Board index Site Music-Playground.net

Usability

Discuss Music Playground
Post a reply
21 posts • Page 1 of 31, 2, 3

Usability

Postby lothario » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:18 am

This is something I've thought about for a long time, but just can't seem to wrap my mind around. I've always wanted, when people visit the site, to immediately know what the site is about, and what they can do here. Right now, I think that definitely is not the case.

I am a programmer by heart, and not a designer. I can make this site do the things I want it to, but when it comes to making the site usable for less tech-savvy individuals I know that it's impossible for me to look beyond the code. I can never experience the site, without having all it's functionalities in my mind.

What I want, is to boil the site down to what it does best, and present ONLY those things for first time visitors. I want it simple on top, and then when you delve deeper you can experience all the extra things that exists on the site.

So what are the best things about MP? Well, I'd like you to answer that as well, but in my opinion it boils down to only two things:

- The community
- The competitions

So what I want to do, is to really make those two things apparent for first-time visitors. I'm not quite sure how to do that, but I have some ideas. The first thing I want to do, is to trim the site of unnecessary content.
For me that means removing the featured artist pages...

To be honest, I never use those pages. And I mean ever. I know they are not properly working right now, but even when they did, I wasn't using them. I try not to think about them, cause I know they desperately need updating, but I just can't find the motivation for it. There are far better track-hosting services out there (soundcloud f.ex.), and I would prefer to integrate that into the site, instead of trying to come up with my own.

However, having a featured artist slot is something to strive for, to some it is a special honour to be put up there with the top artists of the site. I wouldn't want to take that feeling of accomplishment away. So I would need to have something as good, to fill in the void. I don't know what that would be yet...

But back to the usability issue. Right now our links to the left are Home, Forum, Releases, Competition and Random Music. I would keep only two of those links: Forum and Competition. The rest I would have accessible throught the front-page in some form. I haven't really thought this through, but are just putting it up there.

The front page is what really need to be worked on. I would really only like two columns, one saying Community and the other saying Competitions. Then I would list the features of each category (under community feedback, reviews, free upload, chat etc., under competitions prizes...hmm, can't think of anything else right now), and then two big buttons: JOIN OUR COMMUNITY | JOIN A COMPETITION

Joining a competition should only require 1(2) click(s) in my opinion. You click join a competition, fill out the form and upload a track and then youre automatically registered on the board and have joined the competition.

Join our community just take you to the registration page.

Sorry for making your eyes hurt from reading this much, but I think it's important, if we want to make this community grow, to make sure we make it simple for new visitors. These things are what I want to change on the site (and some may require a redesign of some sort).

Let me know what your view and ideas are. Do you think the site is fine as it is, do you agree with me or do you think something entirely else.

Thanks,
User avatar
lothario
General
General
 
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Usability

Postby Roadkill » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:06 pm

I havent thought this through yet, but ill post my first thoughts on the frontpage.

Remove Releases
Artists can put their releases in their forum or on the artist page.

Remove Random Music
I dont relly see the reason why it should be there. People can go to the forums or to an artist page to listen to tracks.

Move Forum and Competition
Move the links from the left menu to the top of the page (over the content, under the header). Increase font size and put some nice color effects on the links, like youve done on the header.

- Dedicate more of the frontpage to the last competition and the next competition.
- Move the latest forumposts to one of the sidebars.
- Use the space in the center as a news section or a blog section where you inform about coming and past competitions. Maybe add an image to the "newspost" to make the page nicer for the eyes.

As said, this is my first thoughts on the frontpage. I might bring up some more ideas later.

While we're at changing and suggesting stuff...
... Get MPG on facebook, myspace, soundcloud etc. Inform about competitions and stuff with a link to this site.
btw, i know mpg is on soundcloud already, but you get my point.
www.roadkillhq.com
User avatar
Roadkill
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Usability

Postby Aquila » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:51 pm

I know what you mean. Have a look at the front pages of some other popular sites, like Newgrounds or Reverbnation and see how they preach their content to visitors.
Est. 1981
User avatar
Aquila
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
 
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:26 am
Location: Cairns, Australia

Re: Usability

Postby Darkwave » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:42 pm

yeah checking out other sites with lot's of members would be a good idea..we could even check for possible off-topic polls at these sites to get a bigger image of what people like about those sites.

I agree about keeping things more simple.
"Random music" could be removed and "artists" could be placed over there (and Releases could be added in the artists pages).

Also i think that a vertical zoom on the site would be nice and would help to add 2-3 matrixes. One with a music player merged on the site, another with competition info/stats ect and another one with registration info (like those at the "dogs on acid" site...which is probably the only clear thing on that site :lol: ).
◄ḋαякẘ@ṽℯ►
User avatar
Darkwave
Major
Major
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Thessaloniki

Re: Usability

Postby lothario » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:13 pm

This is what I created today - I think it might work.
Attachments
sneakpeak.jpg
(105.81 KiB) Not downloaded yet
User avatar
lothario
General
General
 
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Usability

Postby Mo » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:30 pm

lothario wrote:This is what I created today - I think it might work.


I like this idea.
This is my fucking signature.
User avatar
Mo
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2051
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:42 am
Location: York, UK

Re: Usability

Postby 100NAMES » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:49 am

Mo wrote:
lothario wrote:This is what I created today - I think it might work.


I like this idea.


+1

Btw. I wrote 7 fucking paragraphs of advice, didnt copy it, and it got deleted. I'll cut it short. The way I see it:

- The forum is too complex and has to many sections and sub sections, its easy to get lost. You should make 6 sections max. for now (Your Tunes, Producing, General Discussion, Off Topic, Competition and ARTISTS forum). If you think a topic is important enough to deserve its own section or a sube section, then just put it up as a sticky, it will do.

