Dane. Designer.

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The new iTunes Store layout was a turn for the better in most ways, but whatever drugs caused these masterminds of usability to turn the ‘Buy’ button into a multi-functional dropdown button, it must be illegal in most countries.

Essentially the ‘Buy Album’ button is the single most important UI element in the iTunes Store interface. It must send the unambiguous message of: “When you click this button, your money goes to us, and our music goes to you. Period”.

Every microsecond I don’t click the ‘Buy Album’ button is a microsecond in which I might change my mind. Maybe I don’t want the album that bad anyway. Maybe I don’t feel like I have the money, or I already bought a couple of albums today. Maybe this, maybe that. Soon I’ve left the iTS and there goes that purchase.

By polluting the purchase button with options—even the indication of options, as here—the uninterrupted line between my wanting to buy the album and actually doing so, is interrupted by me considering what the dropdown is, what it means for my purchase and in my case, why the hell they would place that there. Soon I’ve left the iTS and there goes that purchase.

It took me three or four visits before I had trained myself to understand that the dropdown had nothing to do with me purchasing an album.

That’s the worst part, but what’s also wrong with this idea, is that the hidden options are actually things I could see people use; so why on Earth are they hidden away in a dropdown on a button!?

It makes no sense in any scenario.

JournalMichael Heilemann