From Intern to Designer
8 min read
Set your music website apart with the eJIGSAW guide to designing websites for the music industry.
The music industry is a blend of business, brand, and e-commerce, so here are our top tips for designing and developing websites for the music industry, and bands and artists!
Keep it simple
Artists are brands, they are businesses, and most often than not, they are celebrities. By their very nature, fans often want to closely follow artists entire lives, listen to their music, and buy their “stuff” in a safe environment. So try not to overcomplicate one of the only official places to get all of these things. Keep it simple, user-friendly, and accessible.
Put yourself in the fans’ shoes
In the same way that designers and strategists look at UX/UI, user journey, and accessibility for the specific customer group for company websites, websites for bands/artists are no different. Their end-users (customers) are their fans, so be sure to remember that throughout the duration of the project.
Fan bases are an interesting one however, they are often hard to pin down to a specific group of people, after all, music by its’. very nature is subjective. We are not talking about people who own dogs and will obviously, therefore, need to buy dog food, it requires a little more thought than that.
However, we can use the ‘Jaguar’ model, whereby they realise they obviously have a primary market, however, they’re also aware that their cars will be attractive to people outside of this primary market, and therefore ensure everything you do plans for that.
Fans visiting artist’s website are likely to land on the site via social media and using the very helpful Spotify for Artists statistics we can take a huge amount of data to find the ‘shoes’ we need to put ourselves in. This is a vital step before we can make sure what we do is in full consideration of what that group of people will want to see, whilst making it accessible for everyone.
Remember fans are a just a type of customer base. Don’t get lost in album art covers as your sole inspiration.
If you’re not going to, don’t
Artists get fan mail, in fact, they get a lot of it, but if you’re not able to respond to it all, why offer a contact form or an email address on the artist website, for them only to get the predictable auto-responder email or message.
The internet and social media have revolutionised the music industry, so focus contact through the artists’ website to their social media channels , rather than dashing their hopes of a reply to that contact form!
Devices, devices, devices
Once you have finished dancing around in your fans shoes (in tip 2), you will most likely have found that your fan-base listens to their favourite music on their mobile devices, you may have even stumbled across Spotify’s most recent statistics, which show it’s actually over 60% on their platform. So what does this tell us – well, if they listen on their phone, that’s where they’re most likely to search, browse and buy!
So let’s make sure that website rocks every mobile device out there in an accessible (and maybe even a funky way!).
‘Host’ like a Rock Star
Hopefully, your artist will have either made it or is well on their way, so make sure you host it in an environment which can handle the massive peaks in demand around the corner. Make sure you ask your artist to tell you if they’re due on X Factor, or Loose Women (or whatever public appearance you have planned) so you can prepare for the increase in demand and steer clear of those pesky server errors! Or alternatively, you could just get eJIGSAW to do it for you with one of our amazing eSERVE™ packages.
And if you’re working with someone like Ed Sheeran or Coldplay, maybe look for a dedicated/cloud hybrid to help you out!
Balance business with ‘boss’
In our experience, designers and developers love working on record label and band/artist websites, they can have some real fun with new technologies and make websites look and function amazingly, but don’t forget whilst doing all this, and integrating the latest code to test even the most up-to-date browser, that it needs to function commercially.
Balance the function, with form. Weigh up WebGL wizardry with wonderful words and align Angular with accessibility… (sorry I’ll stop now).
Seriously, however, it’s vital that you accessibility is at the forefront of your mind during the project so don’t leave that e-commerce function as an afterthought. Once you’ve linked to your streaming services, there are very few other ways labels and artists can monetise a website, so they will almost certainly want to have merchandise at the heart of the website.