A classmate of mine wanted to redesign MySpace, and include a Pandora-like feature. That might be a good idea, but MySpace needs much more than just Pandora to revitalize it.
I have tried the service once or twice, but it was always a bit too cluttered for my tastes. Plus, it seemed to target a younger audience (mostly school-aged kids it seemed, from elementary to high school) than I was interested in “friending” or networking with.
What Exactly are the Audience Demographics of MySpace?
What exactly are the audience demographics of MySpace? Facebook has done a pretty good job of including just about everyone (I have friends who are my former elementary students, Korean university students, to co-teachers who are old enough to be my grandparents). Facebook has strived to include a little something for everyone, including multiple language support so that now many internationals from countries all over the world are getting involved. Is MySpace also targeting the same “anyone-everywhere” audience? If so, they haven’t been very effective at it. Facebook seems to have the market on that cornered, and every time I get on MySpace, I find no one of interest.
Why am I Constantly “Friend Request” Spammed on MySpace?
When I went on MySpace previously, I noticed that a good majority of people I came into contact with were young people. Also, artists, bands, not-so-famous celebrities and others are constantly trying to promote themselves on MySpace – I often had multiple “friend” invites from all kinds of new bands who were trying to break into the music scene. For me, it was pretty annoying to constantly be rejecting those, or checking out the band, then rejecting them. I don’t usually respond to requests from people or groups who are totally new or unknown to me. I felt like I was constantly being spammed with something, and that, along with the design clutter (in my opinion) are the main reasons I never gave MySpace more of a chance.
MySpace: You need a fresh look at your goals
I’m not sure if you’ve seen this link or not, but it is news that the MySpace Co-President is leaving the company after being promoted in February (the former CEO was stepping down after only 10 months with the company). So, it does seem that MySpace could use to be taken in a fresh direction. They seem to need more than just a better page design, but also a fresh look at the goals, target audience, and market demographics. The company needs a clearer direction for the future. I’ve heard suggestions for a Pandora-like feature in MySpace and it seems pretty good, but I think it would be equally worthwhile to consider the long-term implications, goals, and audience that one feature would generate for MySpace – would that really be the direction the company wants to head in? Additionally, if a certain target market would be left out with the inclusion of a Pandora feature, or wouldn’t receive the same kinds of benefits as new and breakout bands or others who would actively use a Pandora feature, it would be a good idea to include additional features for all MySpace’s target markets. Basically, I think MySpace should stop to reconsider their major target audiences and the direction they want to see their company and web service go in the future. It has potential to be great, but definitely not in the same way that Facebook is great.
Basically, I think that there are many factors to consider when redesigning or rebranding a huge organization (especially one that can’t seem to hang on to its own high-ranking officers for more than a year). I think a Pandora-feature might be a nice addition, but MySpace shouldn’t be rebranded into a Pandora clone. It should definitely retain, enhance, and streamline its existing features, and include new ones like Pandora, but it should go far beyond the capabilities of just Pandora, since it was created for more than that in the first place.
Understand your Audience, and Design with your Audience in mind
I think that one of the most important things graphic designers can do is not just consider the brands of competitors, but also consider their target audiences. One thing that makes Apple so great at what it does isn’t just its technology – because honestly, many features on products like the iPhone 4 aren’t new, but just enhanced versions of what has already been done. What makes Apple so great is the fact that they understand how their target audiences want to interact with their products – and they design with their audiences in mind.
What about you?
Do you think MySpace needs an overhaul? What would be the best things to include, or exclude, from a new design and website?