Turntable.fm creates a new user experience for music

Mid-set in the Indie Chill/Acoustic room at Turntable.fm

Like many others around the web I’m captivated by Turntable.fm, the new online music sharing service. I’ve just been exploring for the past 24 hours, but here are some random observations on the user experience:

  • It blends some of the key digital trends of today, social+gamification+music, and it’s a powerful combination. The Facebook integration is a great touch.
  • It’s a reminder of how ‘social’ music is. Music is inherently something we want to share and discover, and the chat box offers the opportunity to talk with others and make new connections. This validates Mark Zuckerburg’s predictions that music, movies and TV going are primed to go social.
  • The game mechanics really help to drive interaction. You’re encouraged to participate, share and provide good music, which makes the service for others even better.
  • It’s sharing in real-time. Live interaction is turning out to be yet another killer app of digital media – I’m currently organising a digital breakfast for the APA on this very theme. Turntable.fm makes legacy platforms for social media sharing seem, well, slow.
  • The tools and features aren’t obvious at first. I spent my first hour asking other users how things work. But once you get it, it’s easy to remember and that’s vital for usability. The controls are memorable because the service creates a good match between the system and the real world – which is one of Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics. The video below provides a good overview of how Turntable.fm works for newbies.