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Sites We’re Itching to Redesign: MIA’s Fanpage

By: Mary Barbour

Last week we dissected the Olympics ticketing website and our ideas on how to fix it. The main flaw with their site was it’s frustrating lack of functionality.  This week, let’s shift gears and take a look at a site that functions well enough but leaves A LOT to be desired on the design front:  MIA’s fanpage.

Okay, I get the whole ‘the uglier, the more hipster’ thing, but the low res images and the color scheme. I’m sorry but… The homepage features an animated gif within a gold frame and seems to serve as an ad for a “USB Necklace,” which is a key-shaped pendant that doubles as a flash drive filled with MIA remixes. Okay, that’s cool but what about everything else? You have to search for the tiny “Enter Site” button hidden in a corner of the page and clicking it takes you here:

Flat blocks of army green against a neon green background with a teal blue banner running across the top. Oy. The tabs let you toggle between different social media posts – but why? This is hardly the information I was seeking when I came to MIA’s site. What about a tour schedule? Press clips? Photos? Album info? Besides being hit with a barrage of poorly assembled tweets and facebook posts, the only static boxes link out to other sites like iTunes, songcloud, etc.

Whipping MIA’s site into shape would be so simple! We’d start by switching from the limited functionality of Tumblr over to WordPress, which would give us a lot more freedom of design. We could stick with the shithole color scheme, but could maybe tone down the overpowering effect by using colors more sparsely – and maybe on a white background that would make everything sharp and easy to read.

We could still pull in feeds from Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, but having a site do JUST that feels like laziness. We’d give a lot of thought to why users google MIA and end up on her site and we’d tuck tour dates, sales info, videos, photos, etc into a hierarchical layout so that users left her site feeling like they’d gotten what they came for, not like they just gave up because they couldn’t find anything but how to buy a 2gb, gold plated USB drive in the shape of a BMW key.

I guess it’s pointless to keep going, but that’s certainly not for the shortage of items to complain about…

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