Why double-tap tracks to play? - UX Question from Twitter

Tom Kell asks why some single taps will start playing track but it takes two taps on the track itself to start.

Is there a reason for this variance to share with Tom? Or is this something we will seek to change in an update?

Thank you.

I think this is another one of those “always been this way” things. I assume the doubleclick idea was this would protect folks from accidentally turning on a song while scrolling on mobile.

However, it seems that other music players allow single click of a song title to turn it on, and it doesn’t cause problems.

Anyone want to go check out how this works across other services? We should use whatever play interface is most common. That will make it easy for folks to try resonate.

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My thought too. I’ll relay that.

Maybe there’s a haptic setting that would weed out the scrolling motion?

Would it be correct to say double-tap is under review, or is this more accurately described as the UX we think works best?

I think double tap is 100% an unnecessary precaution.

I just checked and, despite it being hard to compare 1:1 because it turns out almost 100% of competing offers (Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal) use apps on appstores rather than direct web streaming on smartphones, they’re ALL single tap based.

Also, I just checked if it had any influence when scrolling and it just really doesn’t because since the tap is accounted for when the finger leaves the surface in the same area it meets it, there’s very little chance you tap it by mistake, scenarios :

  • I start scrolling from top to bottom and end up by mistake on the play button and leave at that exact moment > Since I didn’t start pressing on the screen on the play button, it doesn’t register as a tap anyway.

  • I start scrolling on the play button and release at the top of the page > Since I didn’t “leave the surface” with my finger at the same spot I pressed it, it doesn’t register as a tap either.

At least those are the scenarios I currently experienced on all the websites and apps I just tried on mobile.

I think we can get rid of double tap it’ll be a much smoother experience.


Currently, it’s more like a double click feature for desktop. The play buttons only appear on hover state.

Spotify etc… makes difficult to use their web apps on purpose.

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Reply I posted earlier this morning.

Yeah I’m aware why Spotify et al are eager to push you into their closed ecosystem, but other than that, do we think that behavior is necessary ? (play on hover state that is). Does it serve any accessibility purpose? Or are we just being overly cautious.

I was not familiar with this new trend with single tap/clicks to play while not interacting with actual buttons. I see it as an opportunity to create more mess/confusion, especially if in the future we want track titles to link to individual track pages.

I’d be in favour of adding more affordance to this UI.
Taping once would toggle the play button and or change item background color.
A big button to start/pause playlist would be nice too.

Double click seems good enough for this kind of problem.

I think the trend is more along the line of “there’s ALWAYS a play button widely visible so that you don’t need to click twice to listen”

Here’s an example of Deezer’s main page

It’s similar on most services.

On resonate you need to click on the card first to be sent to a place where you can then click play.

On mobile (iOS) and desktop (firefox on mac), I can tap a track number once and it plays. Tapping on the track name does nothing on mobile and starts the track on desktop.
If I tap on an album cover, I’m sent to the album detail, then I pick a track. Since the user needs to be able to tap on album covers for the purposes of navigation, this makes sense.

A compromise for the ‘too many clicks’ issue could be to offer a play button on the album cover (like Deezer). If the user taps the play button on the album cover image, the album starts playing. If the user taps elsewhere on the album cover, then it takes the user to the album detail.

Yeah that’s also my understanding of how things should behave.

If we’re looking to implement “track pages” (in I guess an effort to make things more like Bandcamp because that’s how it works there and it’s nice too) then I get that the track isn’t a button, in the meantime it’s a bit of confusing UI choice not to have the track name also be a play button.

I must have missed something because even on desktop the name is just regular text for me.

what do you mean by track page? Like this?

recruiting you for the monthly testing squad, what is your browser and OS (to see if i can replicate)?

Actually yes, but I can’t access that or a play button on clicking on the title in the album page.

And also this is all a bit weird, like the page you sent has a different UI from the album page where the artist name is unclickable and doesn’t direct me to the artist page (I have to go to the footer player to do that).

All things that can redirect to single pages/artist pages etc. should in general be more clickable so that it’s super intuitive for people to wander on the site.

I have several browsers depending on my use cases (so Opera/Firefox/Chrome), here I was testing on Chrome let me check if I have the same behavior on Mozilla.

Yep I do : on album pages clicking the track titles doesn’t play the track and it’s just regular text. Just the number (when hovered turning into a play button) allows me to select tracks.

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I was able to replicate i think:

Desktop (testing on Chrome)

go to artist page (same is true on track detail, artist page is just example)

case 1: single click on album art + arrow

  • tap in the play on the thumbnail image next to a track (click once)
    → track starts playing

case 2: single click vs double click on track title text

  • tap once the track title
    → nothing happens
  • double-click the track title
    → tracks starts playing

confusion: unless debugging, it seems unclear as to how many times a user has to click, and on what.

is this a huge issue? can’t really know unless the app is counting clicks (is it?). Maybe it’s fine, maybe not.

Woah I didn’t even realize the title was actually a button, like when I hover I have the text highlight pointer, but you’re right, when double clicking it apparently is a button still which is very odd. OK.

I agree this is not a huge issue but it’s better to sort it out because if we already had someone being confused about this it means it’ll confuse a lot of people especially since it really doesn’t fit any web standard that I know of (usually when I can highlight text and don’t see the “hand” pointer, I can’t think of a website where a thing is still considered a button) and it’s also not a streaming platform standard so it’s really needlesly confusing for a very low benefit short or long term, that I can think of.

For my mobile (android), tapping twice on the track name starts the track…

(tapping the track number once, or the play icon once will also start a track)

I believe it was the tapping twice on the name, while only once elsewhere, (in mobile) that the user was calling out for review.

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