In most applications the position, style and interaction with menu elements tend to follow a consistent pattern. In the latest version of iTunes the menu design (other than the standard File menu bar) is quite interesting for its variation. Some of this may be due to user familiarity with previous versions, but the concept of firstly breaking the application header into three sections, and then for each section to have the main menu positioned in different areas and with different visual styling suggests that each menu is customized for a specific reason.

Is this an unusual design approach for software applications? Are there any obvious usability benefits or visual aesthetics?

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2 Answers 2


Generally, I think the entire iTunes UX team should be fired or replaced.

I think your observations are spot on. There is little consistency and a litany of terrible UX choices in the current versions of iTunes. The issues include:

  • Inconsistent placement of controls (grid breaking, unintuitive placement)
  • Inconsistent control sizes and indicators (a drop down might be a solid triangle, or a line triangle)
  • Terribly small controls which are unfriendly to disabled or older users
  • Missing controls altogether (e.g. repeat button is just gone)
  • Poor conflation of indicators and controls (e.g. track progress is also a control, but is tiny and difficult to discern)
  • Poor and inconsistently presented information hierarchy (interaction with songs in main screen is different from playlists)

I could go on, but it really is a disaster. Unfortunately Google Music is also very poor.

So yes. I agree with you. And then some.



I totally agree with @tohster. Additionally, I believe there is no sparkling music software right now. I personally do not prefer to use any kind of music software instead of using Youtube or else. This generally relies on unintuitive interface designs of those applications. To change people's habits is not that easy, whereas to prefer video networks to listen music is that swift. As an Apple Developer, I can personally say the SDK is not that collaborative with things such as keyboard shortcuts, Spotlight, iTunes, in Mac.

On the other side, Windows is not that user-friendly. This generally occurs with dragging people onto browser-only use of computer, as the UI elements are not designed well and intuitive.

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