagine how this got approved. This makes me want to switch to Spotify. Sad sad day considering I've been an Rdio fanboy from the beginning.
@Madelyn Subjectively, I absolutely abhor the new design. However, pragmatically:
- It's very difficult (read: impossible) to tell that Rdio is the foreground app unless you notice the menubar. I can't remember another app doing this.
- There is little hierarchy between elements. While I realize that sometimes you have to get used to things, I believe a good UI should elegantly (by that, I mean simply yet effectively) reinforce the hierarchy of the layout without relying on the user's rote memory.
- Typically, UI chrome as at least some tint to distinguish content from draggable or non-content elements. Pure white is typically connected with content, yet in this iteration, the search bar and navigation are set in white, which does not help to reinforce the partition between "the stuff" and the "things you can do to the stuff" ("metastuff," if you will...).
- The UI seems incongruent with the compact view.
I do also question the business case for the redesign. It doesn't seem like many (any?) new features were added that really enhance the experience, and the redesign does not add any clarity or delight to the experience. If "faster" was the goal (what I've been getting from the Twitters), I feel like "pure white" is a complete hyperbole response to that directive--#ffffff takes just as much to download as #e7e7e7, and a basic gradient here and there isn't going to break the bandwidth bank.
I beg of you to reconsider "the new design is here to stay."
I had to check the discussion forums too to determine if what I had just updated to was completely missing assets or entirely broken.
The new UI is shockingly blinding and unappealing to use.
Please, please, please conform to Mac UI standards and skin the damn client to look like an OS X application.
One of the ugliest design choices I've ever seen for ANY website.
After a few days with the new Rdio, I've cancelled my subscription and switched to Spotify.
I may come back, but so far, Spotify has been pretty awesome.
Thank you for the continued feedback, we're tracking and sharing the posts here, and appreciate your taking the time to be an active part of the Rdio community.
Huge fail. I thought the stylesheet wasn't loading when I first ran into this. I'm dumbfounded that this was chosen on purpose.
To put it in context Rdio, it takes a really terrible design choice for people to google and post on forums that they think there is a bug in the application.
I'm a huge supporter, but I'm not being dramatic or exaggerating when I say there is no way I can fight through this look & feel to use the product. You will lose a lot of people over this choice--please revert or at least give us an option to choose the old theme. If you're watching the metrics, I'm guessing the only people who would leave it on would be people who don't know they can change it.
Sorry, but this is intensely bad.
Since the Rdio Employees just copy and paste stock responses into every similar thread, I say we all do the same. Here's what I said in ANOTHER thread discussing the AWFUL design:
"What they said. This is not so much a step backwards as it is tripping, falling off the curb, and landing in a dirty puddle.
And am I the only one who misses the circle graphs of play counts, etc.? The graphic elements when I originally signed up months ago were what put me over the fence, but everything EVERYTHING I liked about the look got tossed.
It's like Rdio fired everyone in their design department except for the intern."
The UI of the mac app is good as ever except for the colour. Simply put it is so bright is strains my eyes when I look at it. I have to turn down my screen rightness when I am using it, not to mention that the more white on the screen, the quicker it shorten's it's life. Please bring back the grey/metallic and blues of the previous interface.
I also loved the circles showing most played. Miss them.
I hate to pile on here but wanted to voice some concern over the UX of the latest Rdio version... it's simply displeasing to use. I'm all for a minimalist approach but I don't see any value add in the current design. What problems does the latest version solve over the previous version? If Rdio was looking to stand out among it's competitors, it succeeded in the worst way.
can I "downgrade" to the previous version?….please?
Here's an idea:
Open css file for THIS PAGE (help.rdio.com)... cmd-c ... open CSS file for new app skin ... cmd-v
try to find a positive review of the new ui on Google. Its not there. easy fix though just tape colored cellophane to your eyeballs when you want to use Rdio.
I love how one of their stock responses is "the new design is here to stay" as if to say @$%# you if you dont like it.
Can I just say, Madelyn, you are an absolute trooper and should be congratulated.
People are scathing at this update, and the way you appear to be accepting criticism (because this is criticism as much as it is feedback) has been fantastic. However, there will be a small window of opportunity to turn this feedback into a more appropriate solution, or your work at this stage will have been in vain.
