Skip to main content

Bandcamp's checkout process - a very good design


Bandcamp is like an online music store for artists where they can sell their music or merch and promote themselves. Many artists these days are using Bandcamp to set up a unique site to distribute their music on their own, with or without the help of a label or major distributor like iTunes.

The design and structure of each artist’s Bandcamp site is very clean, very simple with clear calls to action for playing tracks, following the band and buying things. But where Bandcamp really excels is in end-to-end flow of purchasing an album (or two).

This past weekend, I wanted to buy the latest album by Pale Lights, a band from NYC (also recommended by The Big Takeover magazine). Directly from the band’s Facebook page, I linked to Pale Lights’ Bandcamp site from which I was able to quickly find the album. On the album details screen, I clicked the large Buy Now link. From the subsequent modal, I named my price (in the conveniently highlighted field) and could either checkout or add to my cart (by way of large, uniquely-colored buttons). I decided to add to my cart, the modal closed and a cart area appeared on the right column of the page - with a nice animation pushing some of the content down a bit. From there, the checkout modal guided me to Paypal and the rest was easy.

It gets better when you buy two albums (from different artists). First off, you must go thru the checkout process multiple times (I assume so the money gets in the right hands) - one for the first artist and another for the second. And you’d expect that after the first purchase, you’d probably have to get your bearings, navigate back to the cart and start over with the second one. That didn’t happen at all - after the first purchase, I was happy to get a confirmation, an option to download it AND a Last Checkout button to begin the final purchase. What could have been a painful experience resulted in a good one where the app guided me along the way through multiple steps.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Setting a price alert on Stubhub

A few weeks ago, my wife and I really wanted to see Alvvays and Frankie Rose at Metro in Chicago. But the show sold out and I was left to look for tickets second-hand. I've used Stubhub before to purchase concert tickets but up until now, hadn't tried their Price Alert feature which lets you set a ticket price max and be notified when the price goes below it. The user experience from beginning to end was really good. The feature is easy to find and provides very mobile-friendly controls to create the alert. The Price Alert tab was prominent on the event details screen - very easy to find. Note: today (1/5/18), Stubhub has removed those tabs and you have to tap an Info button top right of the viewport to look for the same feature. It's a still a good UX once you get there but it's an additional step. The Price Alert feature is intuitive and uses tappable numbers to let me pick the quantity of tickets (not a clunky dropdown menu or less efficient plus/minus p

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 user