Warp Records website sucks ass

I like most of the artists on the Warp Record website. Loves ’em I do. So it was only natural to go to their website and check it out. They keep a pretty low profile but have a huge cult following:

“People will look at Warp in 20 Years like people look at Blue Note or Motown now.”

So you figure they could have a huge community driven site, really hyping up the fans, who are all pretty hard core really, but sadly this is not the case. In fact they have a site that not only has music in the front page that you can’t stop (and being a music fan I’m always playing my own so I want to get off the front page in a hurry every time). In a panic I hit the ‘Albums’ nav link which, thank god, makes the music stop but you are presented with a piece of genius user interface design.

warprecords albums navigation screen shot

A grid of squares with one corner lopped off with a seemingly random colour coding. There are 146 of these squares, each representing an album. The only way you can find an album is to drag your mouse over each one which brings up the artist, album and catalogue reference serial. The ordering of the albums and the colour coding seems to be random.

Its assumed that there was some sort of ‘idea’ behind this interface. The little maimed cubes pop up when you mouse over them like sifting though a second hand record collection in an obscure shop somewhere. The trouble is if your looking for something specific it seems to maximise the time it will take for you to find it. At least a record shop has its albums sorted by artist. There is no searching or way to chose sorting, nothing.

Considering its there interface to their online shop you might think they would make it easy for you to find what your after.

Apart form that, there is no community driven stuff on the site, which a label with such a cult following would benefit enormously from.