- As far as promotion goes, go viral. Not only would it be wise to promote MPG via soundcloud, myspace and facebook, but a viral video would work wonders as well. Then look into SEO and go from there.

- Organize a competition with a really famouse name like f.... Lady Gaga or something, it can be official or not, it doesnt matter. Its the name that matters. Because she's probably the most Googled person today. If somebody here makes a really good remix of her track, the remix will get around and this website will gain popularity.

- Remove the ARTISTS sections from the main page. Instead put up a link that will lead to a section where the ARTISTS can be listened to and get some more info about them.

- The main page is the one thing that will make the visitor stay or flee the website. So, make it as interesting as possible but do not hammer it with a shitload of info. It should be visually appealing and user friendly, and you could even have like "a best track of the month" sort of thing where you only put one track on the front page, depending on whatever system you find that works. It could be a competition thing, or it could be like "the employee of the month" thing at Mcdonalds. You decide.
I became fucking blind that night. | http://www.soundcloud.com/nim_music
User avatar
100NAMES
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:58 pm

Re: Usability

Postby lothario » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 am

100NAMES wrote:+1

Btw. I wrote 7 fucking paragraphs of advice, didnt copy it, and it got deleted. I'll cut it short. The way I see it:

That sucks. When I write a lot of text for the forum, I always take a copy before posting. Learned that the hard way.



- The forum is too complex and has to many sections and sub sections, its easy to get lost. You should make 6 sections max. for now (Your Tunes, Producing, General Discussion, Off Topic, Competition and ARTISTS forum). If you think a topic is important enough to deserve its own section or a sube section, then just put it up as a sticky, it will do.


The forum could definitely be tweaked, there's only a few active forums really.
I'll clean up the forums as well, but it is not a priority right now.




- As far as promotion goes, go viral. Not only would it be wise to promote MPG via soundcloud, myspace and facebook, but a viral video would work wonders as well. Then look into SEO and go from there.


That all sounds good, but I won't be able to do all that on my own, I've got enough on my plate just maintaining the site. If anyone had the time to actively promote the site as you suggested, that would be great.

SEO is on my mind, but not a priority. There are SEO add-ons for the forum though, they should be easy to add.


- Organize a competition with a really famouse name like f.... Lady Gaga or something, it can be official or not, it doesnt matter. Its the name that matters. Because she's probably the most Googled person today. If somebody here makes a really good remix of her track, the remix will get around and this website will gain popularity.



That's actually a decent idea...it goes into my little black book of competition ideas.


- Remove the ARTISTS sections from the main page. Instead put up a link that will lead to a section where the ARTISTS can be listened to and get some more info about them.



The whole artist section needs to be re-thought. I want it to feel exactly right.


- The main page is the one thing that will make the visitor stay or flee the website. So, make it as interesting as possible but do not hammer it with a shitload of info. It should be visually appealing and user friendly, and you could even have like "a best track of the month" sort of thing where you only put one track on the front page, depending on whatever system you find that works. It could be a competition thing, or it could be like "the employee of the month" thing at Mcdonalds. You decide.


Best track of the month was definitely on my mind.
User avatar
lothario
General
General
 
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Usability

Postby Laurie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:28 pm

I quite like the idea of just 'Competition' and 'Community (or forum)' on the home page. Rather than a best track of the month on the front page, it could even be the winner of the previous competition. That would be another piece of motivation to win the competition, as you would know more people will be able to listen to it for the next couple months or so whenever someone visits the site.

I think Music Playground is quite well adapted to the different networking platforms on the net. We have a Facebook page, there is a Twitter page, we advertise competitions on different forums, I set up a Last.FM page a while back, and recently I also created a Soundcloud page which has been fairly active.

I oppose the idea of the lack of a podcast section on the board index, as that contradicts one of the main reasons I thought podcasts would be a good idea in the first place. As well as podcasts giving us the ability to share great music with other people in a nice mixed together file to go on our music players, I had the idea of the podcast bringing new members to the site as Music Playground tracks and the website are promoted on the podcast. Considering how many people use iTunes, I think promotion of the podcasts could be a definite consideration, as that would lead people to this site as a result from hearing our output.

One thing I will agree with some of the comments here on is that we need to bring more attention to the networking platforms that we do have. We have a facebook page, but it seems only current members of the site actually join that, and no one else knows about it. Speaking of which, I believe the name of that facebook page would be better if it was just 'Music Playground', rather than 'Music Playground - facebook' as it cuts the flow of a sentence when I promote it to my friends, and the facebook part just isn't required.

For Last.fm, I'm not sure if it's the best promotion platform for a site trying to get new producers. Same for Twitter and Facebook, though they are good for updating existing followers/members for when there is a new competition coming up and any other pieces of information. But the potential amount of new producers through Soundcloud is enormous. If you look at any drum and bass forum (http://forum.breakbeat.co.uk/ for example), Soundcloud is used by pretty much every producer who promotes their music. It's an extremely easy to use site, and promotions of the Music Playground Soundcloud page saying how we comment on each other's tracks is sure to bring more people in. And then these new members of the Soundcloud group can be persuaded to check out the site where they can take part in competitions and receive even more comments and feedback.
Last edited by Laurie on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Laurie
Major
Major
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:18 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Usability

Postby lothario » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:39 pm

I think in the future, podcasts should at least be 50% non-commercial tracks (don't do as I do, do as I say ;)),maybe more, and have a place on the community index page.
User avatar
lothario
General
General
 
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

21 posts • Page 1 of 31, 2, 3
Post a reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron