[Thanks to Diskmakers for this great articles - originally appears at http://blog.discmakers.com/2011/02/7-tips-for-building-a-more-user-friendly-music-website/]
Your website should be a place where visitors can easily listen to your music, buy your album, and check up on news and concert dates. Your site usability will influence whether a website visit ends in an album sale or the loss of a potential fan. Is your musician website user-friendly?
1. Put the Important Stuff on Your Homepage
Decide what you want your fans to do first. Should they sign up to your email list? Listen to your music? Read your blog? Buy your album? Make sure that your highest priority actions are represented on your homepage. Also, make sure that your homepage is not cluttered with too many options.
2. Make it Easy to Buy Your Music and Merch
Give your fans purchase options. Not everybody wants to use PayPal. Not everybody wants to use iTunes. Give your visitors 2 or 3 common purchase options so they can buy your music the way they are most comfortable doing.
3. Make it Easy to Read
No fancy fonts. No tiny text. No dark colored text on a dark background or light text on a light background.
Be mindful of grammar and spelling.
Try to avoid large blocks of text. Readers tend to skim website content. Short paragraphs separated by a space will be easier for most readers.
4. Use Simple Navigation
You’re a musician not a department store. You don’t need 100 links in your navigation bar. Keep things simple and focus on your goals. Use simple wording that people understand. Use “Store” not “Tunes Shop” and “Contact” rather than “”Hollar at Us.”
5. Keep it Updated
A website with out-of-date content can be confusing. If the last time you updated your concert calendar was 2003, some people will assume you are no longer playing music. If your last blog post was over 2 years ago, people will be hesitant to enter their credit card info on your site–because who knows if there’s anyone on the other end to ship out the CD.
6. No Auto-play
Let your fans hit the play button. Music that automatically plays can be startling and annoying. Often people are already listening to music on their computer (there’s almost nothing worse than two songs playing at once). Give auto-play a rest and let your website visitors control the remote.
7. No Flash Animation
Flash animations are not supported by all computers and mobile devices and they can function poorly on slow internet connections. Animations can take a while to load and many folks would rather point their browser elsewhere then wait 20 seconds for a band website to load. Don’t risk losing sales just because you have a programmer buddy that knows how to make your logo spin around and catch fire. Keep it simple.
Read more: 7 Tips for Building a More User-Friendly Music Website — Echoes - Insight for Independent Artists http://blog.discmakers.com/2011/02/7-tips-for-building-a-more-user-friendly-music-website/#ixzz1G9PrdwKr