Question: Comment on the information architecture of the site you have chosen. Are there places where the organization and layering could be improved?
With several companies competing for users' attention, information architecture plays a key role in the development and organization of company websites. Many websites, in fact, have a fairly decent layout with organization that is typically easy to understand. However, some fall behind in the competition with poor layout conventions and muddled/overly written content.
Bad Taste Records (BTR) is a company signing and promoting several musicians from all over the world. Several competing record companies are in the race against Bad Taste Records for profit and sales, but BTR needs to update information and organization to stay in the race.
First, BTR definitely needs to cut down on tabs located underneath the company logo and name into more condensed categories/subcategories. Below is a screenshot of the homepage where you will notice thirteen different tabs. In a redesign of the site, I propose that the tabs be narrowed down to: Home, News, Artists, Video, Join, and Store. The remainder of the categories on the site can be easily placed into subcategories under these tabs. Not only will there be less clutter, there will be a lowered rate of wrong-turns users may take when deciding which tab to choose.
Next, BTR could use a larger window with higher quality graphics to advertise news, records, events, and upcoming artists to engage the user. Noisy animations are currently in place on the home page in four different locations. A quick fix would be to slow the rate at which the advertisements switch. Flashy animations are annoying and upsetting to users, and often times they are ignored. Also, if the user is interested in the advertisement, there could be numbers placed within the ad box where the user could click back to that specific ad.
Last, hierarchy isn't in a natural order on BTR's website. News headlines and dates are present, but there is no content to grab the reader's attention. Also, pictures are a nice addition to stories to complement the content and engage readers in what is offered in the story. I would suggest creating several boxes with dates, a picture underneath and the headline with a small clip-it of the story.
Overall, Bad Taste Records could use some serious redesigning and content editing to make their website more marketable to users.