08/11/2013

HMV.com redesign / relaunch




After being one of the "high street casualties" HMV has relaunched it's dot com site, in an attempt to pivot its business model. Hats off to the design team behind this. The UI is very well designed. Page layouts, use of photography, typography, responsive structures are all excellent.

So far so good. However beneath the surface there really isn't much value. At the moment the only section offering download links is Music. For some reason TV & Film only offers basic information on recommended content and a handful of reviews. Where downloads are available there is a mix of links out to an old HMV downloads site and on-site preview/purchases.

Spending any real time on the site is pretty unsatisfactory experience, although the elegant interface eases any negative feelings. Right now it feels like a start. A sketch of a new direction. Perhaps this is HMV's minimum viable product and to be honest it's pretty minimal. For me the brand still stands up and the underlying service shows signs of value, but it's clearly early days. I'm hoping it progresses quickly and we soon see native HMV applications for sourcing and streaming music. There is still room for HMV to be the social centre of music buying, now that it's free from the bygone notions of high street shops.