There are a ton of libraries and patterns available to us now. Using off the shelf patterns is a practice we should do away from. No disrespect but that’s how most non designers would approach to designers day to day life how something can be used or how something fantastic is done by a certain product and we should use it.
Even designers are guilty for the same using patterns available on the go. All such global patterns available has their usability pros and cons and have some historic data and use cases for multiple problem solving over a period of time. A good practice is to build on top of such patterns using our experience to inform our decisions because we know they’ve worked in other projects fairly well.
I just updated Wynk Music app(initial versions were done by me so I have a soft corner) and stumbled upon new updates on music player module. Accordion as a pattern is used here and entire playlist is one big scroll now. Works great when a couple of playlists are there but this also encourages users like me to keep adding a lot of playlists and really long playlists and now when I am navigating between playlists it starts to become a cumbersome. Also from tech point a question comes to mind does this also makes my music player heavy to load as everything is one single module now unlike earlier where player list was emptied and refilled. Does this plays on performance on load of the entire player?
Coming back on to the accordion it is a great pattern which allows users to focus on critical information first and take necessary action to reveal more all the time keeping them focused. Yet some basics need to be addressed here:
- how much information will the expanded form hold
- What visual cues such as icons would be appropriate to help understand the various states
- How interaction would happen when users are playing with the expand and collapse states and how minimal animations to scroll up down to focus on click areas selected and keep things contextual
- The click areas would be singular or multiple as in case of Wynk here which might lead to playing. Of entire playlist where in one would have actually meant to just explore which is the core function of accordion
Wrapping it up
Referring here to initial conversation starter that patterns are there for us in plenty, in fact we have so much more resources available to have us go faster but will it actually solve our problem we are trying to deal with requires much deep diving and research. And nothing better came to mind than the following line to end this:
Good Designers Copy, Great Designers Steal
– Pablo Picasso
Read more on accordion as a pattern in detail here: