I'm working on this app for a music festival @ http://www.acl.fm - we don't have much traffic so I can't test my assumptions, but the bounce rate is high.

I'm curious if this type of layout is a bad UX? How could I make it more pleasant or understandable on first load? The main feedback I get is to make the grid items bigger because the small tiles are overwhelming, but this makes designing the expanded video player harder.

UPDATE: I've created some wireframes...http://app.mockflow.com/view/671169d5e5c3e0cbb29cc7d1252cab40#/page/FC277D492D760128A96CE3C5E7682C2B

Are any of these good alternatives in terms of general usability?

  • We need a whole lot more details for us to be able to answer this in any meaningful way. (But, fwiw, I personally like it)
    – DA01
    Jul 14, 2013 at 18:33
  • A problem with a grid layout is that it does't communicate progression at all. If the idea is that this is a playlist, it is a failure I'd say. What I mean is, if the player will automatically jump to the next content item when the current one ends, it's more of a convention using something list-like. For instance, in a Youtube channel, the items are presented as a grid, but when you pick an item, the rest lines up in a list.
    – Babossa
    Jul 29, 2014 at 8:19

4 Answers 4


It's not obvious what the page is about. Upon examination (thinking) I can see it's about the Austin City Limits Music Festival. You might make that more prominent and maybe elaborate on what it is - an event, a music player (any specific kind of music player)?

Beyond that, just a straight grid of artists with no organizing principle, again, leaves me feeling uninformed. It needs more structure and context. What is this collection of artists about?

  • Thanks, I definitely see your point. I will have to rethink the organization and introduction/header....appreciate the feedback. Any ideas off the top of your head now that you understand what it is? Jul 13, 2013 at 22:00
  • I added a screenshot of an updated header UI I'm messing with, does this solve some of the issues? Jul 15, 2013 at 3:00

Uhmm ... Here's what will instantly increase your site's usability by 100%:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Thanks, I agree that a filter would defintely help, I'm working on a major overhaul right now. I think it is a cool website, but has some major usability issues, which everyone here has pointed out. Jul 14, 2013 at 2:15
  • @JeffCallahan - obelia's point is definitely extremely important as well. You might want to consider a "hero unit" of some sorts. The site being "unofficial", I see the potential trademark issues that prevented you from being bold about "what is this thing" in the first place. Obelia's and my points aside, I think your site fits its purpose quite well.
    – vzwick
    Jul 14, 2013 at 2:20
  • Hey, thanks a lot, I added some wireframes in a post edit, could you take a look and let me know if any are better for general usability? Jul 15, 2013 at 20:14

I agree with obelia. A music/video player in a grid layout like that is a good idea, you just need to structure it a bit.

Like may be categorize by type of music, arrange in ascending order by name of artists, a search box at the top for search by artist and/or search by song, and a hint about why you selected this specific list of artists.

Tell more about what the site is all about, that's all. Hope that helps.

  • Very helpful...this is the comprehensive list of all artists playing the festival..we hoped to group by date/stage they were playing but that is not released yet. This gives me a lot to think about. Do you think putting the player up top would help and having the first artist be auto expanded? Jul 13, 2013 at 22:06
  • The player is quite conspicuous and easily recognizable. Could you rather expand the title bar/header of the website, to make 'Austin City Limits Music Festival' a little larger, and include the schedule info in it. Please also include a label saying something like: 'Following are the artists who are going to play in the festival:'. The space hence taken-up by the title/header, can be compensated by shrinking the player a bit. For example, if you are going to expand the artists icon, whose music is being played, then you wouldn't need another image-box for the 'Now Playing' label. Jul 13, 2013 at 22:19
  • Please include tool-tips for all the icons. The question mark at the top can have an adjacent, small 'More Info' or 'About' or similar link. Jul 13, 2013 at 22:27
  • The question mark at the top can have a small 'More Info' or 'About' or similar link below it. Jul 13, 2013 at 22:33

It's very hard to tell what the User Experience is as this is one state of the experience. An interface is not UX, it's a bit of interaction design.

I can't tell you if its' good 'ux' as I don't know the context of the app. I can tell you from an interface point of view there is a lot of similar weighted elements on the screen that compete. I would explore how much you can separate out into different states and try to unify elements rather than have different interaction styles for each different selection. See how you can make the sort order, genre and artist vs 'schedule' similar or, alternatively, some how you can wrap these up an an element that is called up by the user.

The current version you show also throws everything at the user with no clear indication of what they are looking at. Step back and don't think of UX as interface design but thinking of it as creating journeys and telling a story. When someone arrives here what do they want to do? What do you want them to do?

  • Also the solution is very desktop orientated. Jul 15, 2013 at 20:58
  • Thanks for the feedback, that was my first mistake, was designing first without taking my goals into account. And, yes this is a desktop app for the time being. Jul 15, 2013 at 21:47

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