MusicBrainz Web Design Revamp?

Second that top menu should be reorganized, some subitems don’t match the top-level name, many of them are rarely used by everyday users but might be helpful for newcomers, so maybe we can show different menu (or even different home page) for guests and logged-in users.
For guests, we show the information that’ll help them get to know MB, and for editors, we should show frequently used actions and more detailed information. TBH, the current homepage is not so useful for editors, a dashboard that can boost efficiency would be great.


Amazing @IvanDobsky! Thanks for the points. :smiley:

Thanks a lot for the suggestions! :smiley:

Makes sense and great points @tigerman325! :smiley:

Great point @yyoung ! :smiley:

I think when you are already a MusicBrainz user, you don’t use the homepage that much.
I always go to MB from an artist or a release (group) search.
It can be a browser search or a DDG !bang.

But when I go to a web site for the first times, I expect to understand the purpose of the web site from its homepage, without seeing any other funny stuff, there.

For me the most important things in the MB HP are…

I think the homepage is already perfect.


In my opinion, the current homepage is more suited to developers and contributors rather than database users and it is not clear how MB differs from other databases / encyclopedias.

Assuming that the main value is the completeness of the listing of the different releases, I would say a few words about the structure of the database, the difference between the releases, release groups, and so on.

In addition to that, categories of artists/publication groups by country/genre would help users who are interested in looking for details for some albums or inspiration for new ones. This structure, in addition to a mobile friendly version, could also help indexing by search engines, which is now not at its best now.


Thanks a lot for the suggestions @jesus2099! :smiley:

Would be great represent on homepage whole network of our music services (MB, LB, AB, CB, CAA, AcoistID), their goals and synergetic connection between them. Now to realize it you need to find link, read list of services (in inconvenient carousel) and my be go to site of each service to understand what “crowdsourced collection of acoustic information” or “open record of user listening habits” actually mean


Not for homepage, but i think musicbrainz site should more actively promote related MetaBrainz services. For example on pages of artist/release without AcoustID fingerprint or AB info show text like «if you have this content please submit it to AB/AcoustID». May be show artist/release popularity based on LB data (not shure about this).
Also we can suggest add genre if artist/release have no such information. Highlight holes in our data


I agree, but it would involve moving from the current use of tags to a hierarchy of categories for different musical genres.

To improve the DB, every week an album could be published in the home page asking to complete related information (different releases and so on).


Not necessary, but tree of genres better then unstructured list if we want suggest to user genres to chose. DB structure may be the same, we can keep tree of genres as only interface element.
Is there some commonly acceptable music genre taxonomy which we can use?

But this suggestion can be something like this


I’m an independent music maker/producer and I only use Musicbrainz [MBz] intermittently, once or twice a year, when I’m doing the rounds of all the on-line places where I have to register a new release (e.g. PPL, PRS for Music, Discogs, MBz…). For me, the clearest for data-entry are Discogs and PPL, and tied for most confusing and time-consuming are MBz and PRS for Music.

Typically, I log-on to MBz and I want to register a new release…

I want to see an obvious link to a straightforward, intuitive-to-use data entry form for common release types, denoted in widely-used terms (my guess is that almost everyone is releasing a single, album, EP, video, not a 'release group’…).

For me, coming to do data entry, the MBz interface is confusing at every turn. Too many reflexive loops occur whilst navigating the site. It’s hard to tell exactly “where” you are and thus what effect your actions are having on the database. The rules are verbose and therefore unlikely to be read in full or remembered by an intermittent user.

I sense from the convoluted structure of the site and prominence of esoteric rules that MBz has some of its origins in music collecting. I also sense that MBz aspires to completeness and accuracy…

I would respectfully suggest that whilst a collector may be an authority on releases in which artist or licensor interest has lapsed, with new music the authority is likely to be the person or label releasing it. If I’m an agent, committing time to register new releases, you may be assured that I’ll do my best to do it correctly. Please make it as easy as possible for me. I understand that some data-checking is necessary, but I’m not here to join the band of editors and I’m not interested in the esoteric voting system.

Overall, I’d say:

  1. Streamline data-entry by limiting the ways in which data can be entered;
  2. Offer clear, immediate feedback. ‘YES, THANKS’ if the entry is formally correct; ‘NO, YOU CANNOT DO THIS, DO THIS INSTEAD PLEASE’ if an entry is nonsensical in database terms;
  3. Make it all simpler to look at and easier to read;
  4. Make it so that the operationally-essential data-entry rules are 200-300 words in total and can be easily found and read.



one thing i’d really appreciate for the homepage is responsive design

if someone new hears about musicbrainz and looks it up on their phone, it’d be nice for them to see a page that doesn’t require horizontal scrolling


It would be strange to display front page nicely on mobile and not the entity pages.
As the front page inherits the global layout,
responsive design should be thought globally, no?

I agree it would be great if the site was responsive designMBS-3846.
Maybe edit pages could be excluded from responsive design if too hard to do.

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True. What is CB? Seriously, I’ve never heard of it. I didn’t even know other “Brainz” existed until years after I started on MB. CAA, is part of Internet Archives, but I do get your point.

Update: Oh. CritiqueBrainz. I see that on the list of topics here on the board. I’ve seriously never head of it. So, your point is very well taken.


Wooo! Firstly, I would like to make myself available if you need a designer for the project on a volunteer basis (background in graphic and web design (not dev), a lot of Intranets in the last few years -sigh- ).

General notes on the front page:

  • Say don’t do! The current home page is full of words about what the site wants to do instead of just having the elements to do them
  • Don’t just use developers/coders please - if nobody with clean and clear UI or design experience is involved in such a big design project I will pull my arms off and throw them at you
  • Spend some time brainstorming, analysing current user behaviour, and/or do some surveys re. what the goals and target user type (and order them from most important > least important) of each page is before thinking about even the simplest wireframe. Measure ideas and mockups against these goals*
  • Don’t prioritize current user opinions for a page like the home page! Think about how MB wants to grow (if it does), and who it wants/needs to reach. We already have our current users in the bag (though certainly the result could be that you want to get more of the same demographic)
  • Related to the above, two different home pages (a la Discogs), one for logged in and one for not logged in, may be a requirement to be able to serve the potentially very different key audiences of data contributors (editors) and data consumers

*I have lots of specific ideas, but without knowing the key goals and target audience it’s a bit of a jumble to just throw them out there. e.g. encouraging more community, leveraging data visualisations for ‘cool’ effect, streamlining the path to making an edit, make search the focus, etc… every time one is ‘improved’ or highlighted, another aspect has to be pushed down/loses focus, so I would love to see what the hierarchy of importance is?

p.s. in the past I made a mockup showing some possible elements highlighting/encouraging more community feeling. Note it is not a web page mockup, it’s just a visual container for various ‘widget’ ideas.


110% here - I though it was me, but if it’s a common issue we might want to consider changing it a bit :slight_smile:


100% agree. We are all working on building a huge DB, but who are the users? Are they people who are just looking for information about their music or about new music they would like to find out? It seems to me that there is a lot to be done in this regard.

For instance, why not use AcousticBrainz to advise the user based on their favorite music, like all the streaming platforms do?