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Beverly Hills, 2010

Earlier this year, we were tasked with designing the new Myspace. We had recently committed to a new brand strategy focused on social entertainment – that is, delivering tailored content experiences to our Gen Y audience. The new approach narrowed our focus and marked a return to our core strengths, which have always been a deep understanding of social, our wealth of entertainment content, and the ability to surface emerging cultural trends in real-time through our community. Ideally, Myspace needed a design that was both new and different and that enhanced the things we’ve always done well, and it was our job to come up with the design that would support this return to form.



From a technical standpoint, redesigning a site as massive as ours was no easy feat. The original site map (which we jokingly referred to as “the human genome project”) was unnecessarily complex and contained sections and features that didn’t reflect a single, coherent vision. We knew we had to address this by sunsetting features that weren’t important to our users (I’m looking at you, “Horoscopes”) and then re-architecting the site from the ground up. All of that said, Myspace has a valuable heritage in social and music discovery that we wanted to preserve.

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We approached this project with an almost industrial focus, drawing inspiration from the way innovation leaders IDEO tackles problems of this magnitude. This included research, narrowing our objectives to a core set of needs, brainstorming, and ultimately prototyping and testing possible solutions. While the majority of IDEO’s success has been in the context of industrial design, their problem solving approach served as an effective model for arriving at a solution that not only met our goals, but was ultimately well received by our test participants.



Aside from the site’s information architecture, one of the projects we tackled very early on was our logo. The new logo – the word “my” followed by a bracket – illustrates our strategy perfectly by enabling users and artists alike to showcase what they’re into. And while the new logo might seem like a radical departure from its predecessor, we still retained a nod or two to our brand heritage. For example, we stuck with a sans serif typeface, upgrading the old Arial Rounded to a modified Akzidenz-Grotesk medium, which allows for a cleaner, more stylized look without losing the minimal theme.

With the same approach in mind, we chose a neutral black and grey color scheme that enabled the content to jump into the foreground. It’s also important to note that we didn’t completely abandon our roots in blue. While the original Myspace blue had become cold and corporate (as indicated by our test groups), we did want to hold on to this piece of our history. In the new design you can see hints of a more vibrant ‘electric blue’ around actions and features that are intended to spark social engagement and discovery.

The result of our countless hours of empathizing, imagining, designing, testing, tearing down and building is a new user experience that speaks to our focus. Now on Myspace you’ll be able to discover and connect to the content you love, let the world know about your interesting passions, while enjoying the boundless nature of a completely re-imagined product.

This is the new Myspace. We’re incredibly proud of it, and we hope you enjoy it.
 
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