Is the ellipse the equivalent of the hamburger menu button?

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
22,008
27,506
In my mind the ellipses in Apple Music are just like the hamburger menu buttons that Apple UX evangelists have argued against. Below are a couple snippets from a 2014 WWDC session with Apple UX evangelist Mike Stern where he argued against the use of the hamburger menu. Click the link to read the whole thing. Everything he said applies 100% to Apple Music. Especially the last sentence: Look, drawers of any kind have a nasty tendency to fill with junk.

https://medium.com/design-philosophies/apple-and-hamburgers-a17e4099fada
Remember, the three key things about an intuitive navigation system is that they tell you where you are, and they show you where else you can go.Hamburger menus are terrible at both of those things, because the menu is not on the screen. It’s not visible. Only the button to display the menu is. And in practice, talking to developers, they found this out themselves.

And finally, the downside of being able to show a lot of options is that you can show a lot of options. Is that you will show a lot of options. The potential for bloat and misuse is tremendous. They allow you to add all sorts of stuff that your users don’t really care about. Like information about the app. Or version history, or credits. I hate to break it to you, but no one cares.And the other thing is that people wind up taking ads and special offers and making them look just like regular sections and putting it in there too. That sucks. No one wants that either.

Look, drawers of any kind have a nasty tendency to fill with junk.

Below is what I get when I tap on the ellipse next to a song in one of my playlists:



How could any Apple UX evangelist defend this?
 

malih

macrumors member
May 11, 2013
95
25
I think some parts of the Apple Music are still very much feels beta-ish, and I do feel weird seeing such a long menu. Although the menu items are actually quite familiar for those who use desktop iTunes.

Can anyone who used Beats Music confirm whether this is behaviour is carried over from that app or is this an Apple Music thing?
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
22,008
27,506
I think some parts of the Apple Music are still very much feels beta-ish, and I do feel weird seeing such a long menu. Although the menu items are actually quite familiar for those who use desktop iTunes.

Can anyone who used Beats Music confirm whether this is behaviour is carried over from that app or is this an Apple Music thing?
Maybe that's why it's a bit shocking to me. The only time I use iTunes is when I absolutely have to. Thankfully that's almost never.
 

Paco II

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2009
2,074
605
Apple fell into the common trap of having too many options and not first figuring out a good way to present it.
 
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pituin

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2015
30
26
I think the UI is terrible. 3rd party apps have better (and easier to use) designs than Apple's own Music app.

I know we've already discussed the design introduced in iOS 7, but you've got to admit it's already showing how boring and difficult to use an app can be if it sticks with the "default" UI.
 

Paco II

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2009
2,074
605
The current UI tells me that designers were not given enough time to create something more Apple-like. They were told it has to have x, y and z and you have a week to figure it out. A week later they were told it now has to handle x, y, z, h, r, and v. And so on. :)

I think the UI is terrible. 3rd party apps have better (and easier to use) designs than Apple's own Music app.

I know we've already discussed the design introduced in iOS 7, but you've got to admit it's already showing how boring and difficult to use an app can be if it sticks with the "default" UI.
 
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MentalFloss

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2012
1,016
799
I agree. It's kinda nice to have a context sensitive button that will display options currently available to you, but I agree that from a UI design perspective, using this as a garbage can for everything is an awfully lazy solution. In some contexts, that menu covers the whole screen of my iPhone 6 Plus with a huge block of menu text. I don't remember ever having this kind of menu/text-heavy app from Apple on an iOS device. Even powerful productivity apps like Pages or Numbers don't do this.
 

danielllb

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2015
18
13
The Netherlands
What I don't get is that there are double options in this list that pops-up when you tap that 3-dotted-button. There already is a share button which lets you share the song or playlist: why put in in the menu then? The little arrow in the upper left corner could also be replaced with a '+' icon (a little bigger would be useful then though), to add the song to playlists. The only options that should be left under those 3 dots should be Remove from playlist, Show Album / Show Artist (which is not even present now). This clearly could have been thought out a lot better.
 
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Sartre

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2009
27
1
The contextual menus are fine as long as there isn’t an over-reliance on them. A lot of the functionality they are hiding is essential. Some of it could be implemented in other ways — tap to hold could add a song to Up Next, for example — but you’d still be hard pressed to beat the obviousness of the three dots menu.

As it stands, though, I agree that they are cluttered and can stand lose a lot of crap. Who uses Genius playlists anymore or ever for that matter?
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
22,008
27,506
I think the UI is terrible. 3rd party apps have better (and easier to use) designs than Apple's own Music app.

I know we've already discussed the design introduced in iOS 7, but you've got to admit it's already showing how boring and difficult to use an app can be if it sticks with the "default" UI.
I'm not sure what's boring about the music app.
 

kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Aug 22, 2007
1,634
607
Naples, FL
I think some parts of the Apple Music are still very much feels beta-ish, and I do feel weird seeing such a long menu. Although the menu items are actually quite familiar for those who use desktop iTunes.

Can anyone who used Beats Music confirm whether this is behaviour is carried over from that app or is this an Apple Music thing?

This huge menu wasn't in Beats, but there's no reason for it to be. There were no genius playlists, stations, Up Next, show in iTunes. I can't find a pic but I think there were only three option when pressing the elipse: add to library, add to playlist, and make available offline. And make available offline better communicated that you were downloading it.

I'm not sure which had the better interface. Beats had this really bad combination of a hamburger button, tabs, and back arrows, forcing you to go back and back and back to get to were you could back to home.
 
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harry*333

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2009
505
28
I am right there with you.

These are what I think should be there:
- Play Next
- Add to Up Next
- Add to Playlist
- Remove from Playlist

The "Make Available Offline" can easily be changed to the cloud button as used in iTunes. Everything else is easily done elsewhere(or at least should be) or is unnecessary(I personally don't care for the "Share" features).
 

malih

macrumors member
May 11, 2013
95
25
3 dots should be Remove from playlist, Show Album / Show Artist (which is not even present now).

Actually to 'Show Album' you can tap the very top menu item which is showing song title with album art.

I didn't even realize this before seeing it on a tips article.
 

schlaufox

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2013
154
69
I'm generally of the opinion that the Music app is well designed for the amount of features present.

These menus, however, were the one UI element that struck me as overwhelming, at least at first. The dividers are surely helpful in making sense of the menus - it is imperative that actions which control the music are separate and prioritised - but it doesn't go far enough.

As mentioned previously, the Make Available Offline action could be returned to a cloud icon next to the song title, which is arguably preferable, and the Share actions could be limited to the Now Playing view.
 
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