After testing them for a couple weeks, Last.fm is pushing out some new design changes, and says that there will be more in the coming weeks and months.
The secondary navigation menu has been moved from the left side to the upper-right side on most pages on the site. Here's a look at the before and after:
"This gives you a wider page, with more space for what matters: the content," says Simon Moran on the Last.fm blog. "On pages where there are a lot of items in the navigation menu, we’ve grouped the less frequently-used items into a small dropdown menu on the right."
Artist, Album and Track pages have been totally redesigned from scratch.
Moran says the design changes reflect three main aspects: a tidier, more rational layout, a fresher visual design and new page templates. Do you agree? Some early commenters on the blog post don't. One says, "Last.fm is the only site I know that gets uglier/messier at every redesign."
Another says, "I agree, this was an unnecessary change. All elements are too big now and it looks very chaotic."
Of course all redesigns of popular sites will face criticism. It happens every time.
Either way, it's going to change even more, so it will be interesting to see what other tweaks they come up with, and how users respond. Now is not a good time to be alienating users, that's for sure. Competition in the online music discovery space is greater that it ever has been, and Spotify is making a huge impression on the market these days.