My favorite social music site is Last.fm, and it finally released its long overdue redesign (link includes a picture of its previous look). It’s definitely simpler, cleaner, and slightly more Web 2.0. The home page looks somewhat bare, but that in turn helps to emphasize the artists and the music more.
The profile page (see yours truly) follows the same simple formula, while reducing the previous long left sidebar in favor of just tabs. The music play shifts to the right sidebar, giving you more convenient access to it, while de-emphasizing the “Friends” and “Journal” features.
I don’t blame them too much on the latter, since I rarely click on the pages of my friends nor do I contribute to my journal. The main column features YOU and your most recently listened tracks (as it should).
The nicest touch is the profile’s library page which gives you pictures of your artists. Names are good and all, but pictures better create better visuals. I’m not sure if they found the right amount of thumbnails per row. Too few would get bigger photos, but that would make the page less useful; while too many would get smaller photos, but make the page more cluttered. I’m still debating.
Three Imaginary Girls
Three Imaginary Girls is a fun little blog about the indie music scene of Seattle, Washington. Its redesign brings it closer to a more “official magazine” look.
It’s cleaner with the right amount of margins between things. I can’t help but notice the homepage’s inequality. The main column seems to have a decent amount of features and info, but is outlived by the left sidebar and even more so by the right sidebar. I understand the large ad banner, but do there really have to be ten items each for both “Recent Comments” and “Recent Reviews.” I would also argue reviews should go before comments, but that’s just me.
The nicest touch is the “Reviews” page which isn’t cluttered at the least, appropriately matching a column of links with album covers and a separate column of links without album covers. I dig the mix.
Unfortunately, my earlier gripe about the mismatching content lengths are not lost, even with the somewhat obscenely long “Reviews” page (which has Record Reviews, Live Show Reviews, and Film / Book / Theatre Reviews). It looks even ridiculous on a short review page. See their review of Her Space Holiday’s Sleepy Tigers EP.
Pingoat has been like this for what seems like forever now. I guess after a few weeks, this should qualify as a redesign?