The site that I have selected to critically analyze is that of singer/ performer Beyonce (www.beyonce.com). Upon reading the prompt for this post, I immediately knew that it would be most beneficial for me to study the site of a musician since my plan for this semester project is to renovate/ redesign my own music website. And who better to look to than one of the baddest, most talented, hard-working women in the industry? Beyonce is a gamechanger and appears to always be at least one step ahead of the competition. I figured this philosophy would be applicable to her website, and I was right.
The first notable characteristic of the site is that it is entirely black, with the exception of its pink and white font. This is attractive because it gives the site a clean, classic feel. There isn’t too much going on in terms of the theme and color, which ensures that the viewer is not overwhelmed. Because of these specific color choices, the phrase that initially comes to mind is “sophisticated and strong with a dash of femininity”. Beyoncé uses something as ‘simple’ as color to represent and embody all that she has created her overall image and brand as an artist. The font is consistent throughout each page, with the exception of her name. This is in the top center of each page and larger than everything other word on the menu. It almost seems as though it’s there to serve as a reminder to the user of whose page they’re looking at. (As if anyone needs reminding.)
The next feature of the site that caught my attention was the fact that photographs were displayed on the site’shomepage of prominent figures within the African American community. This was clearly in honor of Black History Month. [Pictured first are Edward Bouchet and Anne Lowe.] If one were to then scroll further down the page they would see see an entire collage of historical Black figures with the caption “Black History Month”. She uses images to do a great job of advertising/ marketing for her products, the most recent being her fifth visual album, “Beyoncé”. On the music page, you are immediately thrust into the world of the album. Provided are back to back, are 30 second clips of each of 17 videos created to parallel with the 14 songs featured on the album. One thing that’s very cool is the fact words appear transparently over each photo, which serves as both a label of the photo and a link.
Reintroducing the idea of things transparently “appearing” over the photos, basically EVERY single piece of Beyonés site has a link connected to it. If you click ANY photo it takes you to another part of the website, which then hosts more specific information and/or photos of whatever you clicked on. Also, each time your mouse graces over a photo a particular hashtag pops up. It will say either “#MYLIFE” or “#MYWORK”. Her utilization of hashtags is great, and a perfect tool given the generation and audience(s) that she primarily caters to. Given that the society in which we live, and the fact that fans of musicians nowaday want to be involved in EVERY aspect of their idol’s life, she chooses to share photographs of both her work and personal experiences. Unlike other artists, she does an excellent job of sharing an appropriate amount of her personal life. Enough to keep people entertained and desiring more, but is private enough (I assume) to keep her sanity. Although she doesn’t compromise too much of her privacy, she ensures that everything on the site is highly interactive for users. She has adapted to today’s high tech society where other artists (go look at there pages), have not.
Each photo is well alligned with the other photos that it shares the rest of the page with. Each picture (even those of her personal life), are taken in high resolution, so that they are crystal clear. The majority of them are action shots of her in the moment, whether it be on the beach or in the middle of a concert. Both of these things makes the user want to look through the photos; it draws them in, giving them incentive to see more.
The spacing of the website is wonderful. Although there is not a large portion of whitespace utilized (at least not on the pages where photos are present), she chooses to create a combination of both white/black and color photos. Once again, an ideal balance of color is created so that viewers are not overwhelmed. Regarding precendence, the eye of the viewer is attracted to the top of each page, where the menu is ever-present. This permits the user to easily navigate through the site, constantly in control of what they are viewing at the moment, as well as where they will go next.
Ultimately, what I have taken away from analyzing this album is that, in order to be the best and stand-out, it’s important to ensure that each aspect of the site is designed to cater to the interests of the audience who will be viewing it. Again, given the world in which we live, and how the majority of the population can be connected to everyone else with the click of one button, it’s important to create a site that people feel they can be connected to and experience firsthand. It’s no longer enough to be known just for your skill and music, so she gives what’s necessary. Everything else she does is on her own accord. She’s not afraid to take risk (just look at her business ventures), which is what separates her from everyone else. It doesn’t hurt that she takes the risk, and kicks butt while doing so.