Web Design Tips for Music Professionals
In the past few years alone, the music business has changed beyond recognition. Not only have we seen the untimely death of the vinyl and the cassette, but we’re witnessing the slow burial of the compact disk. MP3 downloads and online streaming have changed the way we listen to music.
More and more artists are making a name for themselves on YouTube and MySpace. Who needs a record deal anyway? The Internet is largely responsible for this change, which is why music professionals need to be online.
Not having a website is like giving your customers a one-way ticket to the competition. However, you fit into the music industry – artist, promoter, merchandise, music store – you need to be online. But designing a website that appeals to your audience is difficult, especially in this niche.
The music industry relies heavily on stereotypes. Heavy metal music for example is typically associated with dark colors, striking fonts, and conventional imagery. The world of pop on the other hand, is much more sugar-coated and colorful.
So how can you make sure your website fits into these conventions? More importantly, how can you make your website design work for you? Here we look at some top web design tips for music professionals:
1. Know Your Market, Know Your Audience
The most saturated but important point when it comes to web design – always design for your end-user. While you may love pink hearts, flowers, and rainbows, your target audience of heavy metal fans may not appreciate it. Individuality and breaking the mold is, of course, important, but you need to be aware of your target market.
The color scheme, typography, and use of imagery in your website must reflect you as a music professional. Whether you make music or sell other peoples, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In simple terms, you need an identifiable brand.
The music industry is made up of sub-brands. It is your job to brand yourself within this niche. Fit the conventions, break the mold, and brand your band in a way that makes people sit up and take note.
2. Keep it Clean
In design terms that is! The one thing all web users hate is a messy website. While you might have a million and one products and things to say, it’s definitely not a good idea to cram them onto your homepage.
You’ll obviously want a website that stands out from other musicians and professionals in your niche. But that doesn’t necessarily mean going all out on an out-there design. In fact, when it comes to web design, simple is most definitely the way to go.
Choose only two or three colors and keep these consistent across the site. The same goes for your fonts. Use one for body text and another for the headings. Just make sure that both the colors and the fonts are readable on a PC screen and multiple resolutions. If people struggle to read your text, then chances are they won’t stick around for long.
3. Easy Navigation
The bane of any web users’ life is poor navigation. You want people to buy your music or merchandise right? Then why oh why must you make it so difficult for customers to do so? Use simple and clean header and footer navigations to help customers find their way around.
At a time when more and more people are browsing the internet with a mobile device or tablet, Flash-based websites are out. Flash websites won’t work on these devices, sending customers away before they’ve even got started.
The internet has been responsible for huge changes in the music industry. While it has been the demise of some things, it has been the making of others. This diverse and varied nature of this industry means you have huge amounts of creative freedom. But by following these few tips, you can make sure your visitors come back time and time again.