Redesign A First Step In Bringing Order To The MySpace Chaos

Los Angeles based social network MySpace, which has 115 million monthly visitors worldwide (Comscore, April 2008), will be launching a redesign of its site next week. The first phase of the project, internally called “MySpace 2.0,” will launch on Wednesday June 18.

The changes affect five major areas of the service: homepage, navigation, profile editor, search and the MySpaceTV Flash player.

The screenshots above show some of the changes. The homepage will be significantly less cluttered, with the barrage of navigation links across the top whittled down to just five key links (home, mail, profile, music and myspaceTV). Other less used navigation functions will be available under a drop down menu. The 28 additional navigation links currently on the top half of the page will also be moved to the drop down menu.

Search is also being redone with a tabbed results page, reducing the need to search multiple times for different kinds of results. People search results are also being ranked, with friends first, then results for people you’ve worked or gone to school with, and then the remaining results. This makes a search for “Jeff,” for example, return meaningful results v. the mess you get today. MySpace’s new search technology is based on the open source Lucene project.

The other interesting area of the redesign is the Flash MySpaceTV player. MySpace says they will now offer 480p video when available. New features include a true full-screen mode and easier controls.

MySpace worked with San Francisco-based consulting firm Adaptive Path on design and information architecture elements of the project.

MySpace cites Comscore statistics in saying that 25% of all Americans visit the site monthly. It is the most trafficked website in the U.S., and 12% of all online minutes are spent on the site. 300,000 new users sign up daily.

MySpace has recently started to reap the benefits of focusing on the tech/developer crowd, a strategy that began last year. Big media, and blogs, are noticing the new and improved MySpace.