Monday, 24 August 2015

Last.FM update disaster

Last.FM have just updated their website in a major way. It has been a bit of a disaster. They started off giving people BETA versions of bits of the site to play with which was fair enough as it's always good to get some serious user testing in before going live. Sadly though they appear to have gone fully live but still in BETA mode much to the disgust of the Last.FM user base.

I've have been using Last.FM since 2008 and despite having a few minor niggles from time to time it has been a relatively painless experience. When the odd thing did break they normally sorted it out fairly quickly (even if it did take a lot of griping from users). The site today is all over the shop. Lots of things don't appear to be working anymore, scrobbles are hit and miss, and the player now seems to insist that you have Spotify installed. These are just the things that I have found issues with. The list of issues raised on a daily basis is phenomenal.

The BIG one for me though is that they appear to have now completely broken the ability to publish charts. Regular readers will know that every Wednesday I post charts of my top ten tracks and artists and plus overall tracks and artists. At the moment we appear to be stuck with a snapshot from a few weeks ago.

I found an old archive, the site used to look something like this (images are missing due it being an old internet archive snapshot):

Now it looks like this:

This site update was a very good example of NOT being in touch with what your regular users want and need and instead moving into a design that does not reflect those needs. It has been a complete disaster as far as I am concerned. I really hope that they get the the developers working had and get the broken/missing functionality back ASAP before they really start to lose visitors. 

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