if it ain't broke, don't fix it

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If it ain't broken, don't fix it. And unfortunately that's what happened to allmovie site. I hoped it wouldn't happen to my beloved allmusic site, but nobody's safe. Once infromative and clean sites (more wikipedia-like) became colourful and flashy with the main point being advertising and selling of the films and music described. I visit these sites for knowledge not the product. What's most annoying however is more difficult navigation where filmographies/discographies are not placed in separate tags, but under the biography section and they are not short and concise anymore, but require scrolling, scrolling and even more scrolling. Everything must be bigger, flashier and more in-your-face. It's not encyclopedia anymore, it's a commercial with all those logos pasted on. Oh, and I noticed that some of the descriptions/reviews had been changed as compared to previous version and now signed not by the individual persons, but by Allrovi. So, no, content is also not the same anymore. Seems like another great site ruined by corporate minds. Great shame.
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Piotr Adamusik

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Posted 7 years ago

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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Sorry you feel that way Piotr.

Your basic subject of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a bit misleading because a lot of things on AllMusic were breaking. We've added so much more information over the past 8 years since our last site design that our back-end system wasn't properly handling the data delivery anymore, so we've moved to a new search technology and a new method for presenting the data. (More information is available here if you are curious: http://beta.allmusic.com/faq#change ).

Based on user interviews, surveys, and lots and lots of UX designs, we've ended up here: A more visual and browseable experience that still showcases the 99% of the frequently-used data that has been there since 1991.

You do comment that the site is now colorful and flashy but if anything we've toned down the amount of color and flash on each page.

On the left is the current AllMusic and on the right is the beta site:


While the current site shows three more tracks in the track list, the information on the beta is the same with actually fewer colors and one less advertisement shown.

I am sorry you are finding the new site to be much more difficult to navigate but at the same time we made the changes we've made based on testing, user requests and user experience guidelines.

Thanks for listening,
Zac
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Piotr Adamusik

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As I'm using Adblock+ all ads and similar crap (amount of which significantly increased after Rovi had stepped in) are turned off by default, so the screenshots above you're using as reference would look much different on my computer. Current page - clean, economic and concise, the new one - using pictures for everything (even for artists list!), with plenty of white, wasted space that forces you to scroll even through the track listing of a single album (as shown on your own examples) - is it really that hard to fit 10 tracks into a single view?

I did a simple comparison making search in genres. I chose alternative metal. On current site I can see comprehensive list divided into tiers, which reflect the significance of the individual artists quite correctly. And I can see 36 of them at once. The new page allows no such overlook displaying only 8 artists (in list mode being advertised as an answer to demands for more economy and less white space!) on the single screen and the order seems completely random (and different to the one on the current page - Nickelback isn't even listed on the current page, on the new page it takes the 2nd spot! - Nickelback?! really?!) - so much for same content and being objective source of knowledge. It's an informative encyclopedia turned into a confusing and misleading comic book. Same thing happened to movies.go.com site couple of years back and I regretfully stopped using it, but never believed the same would happen to my no. 1 website.

As I'm browsing all your replies it's clear that all decisions have been made based on your "research" and "user requests" (what users?) and no amount of negative feedback can change that (as RATM used to sing: "the structure is set, ya neva change it with a ballot pull"). The influence we have on shaping this website is illusory apart from some minor things as long as they go along Rovi's general idea for the new site. If they don't, we're being proven to be all wrong in our views, instead of getting the issues addressed and instead of getting fixed what was working and is now broken, we're told how many other things (however irrelevant and unimportant) were actually fixed and how our experience is now improved thanks to that while it clearly isn't (I believe I have read about such strategy once; oh, yes in "Nineteen Eighty-Four").

What's done here is like all those new remasters of original CD's. If you're a music enthusiast, I believe you know what I mean and Rovi is no MoFi or Audio Fidelity for that matter.

best regards
Piotr Adamusik
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Thanks for the input Piotr.
Take care.
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Peter

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Don't ignore what made this site so popular in the first place, usability and excellent GUI. Polishing up the design is fine, but not screwing up the whole interface that already worked great. Abandon your support base at your own peril ...

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Don't fix what's not broken.
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B Nelson

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I'm sorry to inform you that I don't like the new design or format at all. I used allmusic.com all the time, and recommended it to many friends, prior to the change. I am involved a bit with music, having recently served as cowriter for a book and some lyrics with David Ellefson from Megadeth. I introduced him to the site as well.
But now, with the new design, I never use it. It is not user friendly, it is cold in appearance, difficult to navigate through and just not good.
The old design was very nice the way the bands were listed, the tabs with bio and other info was great.
I know you will probably say the same information is still available, but I disagree. I don't find what I have found in the old design, and it even took me a bit to figure out how to search bands, since bands and albums of similar titles come up.
Too bad, man. Seems we can't ever let well enough alone.
They do the same thing with running shoes. If you make something good, just leave it alone, for the love of God. ;-)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bring back the old design..
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Jeffe

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why would you ever consider modifying the premier music site?
All you have now is a site people can't wait to find an alternative to.
Google "The new AllMusic page" and see for yourselves.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
If it ain't broke, don't fix it..
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GREG PICKERSGILL

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I simply want to say, as a long-time Allmusic user, that I just absolutely hate the new version of the site, and seriously doubt I will use it much or at all in the future. It is MUCH more difficult to find the kind of background information on recordings that I used to be able to get easily (assuming they were there..) from the old site.

I sort of understand why this has happened, but that doesn't make it any use to me. To be frank I'm just going to shelve my copies of the printed ALLMUSIC GUIDES next to my PC so that I can just look up stuff the old way as I need to.
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B Nelson

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I agree, Greg, and feel the same way. I find it funny that with all the negative feedback, the corporate admins choose to reply with, 'no, really, it's better and here's why' rather than to listen to the consumers.
A once great website will now just join the ranks of the other junk sites rife with advertising and aimed at mass, cheap consumerism. What a bummer.
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Bill Pelotte

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Why in the world did you have to swing so hard on this "new Design" thingy. You could've tweaked a few things. Not Everything. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Way Too much Candy.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Allmusic, Where Art Thou?????.
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Benton Daugherty

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This is my first time on this site in a while (which was my go to site for new music).
I don't know I feel like something is missing now. The related artist list is not as extensive as it used to be. I used to find many more obscure bands thorough that part of your site than anything, also some band that should have their records to listen to are not there. For instance "The Nomads" with there newest record "Solna" have no reviews and no way to listen to it. Thats just one example but there are others that I've come across. These are not obscure bands they should have some sort of feedback. Please expand your related, influenced by and your similar part of your site and I will be in love like used to be.