Bringing Sexy Back!
You may have caught wind of Justin Timberlake’s recent single with Jay-Z, “Suit & Tie” quickly climbing to #1 on iTunes just after one day. The song is a perfect segway to introduce the brand new Myspace, now open to the public and ready to turn heads. Back in September, Myspace announced a revamped, re-imagined platform for users and artists. According to the CEO of Specific Media, Tim Vanderhook, the new MySpace would be available to everyone by the end of 2012. By his side, the one and only superstar and part owner of Specific Media, Justin Timberlake would see it through.
MySpace has been under the radar for the past months in invite-only mode. Years before, the abandoned social network felt like a city demolished by a zombie apocalypse. Users were finding shelter in smarter social networks while the platform slowly ate away at every revenue generating opportunity until nothing was left.
Once a pinnacle, it was only a matter of time before the music-driven social site got a makeover. Here are our favorite features:
Synced with user’s Facebook & Twitter accounts
MySpace will not be trying to persuade current Facebook and Twitter users to solely use the new MySpace. The new MySpace will allow users to sign in to the site using their Facebook and Twitter logins. This will be easier for people to start using MySpace because “it integrates with Facebook and Twitter to be able to pull over your social graph and pull over your identity of who you are” says Tim Vanderhook the CEO of Specific Media in an interview with ABC News. It is one less step and social media site that users have to manage. MySpace will find connections from the user’s current friends and followers. MySpace allows users to post to multiple sites in one step.
Focused on Music, Artists, and Fans
The new MySpace will be a site that gives filmmakers, photographers, various artists, and musicians a place to express their creative talent on their profiles. Tim Vanderhook expressed to ABC that, “the idea to create something unique and drive a connection with a fan base has a lot of equity”. Artists’ pages will feature a “music catalog”, songs and videos by the artist. These songs can be dragged and dropped to a fan’s playlists. Fans can see upcoming concert events and read more about the artists’ background. The new MySpace will give users the ability to build playlist, add photo albums, and connect with artists in a visually appealing format that will have users in awe. For artists MySpace allows them to gain insights and demographic information about their fans.
Minimal Design of the page
After watching the video for the new MySpace, there is a definite difference between the late Myspace and the new. The sleek, minimalistic design is intriguing, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. When asked about the design inspiration Chris Vanderhook, COO of Specific Media, said, “We wanted to build for today and for the future. A lot of the elements from the design is built for widescreen formats for tablets and smartphones”. The new MySpace will allow users to explore the site in a visual way, while streaming music from the site. The new MySpace browsing is horizontal, rather than the popular vertical format used by other social media sites.
The Stream that the new MySpace features is similar to the format of Pinterest boards. The Stream allows users to see their own recent activity, their friend’s activity, and updates from artists. Mixes and photos that are posted by connections on MySpace can also be seen on the stream. People may post comments on the Stream as long as they say it in 140 characters or less, like Twitter. This adds to the minimal design, it will eliminate long comments and statuses to be posted on the Stream.
Mixes & Navigations
One feature that has not changed with the new MySpace, is the music. Users can use a drag and drop feature for adding songs to playlists and mixes. People can create a list of songs and collage of photos called mixes. A user’s connections can comment or share it with others. The new MySpace has a navigation bar at the bottom of the page, out of the way from all the photos and videos users can view. The discover tab allows users to access trending topics, search people, search radio, and find events going on.
Will the buzz of the new design and features be enough to drive traffic to the once forgotten site? We highly recommend you spend a little time using the features above and decide for yourself.
by Harrison Blum
Grab your four-legged furry friends and get ready for the first-annual Barkfest September 15th! From 6-9PM Dallas non-profit Paws in the City will transform Deep Ellum’s 1.2 acre dog park to create a neighborhood party you won’t forget, all to benefit a good cause. Experience live music from local DFW artists, the city’s best food trucks, and local craft beer with a committed goal to raise money and awareness to end overpopulation, abuse, neglect of Dallas area dogs and cats. The event is free to the public and canines of all sizes are invited to join the party as well. If you’ve yet to experience this wonderful park read all about it here. If you don’t have a dog of your own, then your in luck. Barkfest will have plenty of adoptable dogs there looking for their forever home!
Pet-friendly vendors will be out in the masses including a pet photographer, a gourmet pet bakery, and Community Pet Outreach who will be offering low cost vaccinations and micro-chipping for only $25 with lifetime registration.
Bring some cash* and your friends and know that your partying for a great cause!
by Isaac Hellemn
Most bad websites are merely annoying. They may load slowly because of too many scripts. They may have loud and obnoxious music. They may rely on flash or java, which don’t work well over slow connections and on certain computers.
Some bad websites, however, go beyond “annoying” into the realm of the truly infuriating. These websites are so poorly designed and cumbersome that prolonged exposure can actually ruin the user’s day. One such website is London2012.com.
Upon googling “Olympics”, a prominent banner on the results page leads us to the official Olympics site. The site is incredibly busy (Figure 1), and if you don’t speak either English or French (particularly likely given that it’s the Olympics) you’re out of luck. The best way to illustrate the website’s problems is to actually look for something.
Figure 1: Busy, busy, busy.
Let’s say we want to find all the medals up for grabs today. Our first instinct is to click where it says “15 medal events today” in the “Latest Gold Medal” box. But there’s no link there, so we click the name of the most recent medal winner. This takes us to the results for that particular event, weightlifting. Dead end. We’ll either try the “Medals” or “Schedules & Results” tab next, but “medals” also leads nowhere, so let’s try “schedules”.
We arrive at a page that is incomprehensible (Figure 2).
Figure 2: What does it mean??
Let’s try the “List View”. We get a very long list of every event today (prelims, quarterfinals, everything) that we must scroll through to pick out the finals (Figure 3). What about the “Latest Results” tab? Another complete list of events that we must scroll through to find finals.
Figure 3: It’s even worse if you expand everything.
Actually, the tab with information on today’s medal events in the most accessible form is “Full Schedule” (Figure 4), the least likely (from a user perspective) to contain such information.
Figure 4: Ah-ha.
What if we want to see how athlete Ryan Lochte has been doing? We click over to “Athletes”, search his name, and find his profile (Figure 5). What medals has he won? Clicking on the medals icons won’t work, nor does it say anything in the long text-only profile. We have to click over to each event he’s swimming in (some of which haven’t occurred yet) and search each results page for his standings.
Figure 5: And be careful, because this profile “has not been confirmed”.
Want to see what medals Team USA won today? There’s no way to do this, other than by visiting the pages of every event the USA has placed in and finding the ones whose finals were today. Want to look up the 100-meter dash? Hope you know that it falls under “Athletics” sports, because there’s no way to search for specific event.
It’s important for a website to look good and appear in search results, but it’s even more important that it actually works. The official Olympics site is a classic example of a site that values form over functionality. It’s difficult to use even for patient, web-savvy users, and impossible to use for non-English or French speakers. It does, however, teach us a valuable lesson: Even the most high-profile organizations in the world could sometimes use help with their websites.