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No Depression. What are the tasks at hand? 26 May 2010

Posted by ssglazer in Competitive Analysis.
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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this site by just the name.  It is a very strong name for a company although it tells nothing about what this site is really all about.  Initially I assumed it was a site to help and beat depression, but once viewing the home page and title I realized quickly that it was a a music website.

No Depression ScreenShotSo now knowing a small amount of information, what will be the tasks that a common viewer would do for this website?  First thing is to find out more information.  The About Us tab is very important here because not everyone will be knowledgeable of this one print magazine called “No Depression”. This site was created by Ning, which is like a wordpress site with CMS capabilities, themes and widgets but Ning sites are social networking sites.
To make this analysis easiest to review and read, I have laid out the tasks at hand in a numerical order.  These are the basic tasks which viewers will try and accomplish as the enter this site.  This is with the assumption that the viewer is fairly new to No Depression website and magazine.

1.  Who and What is No Depression
As stated before, the name can be confusing and I am sure that I am not the first one to feel this way.  Therefore the About Us tab with a drop down menu helps immensely.  FAQ’s is probably the highest clicked page on this site, after the About Us tab.

2. View and Read some of the Magazine Articles
Where can I see some of the articles?  Where is the magazine or book aspect of this website?  It is laid out more like a blog, not like a magazine or book.  When I think of any editorial, I think of sections.   I want to see reviews, news, photos, features, etc…  The layout of the home page is pretty awful because it does not allow for me to find articles easily.  The pages are not divided up into sections and there are not even categories or dates for me to sort through.  What makes it even harder is that the search button is all the way on the top above the rotating ad which makes my eyes to miss it completely.  Lastly, to really entice a viewer to read an editorial there has to be strong titles, images and well organized entries for the viewer to scroll through the top headlines.  This is not the case with No Depression site.  Almost mind numbing to read through the blog posts.  I am not all that familiar with americana roots music so the search tab is a dead end for me.

3.  Music.  Listen to a playlist.
This task may go up higher on the list depending on who is viewing the site.  Finding and listening to music is all the way on the bottom of the home page.  This would not be ideal for someone just wanting to listen to what americana roots music sounds like.  Having a music player closer to the top of the home page as well as a tab or link to various music.  Besides it is a music website, shouldn’t there be at least one page dedicated to listening to music?

4.  Become a Member?
This is a social networking site which means that viewers can subscribe to become a member, share blogs, comment on the site and become part of sub groups and forums on this site.  I don’t really see the logic to having this site be a social networking site but if one did want to engage further with the No Depression blogs and forums then signing up to become a member is very easy.  They have numerous buttons and sign up links as well as a my page tab which would take you to your own no depression member page.

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