Skip to main content

The new look of The Big Takeover

The Big Takeover is a 30-year old, bi-annual music magazine written and published in NYC by the enthusiastic Jack Rabid. It includes some great record and concert reviews and is an important voice in the independent music scene. More than anything (at least for me), it's THE place to discover new music. The BT website is a good companion which features the one of the main revenue drivers: subscriptions to the magazine!

The homepage just underwent a redesign that drastically improved the layout. The page now uses clear section headers (Concerts, Recordings) which logically match the main navigation options and the use of white space helps users to direct their attention appropriately.

However, it's not clear why the navigation is placed above the ads away from the content. Although the location of Search meets expectations, the navigation should be closer to the content. Moving the navigation below the ads (suggested wireframe below) would create a more efficient experience for the user (less distance for the mouse to move, eyes to travel) while simply increasing its visibility.



Overall, the homepage redesign is a major improvement and I look forward to other new pages (including the subscription workflow) soon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Google Doodle tribute to Les Paul

In honor of (what would have been) Les Paul's 96th birthday, today's Google Doodle is an interactive, recordable, electric guitar. Paul, after whom the Gibson Les Paul guitar is named, was one of the first electric guitars and he designed one of the first solid body electric models. He is also one of the few artists with a stand-along exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . The Google Doodle, found at google.com , is typically an illustration created for one day to (among other things) celebrate a holiday or the birthday of someone famous. You simply hover over the strings to strum and create a song. A record button lets you save your song and send it to someone and you can even play back your own song while playing over it (like the overdubbing Paul made famous in the '40s). Click on the Doodle? Well, that will show you search results for Les Paul. Several music fans have recorded their own songs today including this one - 'Hey Jude' by The Beatles. Easy to u

A site map for a music application

For the past several months, I've been working with the CHIRP Radio volunteer tech team to design a mobile solution that allows station DJs to plan out their weekly shows. At a high level, a DJ should be able to browse and select songs from a massive music library, and add them to one or more playlists, which can be used for their shows. The app also has functionality like the ability to read album reviews, view recent activity by DJs in the app, and review a DJ's profile. A site map is an important artifact when designing any application or website. It shows how the overall navigation should be structured, can be used with end users to validate the taxonomy, and is helpful for developers as a companion to wireframes or mockups. Below is a site map I recently created for the project. The highest level navigation options are lighter in color, while as the user navigates deeper, darker colors are used to represent those options. The coloring isn't necessarily a known

Redesigning the MySpace music player

Originally a major competitor to Facebook, MySpace has evolved from a being a place for 'friendships' to an important site in digital music. Like Facebook, artists can create profile pages for fans to follow but artists can also embed songs into a music player for fans to listen to. This functionality has really opened the door for discovering new music (especially for new artists who don't have a label or a means of distribution and marketing). However, MySpace's music player (above) suffers from some usability issues including small controls and an inefficient screen layout . When advancing through a song, users have to move a very small slider control that requires unnecessary precision . An improved, larger control would be much easier to click and drag than the current small rectangle shape. Also, the two-row layout of songs in the artist's queue is inefficiently designed . A maximum of only five songs can be listed in the queue at one time and then use