MySpace today announced a significant redesign of the site that incorporates a number of user interface changes that include the site’s home page, navigation, profile editing, search, and MySpaceTV player, according to the press release.
“A year ago we set out on a path to rethink the way people interact with the fundamental features of MySpace,” explained Tom Anderson, President and co-founder of MySpace, in a written statement. “This is just the beginning—by the early autumn we expect to reveal an entirely new and remixed MySpace that provides a more intuitive, customizable, and private experience.”
Notice Anderson's emphasis on privacy -- an obvious response to the rise of Facebook. Additionally, MySpace has to carefully balance users' ability to customize their profiles -- a traditional selling point -- with making the site more intuitive, helping to attract and retain new users. On that note, MySpace says that the "global redesign", which will roll out throughout the week, is "based on results from multiple in-home usability studies, online surveys, impromptu testing, focus groups, and user’s messages and comments sent to Tom’s profile".
A quick run down of the changes...
- Splash Page Re-launch: MySpace is redesigning and re-launching the site’s splash page. Notably, users in the United States will soon see a branded splash page takeover sponsored by a "major advertiser".
- New Navigation: MySpace will roll out a new site navigation based on "user demand for easier access to key communication tools on the site such as mail and core viral community features such as music and MySpaceTV".
- Profile Editor: The updated profile editor will include new personalisation options for users making it easier to customize profiles through a selection of styles and themes (see screen shot below). "Users with more advanced coding skills will still be able to fully customize profiles using HTML coding".
- New Search: MySpace will roll out "drastically overhauled searching capabilities with a consistent, clean user interface". MySpace is utilizing the Lucene Open-Source engine, "marking the first time MySpace has contributed to the Open-Source community."
- MySpaceTV Player: "The new player includes scrubber, time-stamps, volume memory, and new menu systems which encourage the user to share and interact with content – and search within the player." The updated player is based on Flash 9, enabling full-screen mode, and support for HD.