14 March 2016

Musicisum has been redesigned!

by Dan Davies

Blog image

It doesn't seem like long ago that we were announcing Musicisum 1.2 and celebrating 25,000 students. Now we're here to talk about a fresh new design and we're about to hit 30,000 students! Let's get right to it!

Before the redesign, the Musicisum website represented a load of ideas bolted together that we kept building on. We were learning as we were going, figuring things out along the way, and over time everything became a little bit inconsistent. Our mobile functionality was poor - something that had been on our to-do list since the beginning, and the overall design was quite dark and unfriendly. We decided it was time to pull everything together, redesign the website, and hire somebody to work with us on it!

If you head over to the 'About' page, you'll see James's friendly face! We brought James on-board to lead the redesign, and after many months of hard work from everyone on the team, we're very excited to be launching!

Here's a breakdown of what we've done:

  • Created a new Musicisum logo.
  • "Musicisum" should now be spelled with an uppercase 'M', as you'd expect!
  • Completely redesigned the entire website to be consistently branded with our new colour scheme.
  • Made the entire website mobile and tablet friendly.
  • Asked our friends over at BOSS, Chapman Guitars, D'Addario, Evans, Faith Guitars, Planet Waves, Promark, Roland, and Shure if they'd recommend us (they do!)
  • Added guitar and singing course overview pages to show a quick overview of what we teach.
  • Added duration and difficulty information to every lesson.
  • Added locked/unlocked icons to show which lessons are available when you're using a free account.
  • Removed badges (see below)

It doesn't look like a very long list, does it?! A lot of time was spent deciding how we wanted everything to look. We knew we had to maintain the 'clean' style we had established in our original design, while also bringing everything together in a way that looks great regardless of what device you're using the website on. We have ended up with a redesigned website that we're very happy with, and a foundation for us to continue to make improvements and add new features based on your feedback.

So, why have badges gone? We love the idea of logging practice time and earning achievements, but we just felt that the system wasn't rewarding enough. Setting an arbitrary amount of time that you have to practice a lesson for to earn a badge isn't what learning how to play an instrument or sing is all about. Fear not - your practice time and the badges you've earned haven't been lost. They just aren't showing on the redesigned website. 

We are going to be revising how we award badges based on practice time, and the feature will be reintroduced later this year and we'll be much prouder of it!

As always with projects of this size, there are bound to be little bugs or issues here and there that we have to tidy up. If you spot anything that doesn't look right, or that you don't understand, please get in touch via e-mail or on a social network to let us know. We love all of your feedback - and without it, this redesigned website wouldn't have happened.