Skip to main content

The transactional flow of Sub Pop Records

Sub Pop is a legendary record label based in Seattle that has signed great bands like The Shins, The Postal Service and Nirvana. They recently celebrated their 2oth anniversary and they have a great site full of artist info, photography and a Listen feature which allows users to stream music. However, when purchasing music, the transactional flow of the site is confusing.

After adding an album (in MP3S format) by the Vaselines to the the shopping cart, I noticed several options including login, create an account, a delete icon, a link to the album and a checkout icon. However, a few of these items were unclear. I'm not sure why one would want to create an account (from the shopping cart) and there is no helpful information on the subsequent 'Sign Up' screen to explain the benefit or creating an account. The login and account options would be better placed outside the context of the shopping cart area or simply introduced at the beginning of the checkout process.

I finally clicked the Checkout icon and began the transaction process. But on the third screen, I was asked to enter a shipping address! I thought I was downloading the digital MP3S format so why would I need to provide a shipping address? The site should contextually recognize that I am purchasing a digital version of an album and bypass the shipping address screen. This type of confusing transactional flow will frustrate users and may cause them to abandon the shopping cart altogether.

Sub Pop should minimize the number of choices in the Account area by removing login and create an account and make the flow more contextual by requiring users to enter only the information they need for that purchase. These changes would improve the overall music user experience of the site.

(Sub Pop Records gave me permission to use the image.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Buying gear on Reverb

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to buy an inexpensive stand for my acoustic guitar. I was already familiar with Reverb , which is  an online  marketplace  to buy and sell music gear. Without knowing much at all about guitar stands, I did a search, landed on their site, and within several minutes I was able to research and purchase a new stand. From the helpful information about different stands to the last step of the checkout process, the user experience was great .  After Googling 'guitar stand Reverb', one of the first results was a super helpful article on Reverb titled, 'The 6 Best Guitar Stands for Every Budget'. It listed all with all of the comparative specs I needed right on the page (saved me from having to look at each stand's page). Knowing my budget was small, I selected the On-Stage XCG4 Classic Guitar Stand. The price was right, the design was simple, and reviews were good. There's only one I caught that could be improved - when I curiously tr

This Is My Jam - a well-designed, responsive web application

This Is My Jam is a music app that lets users share one song at a time with others. If there’s a song that you absolutely love right now and want to the world to know about it (which I often do), you can select the song, post it to your page and tell the world ‘this is my jam!’. Not only is the app’s value unique but the user experience is good, specifically when it comes to choosing a new jam.  First of all, the app is responsive, slightly changing the layout of screens according to users’ device sizes. This is important because it delivers a consistent experience from web to mobile (without having to learn or download a separate native app) while the folks at This Is My Jam only have to maintain one web experience that adapts to users’ devices (that is, they don’t have to manage a web AND native mobile experience and all it entails).  And this isn’t just some responsive web site where the content shifts around - this is a web application, folks, and it’s not easy to do. W

Quickly finding music with Spotify

I don't make many predictions but I really think that Spotify will change music. Developed by a group of folks from Sweden, it is a P2P streaming music application with a library of some 6 million songs that you can listen to whenever you have the app running (desktop or mobile). With minimal advertising in the free version, think of it as Hulu for music. Later this year, it will be availble to users in the US (licensing issues) including an iPhone app which could really affect the whole notion of paying for music downloads. Why is it so good? Well, you can listen to whatever you want, create playlists and even cache songs to listen to while you're not connected, but most importantly, the UI is clean and easy to use making the user experience great. Spotify has a good visual layout; screen density is low and navigation is inituitive and flexible helping users find music quickly . On the left side, for example, the Search box, recently saved searches and the album cover l