stevelawson.net

Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



balancing 'easy access' with 'information overload'.

October 16th, 2007 | 3 Comments | Categories: Musing on Music · New Music Strategies · tips for musicians |

Been thinking about my new website design, which I’m pretty happy with. It does raise some questions about the balance of making as much as possible available to visitors in one click (web users are notoriously lazy bastards) with not overloading them.

Was chatting with the PhotoMonkey on Sunday, and he said that with bands, the first thing he looks for is their myspace page. ‘OK, see how long it takes you to find the myspace link on my front page’ says I, fairly confident that it would take him about 4 seconds… …15 seconds later, he finds it. Which is a heck of a long time in web-world, and as much a testimony to the uselessness of the MySpace logo as it is to my design, but it did raise some questions…

Firstly, how do you balance offering ‘good’ content over expected content? PM looks for myspace, even though myspace is a bit shit. It’s easy and a known quantity. I’ve got the reverbnation link on the front page which he – an experienced web-user and music fan – had never come across, despite it being a far superior interface for both artist and audience… Do you go with ubiquity just because it’s easy, or press on with offering a range of places to interact and listen to music, even if some of them are lesser-known now… (oh how I’ll be laughing if 6 months from now Reverbnation has 50,000,000 users and I’m top of all their search queries. :o)

Likewise the CDbaby link, I guess… It’s there because they provide a great service to people looking to buy music. Good for CDs and for downloads, and they do have a lot of users… I guess I really ought to put emusic and facebook on there as well, but there are already enough links…

The other interesting comment PM had was that he didn’t think the feed from the blog needed to be there… The connection between the blog and the music wasn’t as clear in his mind as it is in mine, obviously… it’s very difficult to step outside and see yourself as others see you. It’s certainly not something I’m all that good at. So I see the inner workings of my head expressed in blog form as being pretty close to what’s going on with the music. I hope that readers of the blog have a better understanding of what the music is all about than people who just hear tracks on their last.fm radio playlist.

What is clear is that my web traffic is up considerably since the redesign, which is great, and the main feeder site to my blog is my main site, that’s where nearly all the clicks come from (although this month, a huge amount of traffic has come via the DGM live news page who linked to the Tony/Trey interview, and a fair amount from StumbleUpon from people who’ve been adding the blog pages via the link at the bottom of each post…

So, here’s a test – if you haven’t been over to my main site for a while and you fancy helping me out with a bit of esoteric research, get a stopwatch ready, then click here and see how long it takes you to find the MySpace link… click stop, and let me know. (if you don’t own a stop watch, you may well find that there’s a ‘timer’ function on your mobile phone).

thanks!

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Mike Burgess

    2 seconds, but I think I happened to be gazing where the link was when the page came on screen!!

  • James

    The myspace link seems pretty prominent to me, but then I’ve been looking at your site quite a bit lately.

    I wonder if the link with your blog would be clearer if you were showing more than just the headlines? If you had a couple of sentences from the post would it seem more like part of the content of your homepage and so a more fundamental part of your online identity?

  • si

    3 seconds…!