I have shot several emails off to you, and had speedy responses, and I recognise that it continues to be your name, so I just wanted to say how impressed I am at your work here.
With regards to the UI, I understand the desire for 'something DIFFERENT'. Grey appears to be similar to iTunes, and I'm sure Rdio doesn't want to appear to be 'ripping off iTunes'.
Here are my comments:
Top and bottom menu bars:
(the bars that contain the Search function, my username, settings etc. at the top, and the Play/pause controls at the bottom).
These are transparent! Just. You have to squint, or tilt the monitor to notice it. Or mess with the brightness settings. Either that or it's a mistake.
This is too subtle. And it may not be a good idea anyway, because it's ok to have things be transparent in a UI, but only if no important information is hampered by the transparency. The information in both of these bars should not be compromised, so I suggest pulling this feature, or perhaps reorganising a few things.
Not against pure white, but it has to be done carefully. I'm not going to say too much because I'd be repeating the general consensus. It's blindingly bright, and while I get the desire for a point of difference in regards to colour, I think more work needs to be done here.
"Back" skip button:
If I'm not wrong... this has been removed.
Rookie error. Sorry, but... this is a bad, bad move. Having said that I would be interested in hearing the logic behind this. I can still go 'back' if I use the keys on my computer, but removing the button from the interface would suggest that you don't want me to do that. Why not? Is going back such a big problem? That almost... seems controlling?
This is in contrast to why I'm with Rdio in the first place - freedom. I feel free to explore music with Rdio, and I like that freedom. I don't think you need to be implementing things that make users feel controlled in their behaviour.
Allow them to behave as they want. Then understand how they want to behave, and design new updates based on how they behave. Then they will return, and tell others that you 'just get it right'. Let your users become your marketers.
Anyway, I do hope this small window of opportunity is siezed, as I would like to see this service grow and succeed!
Thanks again Madelyn, keep up the good work.
Also, it's easy to take a lot of negatives from this thread.
But reading through, there are not too many hugely negative responses. The quick-fix:
1- Make the top/bottom bars 25/30% Grey. And no transparency.
2 - Put the "Skip Back" (<<) button back in (seriously, this should never have been removed)
And... done. All fixed.
No one is complaining about the music quality, the playlist creation, anything.
What I would like to see is accurate information about why a track/album/artist is not available. That gets hairy since there are lots and lots of tracks, and lots of them (unfortunately) are unavailable in Australia.
The fix you guys seem to have come up with is that if a title is unavailable in your country, it simply doesn't show up in searched. Unfortunately, this makes you guys look like rookies when you don't have an album that you really should have.
Not sure what the answer to that one is. I'm encouraged to see that you guys are doing something about it, though I'm not sure that what you've come up with is the right answer.
Worst design ever!
Thanks for your kind words and for providing such specific feedback, it's much appreciated. I've passed #1 along to our design team.
As for the back button—our data shows that less than 1% of Rdio users ever use the previous track button. Instead of leading the player controls with a mostly unused button, we've decided to refocus the controls on what everybody uses most, the play/pause and next track buttons.
The keyboard shortcuts '[' or '←' will still play the previous track, so no functionality has been lost. How does that work for you? Would you give it a couple of days, and let us know if you're still missing the on-site display of this icon?
Finally, hiding N/A songs is certainly something we've gone back and forth on, and are still thinking/discussing/working on improving for the long run. As we improve the catalog, this should, hopefully, become even less of an issue (so definitely let us know about things you're missing here: http://on.rdio.com/CatalogReqs).
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, more improvements to come, we promise!
+1 to most of what's been said above, in terms of the new design resulting in:
- decreased usability due to borders b/w sections being invisible
- not being able to tell when the app is in the foreground or background due to no shading change (on a Mac)
However, after mulling this design over a bit, the biggest thing that stands out to me is that the app feels like it has lost its personality. Each app benefits from having a clear design philosophy so that it can be quickly identified at a glance. The new app's personality is blank. Perhaps this was done with the idea that it will let the cover art stand out more while letting the chrome fade away, but it really just feels empty and unfinished. I've been a huge fan of all the design changes made up to this point, but this last one feels like a big misstep which could be remedied by some tint. Turning chrome white != removing chrome.
