AllMusic.com is an online music guide website that was established in 1991, and still remains a dominant source for music information to this day. It attracts millions of unique visitors per month, primarily individuals who are seeking to explore their vast discographic media content. Currently, the company is rebranding itself to appeal to a younger audience by introducing a variety of new features alongside their new website.
Alongside studying the user behavior for music discovery through surveys and in-depth interviews, a set of personas were created to help AllMusic design its upcoming features. I worked closely with other graduate researchers and a product manager from AllMusic to best improve the overall experience of AllMusic.
Reaching to a younger user base alongside improving the usability of Web platform were a few of our top-level goals.
- How does the average target user discover music?
- How satisfied are users with the services they currently to find music?
- In what ways do they fall short?
- How can AllMusic better guide users to what they're looking for?
- How to retain users on the website / elongate use-time?
IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWSExploratory, semi-structured interviews to gain qualitative insights into user's music discovery habits and preferences
SURVEY DESIGN/ ANALYSIS
Launched several surveys to current and non-users in order to gain insights into user's attitudes and beliefs about music discovery
Identified direct and indirect competitors for AllMusic and provided best practice recommendations and feature analysis
Inspected the current state of AllMusic's UI Flow and identified several problems according to usability principles (nielsen)
FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
allmusic's search function does not aligN with how users discover music
One of the main ways that users discover music online is through lyrics. Even though lyrical data is within the AllMusic database. We recommend that lyrical data be indexed within the search so that more users can utilize AllMusic.
USERS DO NOT USE "RECOMMENDATIONS" FEATURE
A survey of the current user base found that a low percentage of users are utilizing the recommendations feature. Currently, the user is given no reason why they are being recommended something. Provide the users with reasons on why they might like an artist. This can be achieved using social proof (friend's album rating activity) or by utilizing similar artists or albums the user has rated highly.
USERS DO NOT HAVE APPROPRIATE VISUAL FEEDBACK
I identified several usability errors within the site including the lack of visual feedback during heuristic evaluations. I found that the lack of an active state for the navigation bar made it more difficult to traverse the contents of the site.
The rest of the findings and recommendations can be found in the executive summary video.