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Showing posts from 2014

Purchasing tickets for the David Bowie exhibit

I recently purchased two tickets for the David Bowie exhibit (David Bowie Is) at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The exhibit looks brilliant - a retrospective of his career including costumes, artwork, photography, etc. And it's been getting rave reviews from folks like Rolling Stone and UK's Guardian. I've been a fan of Bowie since I was a kid - we even named our black lab after him!

However, purchasing tickets for the exhibit via the MCA's website was not great. Interruptions in the purchase flow made the process confusing and time-consuming.

I selected the October 24 date at 6pm, two tickets and clicked Purchase (fairly easy). Now, I'm a new user to the MCA site so I had to create an account. This interrupted the process and it wasn't totally clear why it was necessary.

I did it anyway, expecting to come back to the next step in the process, the cart. Instead, I came back to the earlier page to (again!) select the date, time and quantity. A…

KEXP's Streaming Archive is simple and intuitive

KEXP is a Seattle, WA public radio station which broadcasts all over the world via its website and mobile app. Their format is consistent and brilliant - their DJs play a lot of the stuff I like including many new and old under the radar artists (Dum Dum Girls, Elbow, Adorable, Stone Roses). And they have weekly shows like Roadhouse (Wednesday night) which specializes in genres like Roots and Americana.

For those who miss any of the weekly programming, KEXP has a new feature - a 14 day streaming archive (currently in beta) where you can search the station's archive according to times, shows or hosts. This takes the place (if I recall) of an older archive feature which was difficult to use. KEXP, though publicly funded, seems to always be investing in the user experience of their listeners  - they recently redesigned their website with better usability and visual design and their iPad app is very engaging.

Overall, the streaming archive user experience is simple and intuitive. Nav…

Merge's responsive design and adding items to a wish list

Merge Records is an independent record label based in North Carolina and started by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan of the band Superchunk in 1989. I got to see them live for the first time in September at the Hideout Block Party in Chicago (a great show) and may see them again in January at Metro.

Though I thought the last version of the label's site was good, the latest version is really clean and engaging - a lot of photography, large type and several ways to listen to music by way of Listen links and a Merge radio feature. And the site's built responsively which means it reacts and scales depending on your device's resolution - this makes for a consistent user experience from laptop to tablet to phone without having to download and install an app (although they already have a good mobile app).

Browsing and purchasing music on the site is also good. With browsing, the links to New Releases, Shop and a search box make it easy to find new stuff. In terms of purchasing (I…