Wow, Whoops, Whatever
I'm in Budapest today, to give the keynote speech at the annual Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference.
The speech is entitled "Wow, Whoops, Whatever" and is about my personal approach to designing and making things that succeed. The video stops at 20 minutes (which is about 2/3rds) because (sigh) my iPhone filled up. I'll post a complete copy of the video when I obtain it from the AES.
New design for home page
Two weeks ago, I blogged about the progress designing a new Magnatune home page, and how I wasn't entirely happy with the direction it was going. I asked people who were graphic designers to contact me if they wanted a shot at being Magnatune's next graphic designer.
I heard from several people, but the mockup from James at Messiah Studio (in New Zealand) really impressed me, as it pulled off a bunch of goals I had in mind.
What do you think?
Here's what I like about it:
- the integration of the hand-drawn character is nicely down
- the background is is interesting, textured, but not over-the-top
- the tabbed dialog of genres is attractive
- the main benefit we provide is clear, as is the price, and the small text below it (No DRM, etc…) is still readable while not being intrusive
- the "misc" things are below the fold, where they probably should be, as they're just not that important.
James emphasized that this was a 1st pass, quickly done. When we spoke, he made a bunch of suggestions for further improvement that I liked, so hopefully in a week or two I'll be that much closer to something I'm pleased to go with.
This all comes out of a blog entry a few months ago, where I showed our competitor's pages, and a mockup I (the amateur) made.
New Magnatune Home Page Progress
I've been working with my current graphic designer to come up with a new Magnatune home page. I blogged about this a few months ago.
I like some of the things we've come up with, but I'm not falling in love with it.
So… I thought I'd blog about where we are i the process, and ask that if you are a graphics designer, you might want to put together a mockup of what you think could be done, with a chance that you could become Magnatune's new graphics designer.
Here is the current home page mockup I'm working with:
Here are some things I like about the new page:
1) we've change the "hot right now" top albums to be by-genre, rather than listing all genres together as we do on the current Magnatune home page.
2) this change allows us to make a lot more recommendations for the genre you ilk
3) the change also allows us to get rid of separately listing the genres, as we do on the current home page
4) "what we do" and "what we cost" is much clearer now
5) I like the headphone-wearing illustration
6) overall, it's less visually busy than the current magnatune home page
7) it's far more contemporary looking than the current Magnatune home page.
Some things I don't like about this mockup:
1) the color scheme -- it's quite 80s
2) the tabs don't look like tabs
3) the overall feel leaves me a bit "blah" -- not excited. I want to be excited about a new site redesign!
If you're a Magnatune fan, I'd love to hear what you think!
If you're a graphic designer, and think you can do better, please email me at john at magnatune.com. The resources you'll need can be downloaded here.