A Lesson in Redesign from The New Myspace
Yes, you read that title correctly. Myspace is back! And it seems that they’ve not only been paying attention to the current trends in social media, but have also put together a greatly designed product that can seriously compete with some of the big boys in social media today. While Facebook may have been the beneficiary of Myspace’s previous missteps (i.e., selling out to News Corp.), the New Myspace has landed itself in a different realm of social media giants today. The new Myspace is now in the leagues of Spotify, Behance, Pinterest, & Youtube: multimedia platforms for creatives who want to discover & share stuff online . This is something that Myspace has always been good at and now they’re running with it full steam ahead.
While the name Myspace doesn’t leave the best taste in most people’s mouths, the New Myspace is one of the best redesigns of
a social media any website I’ve ever seen and a lot can be learned from what they’ve done so far. Below are a few of my favorite enhancements/features from the New Myspace.
Subtle Interface / Content First
The design department over at Myspace did a hell of a job with the revamp of their interface. Sophisticated typography, flat/intimate design, and ample white space puts the users focus precisely where it should be: on the content. Compared to the old Myspace (& even Facebook today) the lack of extraneous visual clutter from advertising & feature surplus makes browsing the site really easy and actually enjoyable. I’m also a big fan of the minimal navigation-footer bar, akin to tab bar navigation patterns frequently used in mobile/tablet design.
Discovery through search
The search functionality on the new Myspace is one of the better features of the entire site in my opinion. Rather than doing a simple contextual/suggestive search via drop-down menu, clicking the search icon in the lower toolbar overlays the entire screen with a massive, 100% width search bar which provides relevant content filters beneath as you type. Major kudos.
AJAX / Consistent navigation
While not necessarily a feature worth mimicking for every site, the New Myspace handles page navigation quite elegantly. Allowing users to play music from a playlist queue, mix, or radio station uninterrupted while browsing around a website is impossible using traditional page linking. The New Myspace takes a nod from Pandora with their HTML5/AJAX page navigation which persists the bottom nav-bar across the entire site, allowing you to play your tunes and browse around the site without interruption for a great user experience.
While the New Myspace is a fantastic redesign, the site is still not quite there yet, in my opinion. Here are a few things that I believe still need some work:
No mobile site… yet
The first thing I did after 5 minutes of playing around on the New Myspace was to try logging in on my mobile device(s). Unfortunately, I was only able to login from an iPad which leads me to think that the New Myspace isn’t pursuing a mobile first strategy. I could be wrong however, since the landing pages are optimized (sort of) for mobile, so delaying the mobile sites could just be a marketing tactic. Either way, Myspace should be learning from their competitors, namely Facebook, and focus on their mobile strategy first and foremost.
Parallax / Endless horizontal scrolling
While Parallax scrolling is the “new hotness” right now in web design, relying on a trendy feature as a core part of your design can negatively impact and date your design. The horizontal scrolling feature is also a bit buggy when using the multi-touch trackpad on a Macbook. When viewing the New Myspace on a tablet, the parallax scrolling is disabled and it’s likely the mobile app/website will adopt a more traditional, vertical scrolling behavior which splinters the experience even more. It’s a cool feature, but I’m just not sure it scales for them.
Overall, I think the team at Myspace did an excellent job with their redesign and if you remember the old Myspace, I highly recommend checking out the New Myspace. I have a few early invites left, so if you would like to check it out please leave a comment and I’ll try to send you one. You can also sign-up for an invite at the New Myspace home page here: https://new.myspace.com/