MusicBrainz Web Design Revamp?

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?


I think most of the user use MB only to tag their music by Picard

Good idea! Some dashboard for editors can be useful and let us make more newcomers/consumers oriented landing page not complicating the work of contributors

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I’ve never met anyone who uses Picard and I don’t think physical media and local files will be the main sources of music in the future. On the contrary, tools to recognize online streamings, search for information for an album and find new music is what I would like to have.

User profiles

Picard @MrClon and streaming @PierPiero, bear in mind that several different user profiles do co-exist on MB, I guess.

For myself, I listen to music with physical CD in one of my music sets, basically a regular CD deck plugged on amplifier (no streaming, no Picard), press :arrow_forward: PLAY.

And I use MusicBrainz, mainly for:

  1. Encyclopedic purpose, learn stuff about the artists who make the albums I like, see in what other bands or albums they are involved and try them too
  2. Keep track of my collection, to ease my life when I am in flea markets / second hand shops, I can know if it’s worth or not to buy this or that album, do I already own its recordings in another release?


When not logged in, it’s a must to see the brief description of MusicBrainz and maybe a few release examples (like we already have).
The design can be redone but I think we already have all the important elements.

When logged in, even if I don’t really use the homepage myself, I read about having a dashboard.

We used to have a pre-NGS dashboard that was focusing on trying to increase votes (and thus more reviews) on current edits.

Here is a look at how it looked like (but most data is missing in this snapshot, pre-NGS classic site was already offline): MusicBrainz Dashboard.

  • Hot edits
  • Need love edits
  • Expired edits
  • Recently changed artists
  • Recently changed releases
  • Recently changed labels

Is it possible to share the current analytics of the website (main queries, reference links, main contents per page views, …)?

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I think It’d be cool to run some polls so whoever designs the UI can set priority according to the amount of users for any given profile


But we can sum it up to:

If you are not logged in, it means you want to understand what the site is about and then maybe you would like to browse its content (latest examples, search).

If you are logged in, it means you want to fix or add stuff to the database.

I mean, whatever your profile (how you listen to music, etc.), I don’t think it changes a lot in what you expect of the home page, does it?


I think as editors, we’d all probably expect the same things but with a different priority order

But I like the idea of discoverable new music a la Spotify, that could drag in new users rather quickly.
Thing is, which relationships would this use to create these recommendations? Seems interesting.

Frequent problem with crowdsourcing project: they don’t have crowd to sourcing them. Community gone or never exist. So first think i do when found interesting crowdsourcing project is try to understand: Is project alive? How many active contributor? Project developing or stagnating? Isn’t it zombie-site witch and his un-life in few week when end hosting paid period?
So, for crowdsourcing project is good idea to show things like recent activity, daily statistic, changelogs of software. Not because newcomer need exactly this information, but to show him that project alive and developing, and it is reasonable investment of his time


In my opinion, based on the user’s interests, the home page should change a lot. If you are interested in finding music, you expect to have a home page that helps you search (by country, genre, artist, …) or browse different categories, such as

If you are a developer, you can expect a home page similar to the one online now.

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I like the idea of different homepage for guests and logged in users. I’d also love to be able to customize my homepage (read dashboard) a bit.

This is an example of something the homepage doesn’t present well. Compare to the wikipedia homepage, which has multiple sections that invite browsing. MB has only the “Recent Additions” cover art, which doesn’t give any clue that MB could be used to answer questions like “What recordings did George Martin produce?” or “How many recorded versions of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are there?”


Highlighting the differences with other sites is another thing a homepage should do. I would avoid the competition with Wikipedia on the artists’ biography, but I would underline the completeness of the album listing: in Wikipedia you cannot find an artist who has published only one abum, in MB you can, and you can find all the releases of that album.
It’s the same thing you can find in Discogs, and that’s why I’d leverage on AcousticBrainz ad music genre categories to provide a differentiator to the site.

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This sounds good @PierPiero! :smiley:

Looks good @MrClon ! :smiley:

Makes a lot of sense and I feel the points are valid. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts @Salmon_Songs ! :smiley:

This looks really cool @aerozol ! Thanks for sharing :smiley: