Users Revolt as the New Design at Last.fm Goes Live

by Karthik on July 18, 2008 · 13 comments

last.fm

Today Last.fm decided to take wraps off its new design they’ve been working on since May. I was not a part of the beta but still at first glance the new design looks little different from the one we saw during the beta period. Looking through the Last.fm forums I found that the beta design was much criticized and the design that we see now is after tons of user feedback.

I was a Last.fm user for quite some time before I stopped using it for unknown reasons. In the past Last.fm always had a confusing navigational structure that for some reason never got you to what you wanted. Looks like Last.fm team has worked hard to resolve the navigational issues that plagued the old design and the new design is marked improvement over the older one.

Take a look at the screenshots yourself and you will see why the new design is much cleaner and more functional than the old design..

lastfm_design_july08

The New Design


lastfm_beta_june08

The Beta Design

lastfm_current_june08

The Old Design

Surely the new design is more clean and functional than the original Last.fm. But so far the new design has evoked nothing but reactions favoring the extreme negative.

Some users have gone to the lengths of calling the new design as Myspace clones and they have expressed their dissatisfaction over it. Here are few opinions about the new design’

MidwinterSun said,

the main problem here is that the new site is just a mess. The old last.fm had identity. It was different. And what do we got now? A parody of web 2.0!

Last.fm used to be about the music we listen. So when I visit someone’s profile, I see what their tastes in music are. This was the reason I liked last.fm – the musical revolution, right?

It was different. Now it’s like every other site on the web.

Ant17 said,

This, however, sucks. I can’t believe one of my favourite and most used sites is about to go straight to the trash bin. If you want to make a site look like a new vulgar, post-modern tacky iPod which is completely user-unfriendly, then there are plenty of pointless social gathering sites to visit.

There is absolutely no need to destroy one of the best working and most appealing sites that’s been praised for years, without any option of a decline. Quite simply, horrible service and a now horrible site.

A lot of people have asked Last.fm an option to switch back to the old design.. If you don’t like the new design voice your opinion in this forum thread, hopefully Last.fm will listen to its audience.

Also give a try to this Userstyle that gives Last.fm some new features while preserving the identity of the old design.

And to conclude, I actually like the new design, but I feel that Last.fm has lost much of its identity its built up over the years with this design. Maybe an extended beta would have been a better option..

What is your opinion about the new design? Which one do you like?

Screenshots Credits – ReadWriteWeb

See more from: Web

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Luke L July 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I remember when Audio Scrobbler joined Last.fm and everyone hated the new look. Even now I don’t like the previous design and I feel this one has a much better aesthetic quality overall as well much improved navigation/display of elements.

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Karthik Kastury July 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm

@Luke, Yeah even the old design was first introduced back in 2006 it was hated by almost everyone out there. But the design stayed on to be the visual identity of the Last.fm.

I love the design, but actually its the identity of the popular service that seems to have been lost somewhere in the transition.

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Jake Good July 18, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I love the new design… it still pushes most of the focus around music…

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Arun July 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Even DeviantArt has got its new design out. It’s just that folks are familiar with the old design and it might take a while for them to get used to the new design. I’m sure the Last.fm team has put in a great deal of thought into this.

Personally, I find this design much better and more user-friendly. Opinions differ but the older design definitely had to be trashed.

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Cody July 18, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Good lord. The new last.fm site rocks! It’s much more intuitive and I feel that it caters toward giving artists and new artists the spotlight. Those who can’t accept change – bug off!
:)

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Tony July 19, 2008 at 1:44 am

There was nothing wrong with the old design. It was clear, compact, and intuitive. I had no trouble learning to navigate it when I began using the site a year ago. The chief reason for the redesign was to accomodate ad space, something that the previous design did not allow for. If you have any doubts about that, see this Times article: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4350427.ece.

I have no issue with companies increasing their revenue by adding advertising as long as I’m left with a user friendly interface that performs well. Unfortunately, the new layout is a soul-less makeover of a once loved site. Making room for ad space is one thing — turning the whole thing into a Facebook lookalike was a strategic error that will lose it a lot of ardent fans.

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Strappado July 20, 2008 at 2:44 am

This new design is so fucking bad! I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!
I feel sick everytime I visit this fucking last.fm shit!

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Abraxas July 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm

I think the new last.fm has a much more heavier overall scheme, that makes it much harder for you to navigate in it, compared to the old scheme. I liked the previous version because of it’s simplicity and because it was better organised.

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headspace July 22, 2008 at 12:54 am

way to sell out big time for more advert space. terribly convoluted design with tons of white space (soon to be replaced by ads), not to mention useless features like the recent activity tracker (facebook, anyone?). welcome to fail.fm

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Sammy July 22, 2008 at 1:11 am

That’s the thing though. Not only does the old design look like a child designed it (I can cope with that by the way) it’s the fact that it’s totally impractical. It takes a long time to work out what how to acheieve simple tasks. That’s not intuitive at all.

The old site however had NOTHING at all wrong with it.

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silent_hope July 22, 2008 at 1:22 am

When I found last.fm I just fell in love with it.It was like no other site and it was just perfekt.I’m more into the music then anything else and I was just impressed.The design was unique, simple and perfekt.Now every time when I look at the new one, I feel like my heart is broken.It seems like my myspace profil :( If I want to see what I need I have to scroll scroll and again scroll down there.Yes,there are a lot of improvements, but the new design ruined everything.And Tony “Making room for ad space is one thing ��� turning the whole thing into a Facebook lookalike was a strategic error that will lose it a lot of ardent fans.” – it is so true….

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Kozminovici July 22, 2008 at 3:50 am

I’ve been using last.fm for almost 2 years now. I loved its clean, straight, almost minimalistic design. It was a trademark. More so, it was a statement. It had the cozy feeling of a second home on this big damn Web, yet it was *the* greatest tool for discovering new music to enjoy. Maybe I’m too much of a music freak, hell knows, but last.fm used to be the perfect playground. It was *different*.
All is lost now, of course.
Every little detail of it just screams “web 2.0″. In the quest for hell knows what, improvement? customers’ satisfaction? profit? they have lost their identity, becoming just another copy of your average stuffed-with-ads commercial site. It may sound like a stupid reason for a “revolt”, I agree, but truth is – there’s quite a bunch of people that really love that website and really care about it. And they just HATE having it spoiled mindlessly.

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Kenneth July 26, 2008 at 1:29 pm

i actually liked the old design better da. the newer one is still messed up. i cant find the invite friends option. and if click the one that i did find it doesnt take me anywhere.
hope they give the option to switch back.

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