At the TAXI ROAD RALLY in L.A. a couple of weeks ago, Ariel Hyatt (author of MUSIC SUCCESS IN 9 WEEKS) said she believed strongly that musicians should maintain a consistent image across web pages, blogs, and online stores, because statistics show greater likelihood of getting new fans and selling records when you do so.
I disagree. I like diversity, and I think my fans do too. What they want is not so much SAMENESS, as EASE OF NAVIGATION and not a lot of clutter. Nothing is worse than a “PIMPED” MySpace Page so cluttered with extraneous FLAIR that you can’t find anything and it takes hours to load.
I use WORDPRESS as the foundation of my music web sites and blog/newsletter because it is so streamlined and easy to navigate, as well as administrate (is that a word?).
For example, compare my two music sites…
Notice that even though the THEMES are different between the pages, the basic structure and layout are similar. This way, a visitor to one site is not confused when they link to the other site. They can navigate with basically the same functionality, even though the “look” of the pages is different.
I want the sites to look different, because each one has a unique personality. Even though CACTUS JOE (Hey, that’s me!) is the front man of GUPPY EFFECT, the music and presentation of these two acts are different. SO I do not want them to look identical. But I do want the user to float around easily in either musical universe.
Similarly, this “business” site you are now on needs to convey more of a professional front, whereas the band sites are more PLAYFUL. Also, when it comes to ONLINE STORES, I want them to function in the way that gets fans as quickly as possible to the thing they want to buy. I’m a MUSICIAN, not a salesman or digital retailer, so I leave the retail functionality (shopping carts and what have you) to the EXPERTS and don’t even try to match the overall design between my web sites and my online stores.
(NOTE: Musicians, I highly recommend and endorse www.bigcartel.com as an online retail front. It basically puts a PRETTY FACE on PayPal, and PayPal doesn’t rear its ugly head until checkout.)
So I am going to only partially agree with Ariel Hyatt in that users want consistency between sites, but it is consistency of FUNCTION, not FORM.
Please comment, dear readers.