Cancelled my subscription. My thoughts on improvement.

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I have cancelled my monthly subscription. The site rollout was handled poorly and was pushed forward despite almost universally negative feedback, and worse, missing many key features that people who browse the site on a regular basis depend on: namely, for me, groups. Now I feel alone here. I'm certainly not browsing as often, and I don't think this rollout is worthy of a subscription. There is still a lot of work to be done and nobody should pay for an unfinished product. You have a long way to go.

The site looks bad. The circular avatars look ridiculous and the desktop layout feels very claustrophobic due to everything being huge. The profile pages have an oversized margin on the side, which certainly won't be filled by 200 characters of boring "about me" plain-text.

It feels like a bunch of people who couldn't agree on anything designed this.

last.fm had a unique identity previously. Now it looks like all the other faceless "Internet Radio" sites out there, only it's more sterile and has circular avatars (I truly cannot comprehend anyone agreeing to that, especially in contrast to the overall "boxy-ness" of the rest of the design). And you've buried or removed your best features! Your greatest strength was the data/statistics, unique user profiles, groups, events, journals, artist pictures, and comment pages. What does remain from this falls victim to the poor layout and design.

It used to be fun to browse other user pages because they could put interesting and unique things on their sidebars. Now everyone is limited to 200 characters of plaintext? Clearly it was one of the most loved and widely-used features on the site, and I honestly don't know how anyone could think removing it would be received well. You may have noticed that people on the Internet and music fans in general like to express themselves. There's a reason people hang up posters in dorm rooms, and you had a delightful digital equivalent of this, but have made the baffling decision to strip the walls bare. I thought this place was supposed to be fun?

I have hope that some of the currently missing features will come back, and that some of the half-baked ones will be improved upon. But there are some that already seem to be firmly established that are alarming. As a very, very frequent user of this site and former subscriber, I am not happy, and I sincerely request that you PLEASE CHANGE:

* Circular avatars. These look completely horrible and are an eyesore on every page.
* Creative restrictions. Bring back the freedom of the old "about me" section so people can feel like they're creating their own space. The current limitations are oppressive. 
* Go back to "Artist-Title". "Title-Artist" makes all the data look bad.
* Hugeness everywhere. Fonts, picture boxes, margins, page headers, everything. It's all way too big. The site looks like it might be okay at about 75% zoom, but then the margins become absurdly large voids.
* Get a line of some kind back on the comment threads. Previously there was a little line beneath the commentor's name and went across the comment to the edge where the post time was. This looked great. You need something here.
* Allow people to change their profile page banner graphic in some way, preferably a custom picture. Certainly don't make it a picture associated with a "top track." People listen to a lot of music and I doubt anyone wants such a huge section of their profile managed automatically.

Thanks for reading.
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FormerSubscriber

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Posted 4 years ago

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toyzatmidnight

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thank you (whoever you are) ~ i'm grateful to you for expressing (so eloquently) all of the frustrations that i personally have been feeling ever since the "New & Improved" last.fm was launched.... unfortunately i'm afraid that even though you've stated what i believe to be the overall dissatisfaction of the greater population of our last.fm world, it will not be much more than glanced at by a staff member (if at all)..... it's baffling the desire to push forward with the new design even though so much of it was unready or underdeveloped but who knows what pressures they may have been under (and by whom) to launch this awful mess....

i was going to close up my subscription service as well due to a couple of disheartening developments: 1. at present time, only i now benefit from an add-less page (anyone visiting still has to put up with the awful things) and 2. the lack of a Visitors Box is truly missed (they'd already taken so much away from us even before this new version)

it's also so very frustrating to find certain features "sort of working" at times (even though the staff claim that the feature is up and running) and then falling apart ~ case in point... the Shoutbox worked in a very limited form of it's previous self ~ 10 shouts on a page and no reference to anything that was posted before ( at over 5,000 shouts i had a lot of conversations going which are, at present, in limbo )... but now all the shouts are gone... you can still post but what's the point?

i honestly wasn't planning on writing all of this ~ yet there's so much more i could say.... yes, my current disdain for what has and continues to happen is very deeply felt

but i'll stop there and once again i thank you for posting your comments ~ i honestly appreciated it!

David (madazahatter)
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krisAxe

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Perfect
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Ensor

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It feels like a bunch of people who couldn't agree on anything designed this.

Personally, I think it looks and feels like it was the result of an afternoon's work by a remedial web design class. :-(
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TheUglyTuna

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Agreed.

I’d expect something like this from a high school freshman submitting his/her first assignment for their Elementary Graphic Design class. I wouldn’t expect something like this from the staff of a site as large as this one. The only logical conclusion is that the staff’s hands are tied for some unknown reason and they were pressured into releasing all of this prematurely. That’s the only thing that makes any sense. If that’s not the case, and if these were genuine efforts to improve the site, let me go ahead and direct this at whoever’s responsible. FIND A NEW LINE OF WORK ASAP. Seriously, for your own sake. I don’t imagine your current occupation is going to pan out quite like you’re hoping.

I honestly would rather see the site shut down altogether than to know that it’s still around looking like a bloated pile of shit. I’ve spent nearly four and a half years on here, far less than many of you and I can’t imagine how you all must feel, and the thought of leaving all of that data behind is utterly heartbreaking.
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FormerSubscriber

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Wanted to add a couple more things I missed:

* Taste-o-meter
* "# of your friends/followers listen to <<artist>>" when you visit an artist page.

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