Our three copies of Information Architecture just arrived. Enter to win your copy.
The Absolute Peach (theabsolutepeach.com) is an internet radio show that claims to be original, funny, and free. The site presents us with plenty of content on arrival and utilizes many third party services to serve different kinds of content. Let’s see what I can suggest to improve this first of its kind site for a UX Booth review.
The home page & first impressions
As I arrive to The Absolute Peach I understand easily what the site’s purpose is. I read a tag line below the main header image, internet radio show. Short, simple, and concise.
Without explanation there is a curve ball thrown. I wonder what this sticker up at the top of the site is.. ORIGINAL. FUNNY. FREE.. I feel like this is a whole other tag line and it is competing with the original ‘internet radio show’. Maybe you could condense these two.
As I scroll down the page I am thrown a three column layout. This page is jammed packed with content! It seems a blog type structure has been utilized to feature recent shows that TAP has produced. Great use, it fits your purpose perfectly! Recent shows right next to it link only to the MP3. I am disheartened by this, I wish each of these links would bring me to a synopsis like on the left of the home page.
In the third column I see features to subscribe, all of which are intuitive and nicely presented through the use of icons. In the footer there are a few more features to integrate users more into the site.
Can I make a suggestion? Changing the Shows page
Like I mentioned above, I really like the show synopsis, download, and listen now options on recently posted shows. Why can’t all your shows be like this?
I think that if you keep MP3 files in your show page then users feel distanced from the site when they click on the show. Allow them to stay within the site, and listen now while they can still read the show description.
This also gives you the ability to link to sites you may mention in the show on your synopsis so users can easily go to what you are talking about at that time. From The Couch does a good job of this.
What’s with that box?
The red box right under the navigation seems like it was slapped on the site as an after thought. Features that portray this are usually a usability fail.
The box, as it appears now, seems to be the main content. Usually when you look under the main navigation you find the most important part of the page. In this situation it is not. If you are to move this box and try to rearrange it into your layout I would recommend making the twitter logo link to your twitter profile. It would be natural for the user to try to click on it.
Two’s a party, three’s a crowd? Third party services.
I notice on your website that four of your nine links are going to outside services. These features need to polished a bit. If you are going to offer so many links outbound from your website you need to divide them from your in site navigation. Myspace, cafe press, forums, and your wiki are the pages I am talking about. Typically it is easy to customize these services to look more like your website, I would investigate this possibility.
Also, in your navigation you offer a page devoted to subscriptions. Since you dedicate a third of your content area on every page of your website to this feature already I think you may be able to move Subscribe from your main navigation. Consider replacing it with a learn more about subscribing text link under your subscription sidebar.
A dabble in design
It is a common occurrence that user experience is manipulated by design. In your case I have a hard time scanning your pages quickly. I feel this is due to a lack of color variance in the content. I’ll admit it, I am not a huge fan of white text on black; however I feel this could be easily improved. Some of your sub headers are a bright yellow color. I would add to this pattern by making links stand out a bit more with a different text color. Also consider changing the color of bold fonts, and other important text.
- Condense the two taglines: Combine ‘internet radio show’ and ‘original, funny, free’.
- Diversify content formatting: Consider spicing up the formatting in your content a bit. Make italics a different color, bold a different color, and links a different color. Your yellow headings are going in the right direction. Diversity often makes content that is easy to scan.
- Separate third part applications in navigation: Four of your nine links in your main navigation go to outside services such as Myspace, Cafe Press, Wiki, etc. Consider making these a different form of navigation.