When you think of HMV, you think music, little dog with megaphone
and the colour pink. Lots of it. The million-dollar question here is can
HMV carry this over on to the net while also attempting to sell
Music is what HMV customers want the most and music is what they get in
this site. Or so it seems at first.
The array of albums and singles on sale is impressive. The shopping
basket is simple, intuitive and fast, which may be the key to online
The option to view a list of all the songs available is also a nice
touch and the authoritative ’Buy it’ key is sharp and to the point.
But from here we enter X-files territory. For example, at the checkout
customers are asked to enter a password. The problem is that it is not
made clear enough right from the start that you need a password. I can
imagine that the majority of people visiting the checkout will be asking
the same question as me: what password?
Another feature that seems to have been ’abducted’ from the site is
sound, depriving customers with those essential soundbite tasters that
have proved so successful on other sites.
Unfortunately, the ’little dog with a megaphone’ image is also
conspicuously missing. Though this really isn’t a problem, it indicates
a wider inconsistency in brand awareness.
The site possesses a solid technical base which provides an efficient,
functional service. But the visually unambitious styling and rather
basic content gives the site a crude feel; you can almost see the
underlying mechanisms, which is not good as users should feel like they
are doing more than just browsing a database.
A site from HMV should aim to go further, because while the clean and
quick functionality should not be lost at any cost, it is crucial that
excitement and branding are also incorporated.
As for the pink, there’s plenty of that.
New Media is edited by Binnur Beyaztas, who can be contacted at
Where to find it: www.hmv.co.uk