One possible solution: Allow users to select the background color theme. I could see the current UI looking slick if the background were some dark hue (black, charcoal, etc), but the white just feels too much like an unloaded web page.
Thank god is still not available outside the US. if you do this and try to make money in Europe you will never be able to succeed, specially against Spotify (which they suck just so you know)
According to the Apple OS X HIG - the UI controls should only be disabled when the window is inactive - this provides another visual cue to the user about which window has focus.
Unfortunately, in an attempt increase the minimalism of the GUI, I think, the window controls in Rdio stay grayed out all the time even when the window is active unless you float the mouse over them, thus depriving us of another cue that the currently washed-out window is active.
Agree with what's been said so far on the color - people expect some amount of UI consistency with other OS X apps and the OS itself - you can read the hater posts for iCal's rich-corinthian-leather look on Apple's forums for more on this.
Screw the data. Listen to your paying, loyal customers.
Posted this elsewhere, just want to share in all the venues. A user went ahead and created a way to get the old look back. You'll have to access Rdio via Chrome, but, it works:
The new look is terrible and makes the app harder (and unpleasant) to use! Please consider reverting back to your previously awesome design!
Regarding: "As for the back button—our data shows that less than 1% of Rdio users ever use the previous track button"
I wanted to offer that just because something is not used does not imply that it's useless. It may be expected and serve to provide context. The common example I use is the guide rail on a road. Most people don't use it, but it provides context for the road. I'm not vying for that specific feature, but I am trying to draw attention to this point.
I agree with Francis in that just because the button is not being used doesn't mean it should not be there.
A closer example would be buying a CD player without a back button. Again, you would probably not use it, but a manufacturer that had neglected to include one at all would seem to have made a critical mistake.
With regards to user experience, research has found that the positive aspects of a given product/service etc. form no obvious pattern when influencing the overall experience of the product/service. It is the negative aspects that frame this overall experience - the fewer negatives, the better the experience. Furthermore, it is not the primary or secondary aspects that inform this, but the tertiary. In the case of a mobile (cell) phone, it could be how easy it is to put the Sim card in, or change a setting of some sort. In this case, it is trying to go 'back'.
The user experience is as follows: Dave listens to his music on Rdio. He listens to it all the time. Sometimes, he plays songs randomly on his 'collection station'. He loves Rdio and installs all the updates immediately. One day, Dave hears a song he hasn't heard in ages, and as it finishes, he tries to go 'back' to find out what album it came from. To his surprise, Dave realises the 'back' button has disappeared. It used to be there, but it isn't now. He assumes this must be a mistake of some sort, and looks on his keyboard to find the shortcut, or media player key to trick Rdio into letting him go back.
He hasn't used the 'back' key in about 8 months of using Rdio, but when he eventually does, that negative, tertiary experience has more impact in influencing his overall user experience than any of the good work you're doing.
Also, just because there is a workaround in that you can use computer shortcuts, the experience that is positive is not coming from Rdio - it's coming from his computer. Rdio tried to prevent him from doing something, and the positive experience is attributed to his computer's media keys, not the hard work that you guys have been putting in.
It's tiny. It's seriously tiny. And most people would tell me to get over it. But this is what my expertise is in, so I get picky on it.
And you're right - I'm sure even I don't use the back button much at all. But it seems an oversight to not have it, and I don't think you really gain anything by removing it.
i've had to fall back to using the browser version with a script to reskin rdio because i can't even bring myself to use the app the way it is - its just not an enjoyable experience. So I'm now paying to NOT use the app, which seems dumb and what a waste of my money, so i'm going to spotify where i can get the same thing for free with ads OR a paid version with an app that has been given a bit of design consideration (cheaper than rdio too, by the way). to be honest it seems crazy to me that im praising spotify's ui design because i think its horrible too, but as we all know, the current design of the rdio app is "here to stay". like, if there was even the pretense of a dialogue with your customer base over what is, based on the feedback above, a poorly received revision then i would consider riding it out but to be honest the whole reaction from the rdio side seems kinda rude to me. Maybe instead of un-designing your apps you could work on providing some of the functionality your competitors already have (oh hi, browse by genre) ok then, holla @ u later, rdio - i would say it's been fun but the last month or so has just plain sucked.