YouTube & Video

The Importance Of Great Website Visuals

999 You've heard it before. Keep fans on your site. Visuals are important. The first is straightforward. Don't bring fans to your site and send them to Myspace. Your site is yours, while Myspace is not. Likewise, if fans find you on Myspace, give them a reason to visit your site. That way, you can take ownership the relationship and not lose out if anything ever happens to your Myspace page. Second, it's imperative to have good visuals.

Whether they be YouTube videos or otherwise, fans should have something to watch. It keeps them interested and gives them a reason to hang around your website longer than if they read your last news update and left. Good visuals also serve to solidify the image of an artist in the mind of new fans and help them further recognize what they look like. This brings us to the team behind the cinematic electro pop artist called Oh Land. Not to waste a first impression, they've launched a new website for their artist that features her music videos both as a background on the website and player that features four song selections.

This website redesign instantly exposes new fans to Oh Land's unique visuals and captivates them upon their arrival, giving them something to watch while they click around. View several of Oh Land's recent music videos below. As well, if you visit her new website here, you can look at the videos within the integrated player. In incorporating good visuals so deeply into the online experience, it also gives fans a reason to share the entire website over single videos. Take a look:

Oh Land "Sun of a Gun" from Oh Land Music on Vimeo.

Oh Land- White Nights (Live) from Oh Land Music on Vimeo.

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  1. This site is beautiful. I would normally expect the navigation to be cumbersome on a site like this but it’s easy to get around. A great way to interact with the artist.

  2. Too much going on at that site. I’d prefer to see a very simple site that lets me learn what I need to know and get back to listening to the music.

  3. Gorgeous looking site! It’s refreshing to see a design that allows the artist’s visual content speak for itself

  4. Haha. Says the guy on HypeBot. J/K
    Dig the site, but she she needs to get them off flash. Accessibility is more important than content/aesthetic by a narrow margin. If people can’t check out your site on an iPad/iPhone/Mobile device, you’re losing a lot of eyeballs.
    All the vimeo hosted videos could be done in HTML5, but the crux of the site, the background video is all flash. The nav isn’t even accessible on a mobile platform.
    Love the vibe, but there needs to be a mobile alternative at the bare minimum before I would call it a success.

  5. I like that she pushed the design envelope, and more artists should, but personally, I find it difficult to read when there is a lot of motion on the screen and so the first thing I did was to try to stop that background video, cool as it was. The designer should have known better. I would have preferred to have the video in letterbox format above the fold and the fancy textbox layout below the video rather than in it.
    I also agree with Tim, if you have a website, make the homepage (at least) mobile friendly. The new generation of listeners have iThings and mobile phones and it’s hard to share if you can’t get the website to work on your phone.

  6. Sorry Kyle, great visuals do *not* equal a great (i.e effective) website. It is a huge misconception among artists that needs to be cleared up once and for all.
    I know first hand, since I am guilty of designing dozens of flashy websites myself at a big label. It is what the artists wanted, because they thought (incorrectly) that cool visuals would impress fans.
    When you look at the return visitor stats on these sites it’s clear that there is an inverse relationship between visual flash and fans coming back. The sites that generated the most return visits were simple, almost plain. But, they showcased the artist’s content (who posted content in their own voice), rather than hiding them behind moving images.
    Fans want to make a connection; that should be the ultimate goal of an artist’s site. I get this at sites like and because they are focused on that connection, not the visuals.

  7. ….and this article is Great Promotion for her!!!
    The hot idea is basically having a full screen video for the back drop of a website. Pretty cool, but idea, but it should really be a video with sound, not just a clip rerun without sound.
    Cheers, chris

  8. The site is a terrible design, and it is difficult to get the information that you are looking for. Never mind the fact that it keeps the information completely inaccessible to screen reading software for the visually impaired.

  9. Hi Kyle,
    Your ideas about bringing people to your own site and keeping them there are right on. It’s totally important. Who knows what NewsCorp. will do next with MySpace. There’s lots of people who built mini-empires on GeoCities to see them disappear. The basic self-hosted html pages from that epoch are still up with many still ranking well in Google.
    But in terms of web design I can’t agree with you. The music is fine and incorporating video is good. Banzoogle is right: flash as a core site element is not. Google doesn’t see it (not well at least). Flash cripples fans’ browsers. You have to assume that your fans have something else to do than visit just your site today. Expecting 50% or more of their processor for each visit or even that they have Flash enabled is shooing yourself in the foot.
    The Oh Land site is way overbuilt. That menu is a pain in the neck and hardly usable. On the other hand, the sites which Banzoogle cited are ridiculously plain.
    There’s a nice balance to be found. Here’s a site we built with strong visuals but on a basically sound html and CSS foundation: html:// (be sure to play with the animated menus). Or just straight elegant simplicity with the content in first place:
    There is a happy compromise.

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