Updated music web site
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:23 am
There was once a project for updating the http://www.lds.org/churchmusic
site to be compatible with other areas of lds.org, and to improve its usability. I no longer see that project on the list and would like to resurrect it. I served on the project team in 2010, but we seemed to get too bogged down around discussions around the interactive music player (IMP). I would like to revise the site without affecting the IMP.
Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:42 am
I think it would be great. There are a number of features I think would be good to add to the music website. The biggest for me would be a navigation interface more like the directory. Where I could choose a the set (hymns, children's songbook, etc.) from a dropdown, then scroll through a list of the musical numbers (sorting by name or number), and finally choose a relevant piece.
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:30 am
Our ward meets in a classroom with a projector for Sunday School and Priesthood (and Relief Society). We almost always use the interactive music player on the projector when we're singing the opening hymn. We have some common problems: First, the person leading the music presses play and it starts "Music with parts." Then everyone starts at the wrong time because they expect an intro. Also, the MIDI sound isn't as pretty for accompaniment. So the chorister switches to "Music only." Then they try to increase the tempo, but nothing changes because it's a regular recording. Everyone ends up singing too slowly because the speakers in the room never seem to be loud enough that people can hear the accompaniment while they're singing. It makes for a humorous situation.
1) Can the regular recording play faster or slower, and if not
2) Maybe it would be good to hide or gray out the tempo box (and other boxes that only apply to the MIDI) instead of just collapsing it.
As for the rest of the site, I do really like the color scheme, but some of the navigation could probably use some updating. It is easier to navigate than some of the new music pages, like this one, though: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/music?lang=eng
or this one: https://www.lds.org/youth/music?lang=eng
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:04 pm
Do you mean that the sites you referenced are not as easy to navigate as the current music page at http://www.lds.org/churchmusic/
? What are some of the ways you find it more difficult to navigate?
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:28 pm
There are a couple of things that make the newer music players harder to use in my mind. First, I like to see what I call the "context" of content on a page – design choices that allow the user to see an at-a-glance overview of the content. So, smaller margins and/or smaller font sizes would help the user see more of the page at a glance and put a "frame" around the page in their minds. My screen is 1440x900, which isn't too small, but the pages seem poorly organized to me because everything is "inflated" and I can't put a frame around the content.
When there is a lot of content, I like hierarchical organization. This would definitely seem to be a question of preference because a lot of programs and web services are leaning towards gathering everything into one lump of "stuff" and find what you want using tags, filters, and keywords. By hierarchical organization, I mean putting different groups of content on different pages, accessed by a table of contents – whether it be "Songs that start with 'A'" or "Songs from April 2008"... Making sub-lists rather than grouping everything onto one list. Overviews, table of contents, reminders of where you are, etc. are indispensable.