coyote new media
is the key
to Anthony Mazella Website
probably have the longest list of website bookmarks (or favorites
as they are called) in Sedona as I take my websurfing seriously.
Being in the biz, I can justify long hours of internet surfing
in the name of research, and when I bookmark "My Favorites",
it's usually because a website is either incredibly useful or
This month I'd like to feature a musician's site, entitled "Anthony
Mazzella Guitar Virtuoso" and discuss what I think makes
this site cool and also a great example of how the web is a
wonderful vehicle for art and sharing.
site opens with an illustration of a guitar player with a simple
'enter' button, this is sometimes called a splash screen, and
like TV or movies, is just a simple intro that provides some
flavor and establishes the design and mood of the site. The
next page which in essence is the true homepage is a great example
of a simple and elegant navigation scheme. It also loads fast
(an important feature) and the designer used something called
slices to allow the somewhat large image to load in pieces.
Nothing real flashy or wild here. The viewer gets not only a
of the musician/guitarist whom the site is about, but also an
immediate overview of the entire website and it's navigation
structure via large clear links set beside the image. This not
only gives the viewer their first choice of things to explore,
but gives them an immediate idea of what the site offers and
the choices available (see inset). The viewer can then easily
start interacting within the site and also see that the site
contains 3 types of information: music samples, written info,
and photos. A great combination on the web.
Scrolling down, this page offers several quotes about the guitarist
which are linked to the actual reviews and articles they came
from. Again, simple and elegant is the key, and for those (like
myself) who may not have actually been familiar with this musician,
it gives credibility and strength to the site and it's message.
From here the site offers: a biography, concert dates, contact
info, interviews, order CD's, sound files, and a photos gallery.
Most page follows the initial theme of black background, with
a smaller version of the initial photo-illustration of Mazella
in the upper left corner, The black background creates great
contrast on the web, and the simplicity of the layouts and light
blue text make it very easy to take in and comprehend. On these
pages the navigation links, once large on the opening page are
now all located in a simple horizontal row at the bottom of
each page, inviting the viewer to flow through each page and
move along. The site also uses double spaced text lines which
make the bluish text easy on the eyes.
Once at the 'sound files', the site offers viewers a choice
based on their computer platform, either Quicktime audio files
for Macintosh users, and MP3 files for Windows PC users (media
players can be installed on the web for free). In either case
the 60 second audio file samples load in a very reasonable amount
of time (with a cable modem it took about 5 seconds, with a
standard modem it takes about 20 seconds) and play back beautifully.
In the samples the viewer gets a great sense of the guitarist's
talents and the flavor of his work.
This web is obviously a great medium for musicians and music
lovers alike, as it provides a fun and entertaining way to offer
people samples, with the caveat being that one can then chose
to support the artist's work with an online purchase if they
like the music. On the web, audio files download fairly quickly
and many sites are also offering streaming samples.
Another cool feature is that on the samples page, instead of
just a simple grid of titles and links, the guitarist follows
each title with a descriptive 'writings' that ponder the meaning
of the song and related thoughts on life. This engages the viewer
and I think really adds to the experience. It's free form nature
makes it feel authentic and genuine.
The photo gallery once again continues with simple but effective
layouts. In this case, the site designer used small 'thumbnail'
images that load quickly and when clicked on, jump to popup
windows of the larger versions based on the viewers choice.
At the bottom of each selection of photos of the guitarist and
his guitars, are "more galleries" with a simple numbering
scheme to take viewers through 3 more galleries.
The entire experience of this site is very consistent and pleasing
and a great example for musicians and artists looking to share
their work and explore the sharing music and art through digital
audio files via the Net. Now with this technology, Mazella and
others like him can not only share more with their local fans,
but reach out to audiences across the globe.
In-sites is a new feature written monthly by Jay Jacoby,
creative director for coyote new media in Sedona. He can be
reached at: email@example.com