How Do I Download an Album? or Why’d the Layout Change?

“Would love to download the whole album…do I have to do it track by track, can’t I just grab all the tracks in one go?”

“I was just wondering if there is a way to buy the whole EP instead one track at a time, I might just be missing it.”

“I see the album download is priced at £2.99 but I cannot find a link to buy the album, just each song. I would like to purchase the whole thing at the special price, please show me how.”

“When do you intend on making full albums downloadable at the click of an icon?”

“I wish there was a download all option on Bandcamp.”

Our response to these infrequent, but still troubling, messages was always the same: “Just click the Download Album link, right above the track list!” That typically elicited a “Whoah! Don’t know how I missed that!” reply. We didn’t either, but decided to poke around a bit and found this incredibly interesting nugget:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html

Turns out the Download Album link was in a blind-spot, eye-trackingly-speaking, so we’re now experimenting with a layout that puts the main commands in a visual hot spot, and seeing how that performs (we’re also stacking them to better accommodate the reading patterns mentioned in the above article).

While we were at it, we decided to address the problem that when a fan clicked “Download Album,” they didn’t necessarily know what they were going to get. How many tracks? In what format? Are there bonus tracks, or other items, like videos or pdfs? And what if you just want to say something personal about the download, such as “your cash goes straight to me, not Steve Jobs”? The solution is the new download description field, which looks like this:

ack1

and is edited like so:

ack2

5 Comments

  1. Nils
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Awesome. Just awesome.

  2. Posted November 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I went and tried out the “album download” link, and the first link I tried was the “album download” text, not the “Buy Now” link. It’s still not perfectly intuitive.

  3. Posted November 18, 2009 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    While I love the improvements to the site, I would very much prefer to have ability to have my page layed out closer to the previous layout than the current one; specifically the album cover to the left with tracks, story, etc. down the center.

  4. Posted November 18, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Guys,

    I appreciate that you’ve taken eye-tracking studies into the new layout, but unfortunately the large album art on the right of the screen probably throws that data way off, as that’s where the eye is drawn. As it is currently, this feels much less intuitive. Maybe make it half the size and move it back to the left?

    Also, I’d suggest making the “Buy Now” link larger and to look more like a button, so users know that there is an action (other than going to another web page) associated with it. That would help to draw attention to it.

    I’m a pro graphic + UI designer. Please let me know if you’d like me to contribute further. I’m motivated to use bandcamp because it’s the best solution for home-grown digital downloads I’d found so far, but this new UI needs some re-thinking. Let’s get it right!

    Thanks!
    George

  5. Posted November 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback guys. We’re actually collecting data on the impact of the layout changes on session conversion (visits to downloads/sales). So, rather than relying on our (or anyone else’s) opinion about what’s intuitive, we’re looking at aggregate data across tens of thousands of pages to see what *is* more intuitive. This is all in-progress and we’re actively tweaking. Changes will only stick around if they prove effective.

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