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.
Posted by John Buckman on April 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink
The headphone-wearing character is AWFUL. Sorry :) Same goes for the free-trial bubble... why the odd shape?
The overall look of the artwork is that it was created by an 8-year-old.
Needs to be slicker. I'm not saying it has to be ultra minimalist, but give it some gloss... make the buttons or tabs appear 3D. The textures on the three buttons at the top right are inconsistent... there's no sense of lighting and depth.
The colours are also a bit subdued.
How would this look on a wide screen display? The current Magnatune format is very narrow. Will the new design be more flexible? How about sideways scrolling?
I do so want Magnatune to continue to grow in popularity.
Posted by: protokool at Apr 14, 2012 2:37:58 PM
Another thought... Mobile is so BIG these days, it has to be catered for FULLY, with access to the same personalised features as the main web site. The current mobile site has no personalised features (favourites, etc). I've used it a little, but it's frustrating being unable to "like" an album or find by favourite artists. One of the great things about Magnatune (perhaps *the* best thing) is discovering new music by artists unknown to me. I don't remember an artist's name, so I can't find it on the mobile site.
This all means either a much better mobile web site or (my preference) an app. Need to cover iOS and Android (and others?). An app could tie in with downloading music for disconnected listening. Even at home, I occasionally wander into a WiFi blind spot, so I've taken to downloading my favs onto my phone, but I'd really like this to be more automatic. I know I can subscribe to an RSS feed of favs, but that would be too much.
As a casual Android developer, I'd be interested in doing something with this (or has anyone already made a start on an app?), if there is API access to the Magnatune system for subscribed user login all the features mentioned, plus any new ones that are in the works. I know there's [some] API access and a downloadable database, and I've not examined it, so excuse me if this is already there :)
Posted by: protokool at Apr 14, 2012 3:12:42 PM
Regarding the colour scheme: besides better colours, go for more solid colours and less of the busy-background stuff. Way less, as in, none.
I think if you ditch the overlays, and assorted other colour bleeding, and change up the colour pallete, you are heading in the right direction.
Posted by: Daniel Clements at Apr 14, 2012 3:22:46 PM
I think it looks much better than the last mockup (the yellow and gray one) and the current website. While the color scheme might not be perfect it is better then the one of those, too.
I might reduce the graininess a bit. Maybe make it only as intense as the graininess on YouTube.
Would the layout be horizontally centered if the browser window is larger than the screenshot? I would make it centered (and not left aligned like the current website).
The icon beside MORE/SUBSCRIBE/BROWSE MORE CLASSICAL looks a bit to heavy. I'd make it "less 3D".
I'd like to see mockups for the genre/artist/album pages in this new design.
Posted by: panzi at Apr 14, 2012 8:22:10 PM
Make the "Free Trial" button the same design as the genre buttons, but bigger and a different color. A solid background color wouldn't make it look so "80s" (dark green maybe). The character, maybe make him/her small and place him/her in the bottom right corner if you decide to keep the character. In it's original place, put a pic of a beautiful woman maybe listening on headphones with her eyes closed, just grooving to the music,
Posted by: David at Apr 15, 2012 2:58:58 PM
I gather the character with the headphones (who still needs a catchy name) isn't so popular with many people, but I like the basic concept. I do, however, think the character could be improved if he/she was rendered in a 3D program like the little Android mobile phone mascot. I think I've figured out why him (let's call him Bucky) looks "off". Some aspects of him are defined by shading, and other bits defined by a simple outline. Kind of makes him look "unfinished" or something. But I like the basic concept of grinny half-crazed little blue dude with headphones. He kinda reminds me of Stitch.
As for the page itself, I too believe the new colours are an improvement over the previous yellow-and-grey design proposal. It does look a bit dated though. And I agree with others who say the various buttons need to be of a more unified style. They don't all have to be exactly alike, but having them all the same degree of 3D depth or all the same colour intensity would give them more unity. The Free Trial button seems particularly odd. It looks like a speech bubble that is coming from nowhere in particular.
I like the somewhat chaotic geometry of the semi-opaque overlays. Perhaps with a more minimalist background design they might work better.
As for the mechanics of the top-albums list and tabs, I like that. It would be nice too if the page could be scripted to reflect whether or not a member is logged in. Perhaps create a cookie that displays a member's recent listening or downloads similar to how YouTube works.
Mind you I'm not a designer. I just play one in my delusional mind. LOL
Posted by: Spike Page at Apr 16, 2012 9:42:08 PM