Review of Musician Websites

M usicians use websites just like any other company would, to promote their services and brand. A well made website should provide fans with information about the artist including some or all of the following:

  • news,
  • photos,
  • videos,
  • links to social media,
  • tour dates,
  • biography of artist(s)
  • discography/lyrics,
  • fan club/forum (password access),
  • and a store for music and merchandise.

The most minimal site typically features the latest album, tour dates, and access to music downloads/purchase. Although most sites follow the same basic guidelines, a comparison of five websites from different artists suggest the diversity of approaches for web site design.

Five Sites for Review:

Beyonce — Pop/R&B

Luke Bryan — Country

Shawn Mendes — Pop

All Time Low — Pop Punk

Post Malone — Rap

 

These sites, when compared, offer insight into the options for musicians and for people creating web sites for musicians.   First, each of these sites suggests the possibilities for content.

How much?  Beyonce and Luke Bryan win the prize for a diversity of content, and richness of content. A comparison of their two sites suggest two diverse approaches to organization and navigation. The Beyonce site opts for a simplistic approach; Luke Bryan, whose site is designed and maintained by BubbleUp, edges right up to cluttered. To contrast, the Shawn Mendes and Post Malone sites compete for the most minimalist. All Time Low lands in the middle.

If you visit these sites, you will gather a sense of the overall vibe and aesthetic of the site. Each of the artists represent different genres and different levels of fame which may also participate on impressions.

Mendes Web site — Minimalist

  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Image Composition

What we like:

What might be a problem:

On first glance, I immediately see links across the top of the screen indicating social media, music, tour, and videos. The site appears simple and easy to navigate. There are no flashing splash screens, but instead there is a full screen promotion for his newest single. Every few seconds this screen changes colors and shows the other song he recently released. Both of these show the song title and five links to buy, hear, or stream the songs. There is an anchor on the side that allows users to click between these two screens, even though they do change frequently on their own.

The site follows a single page layout, meaning that all of the content is on one page and the links at the top simply serve as a way to jump between content easily. Everything is done with a simple color scheme that matches the artwork for his latest single, and all of the fonts and images used seem effective (i.e. a small ticket silhouette on the button for buying concert tickets).

The only things on the site that seem problematic are the color of the logo in the top left corner and the font at the bottom of the screen where you enter for email updates. The logo is white against a very pale blush shade and difficult to read. The font for the email updates is a better color, but very small and almost seems squeezed together, making it hard to look at. Also, the site follows a pink/blush/gray theme, but the favicon is blue and black. It seems like it did not get changed when his site was updated recently.

Overall, the site is simple and gets the point across. I find it odd that I do not see a link for a store, but this doesn’t take away from the effectiveness of what is there.

post Malone’s site

  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Image Composition

What we like:

What might be a problem:

Post Malone’s features a full screen image for the home screen. Unlike All Time Low’s however, there is a moving bar across the top that shows the title of his newest single and the menu for links to other pages is across the bottom of the screen. The logo is also in the lower left-hand corner, which is unusual.

The tour page is typical and contains the list of dates. Clicking on the links to buy tickets opens a new page to where the tickets are being sold, however, it opens in the same page and I don’t know if this is a preferable method, compared to opening the page in a new window. Not only that, but in order to return to the ‘Tour’ page on the main website, I had to hold down the back arrow in my browser window and go a few pages back, even though I only clicked on one link.

After returning to the home page, clicking on the shop linked opened in a new window, which is inconsistent to the tour page. The ‘listen’ link also opens in a new page, but this page only leads to other links to buy or download the song. This would be much easier to navigate if it were more like Shawn Mendes’ site where the 5 links to buy or listen to the song were provided on the home page.

Post Malone’s website matches the overall aesthetic of his newest single, but otherwise has a lot of inconsistencies. It is also unusual to have the menu and logo on the bottom of the screen, and this might impact the way viewers use the site.

All time low Web site

  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Image Composition

What we like:

What might be a problem:

Site #3: All Time Low – www.alltimelow.com

Right off the bat, All Time Low’s website has attention grabbing graphics that aren’t too distracting or overdone. The color scheme is easily viewable and the font is clearly visible against the red and blue designs. Although there is a full screen graphic, it is still and features links that go to their newest video and album. A menu goes across the top of the screen that contains the typical links like tour, shop, and music.

The tour page contains a list of show dates and links to RSVP or buy tickets. Unlike Beyonce’s site, however, the link to buy tickets is a direct portal to the webpage where tickets are sold. This is more convenient and easier for users to understand than having the link open up to another page with the same list.

Another thing I noticed is that, much like Shawn Mendes’ site, the favicon doesn’t match the theme for the rest of the site and is still following the theme of previous releases that are no longer being promoted.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the effective design of this site. It is designed in a way that contains strong visuals and graphics, but doesn’t let this impact the usability. Since All Time Low is the only artist I looked at that is on an independent label, I expected a lower quality site than it’s higher budget competitors, but was pleasantly surprised.

luke bryan Web site

  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Image Composition

What we like:

What might be a problem:

Site #4: Luke Bryan – http://www.lukebryan.com/

Luke Bryan’s homepage is hectic and has a lot going on. There is a splash screen in the background that is overlaid with another screen that contains multiple bubbles that link to other pages, as well as bulky tour dates listed along the side.

Each of the said ‘bubbles’ has a hover effect that shows that they are links to news, tour dates, and his Instagram account. On the left side of the screen, there are three bars jutting out that are links to tour dates, his app, and joining his fan club. Across the top of the screen is a menu that features 9 more links, including all of the ones that have already been posted either via the bubbles or the bars on the side.

Two of the nine links across the top have to be clicked on in order to show the submenus or go anywhere. This could be more beneficial if the links had a hover effect that exposed these hidden submenus. One positive thing is that there are many links on the tour page that change when hovered and take the user directly where it says it will. Almost every page has some explicit mention of Luke Bryan’s fanclub and member benefits, which is a positive part of his image that seems to be pushed.

All in all, this site seemed overwhelming and cluttered in many ways, however, the text and colors worked well together and everything is pretty simple to navigate. I like how fans are mentioned and incorporated into the design, as well.

Beyonce Web site

  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Image Composition

What we like:

What might be a problem:

Beyonce – www.beyonce.com

For someone of her level of fame, Beyonce’s website is shockingly simple. The home page is black and white and features many full screen images that can be scrolled through. The images must be clicked on to show any information and the user must scroll vertically through the page to see the images, which is something that could be more visually pleasing with the use of a slideshow feature.

There is a hamburger icon in the top left corner that gives the site the look of an oversized mobile site. Clicking on this icon allows for a screen to appear that shows seven links and two submenus, including the typical things like music, shop, videos, tour, and join. She also has some unique links such as #BeyGood and Vault. The #BeyGood page serves as a platform to raise awareness for women making changes in the world, while the vault shows her history as a performer and how she has gotten to where she is today.  The shop link opens in a new page and is practically a site of its own, which can be annoying to users.

One thing I noticed that seems faulty is that the tour page shows tour dates and each show has its own link for buying tickets. However, when you click these links it redirects you to the same list of tour dates on the Ticketmaster website. This is annoying because you have to scroll through the same long list of dates and find specific cities again. This could be avoided by having one link that leads to the ticketmaster list, or even better having the link to buy tickets lead to that specific event on ticketmaster.

I think Beyonce’s site is simple and not that difficult to navigate, but there are some things that could be changed that would make it easier to understand. Otherwise, everything is simple to read and find.

conclusion?

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