Project 1 – Website Analysis

27 04 2010

The website I chose to analyze and critique is the official website of an alternative rock band named MGMT, formerly known as The Management.  Many bands use their websites as places of promotion, entertainment, business, and socializing among other things.  I feel that one can get lost on a band website that does not clearly define its purpose or has cluttered webpages with various links and other sites to visit.  I feel that MGMT’s website creates a nice balance of newsworthy information, socializing, business, and self-promotion.

The official home page could cause confusion to a first-time visitor or someone is unfamiliar with the band.  There is a giant looping video of tiny waves crashing on a coastline.  I feel the intended purpose of this picture is to set the mood of the site, and make it peaceful and inviting much like the band’s music.  Above the looping video are smaller pictures of various flags of the world.  If one was visiting the site and wanted to customize the news, tour information and other such details to the region of the world they are located in the flags allow one to do so.  I feel that this feature is innovative and very useful.  It allows the navigator of the site to have customized and accurate information about the band, and the region in which they are located.

Directly above the various flags our links for all the content on the website.  The links include: “Home”, “News”, “Preorder”, “Tour”, “Merchandise”, and “Forum.”  There is also a countdown meter that is currently counting down the days until the band’s new album is released.  The location and design of the links flow well on the home page and they are easy to find and use.  When one clicks on both the “News” or “Preorder” links the video of the beach shrinks to the upper half of the webpage, and the bottom half space is utilized by whichever link was clicked.  This feature seems like it works well because the band provides essential information and does not need a great amount of space for much detail.  If one clicks the “Tour” link at the top, the current page creates a space on the right side, and one is able to view tour dates past and present without losing sight of the other features.  This particular design is reminiscent of the Expose feature on the many Apple computers, where one can view many different windows at once.  The “Merchandise” and “Forum” links are hyperlinks that take one off the official website of MGMT, however they each served their purpose of business and socializing.

As I stated earlier, MGMT’s website has a nice balance between promotion, information, socializing, and business.  One can determine that by not only taking notice to the design elements, but by looking at the content as well.  Under the “News” section there are only three news stories, and they do not really reveal much about the band.  One will also notice there are no links for music or other social networking sites.  One can conclude that the intended audience might be for established listeners of the band or who are seeking basic information and current news.  I feel this way because the site does not go into great detail, and the content is very fundamental.

There are not many things to question on this website because it is managed by the bands label, Sony Music.  Since they have direct contact with the band and various staff members, the content is assured to current and accurate.  One reason I can think of why the band does not manage the site themselves is because they are a new and upcoming band that probably focuses on establishing their music.  So they probably dedicate their time to writing, touring, and recording and leave the label to run the website.  However, letting the label control the website definitely effects authority.  The band might not have final say on what kind of content is posted on the site, and might have to yield to what the label feels is best.  One can definitely conclude that the website functions well, but I feel since this is a band’s website there should more things dedicated to the music of the artists.  I feel that sound (i.e. music player), album information (past and present), links to MySpace music or Facebook would improve the band’s website and possibly help them get their music out there and gain more exposure.

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