The UX of Podcast Players

I have been frustrated with maintaining the podcast player on Marketo.com. See example on this page. (Click Podcast on the left). The UX was good, in that it zoomed up gracefully and played. However, the pain was on the backend. I had to encode each mp3 as a SWF file for it to work. I don’t know flash so I couldn’t change the FLA. I really was stuck. So I asked my good friend Google, and here is what I found. It’s based on the Audio Player WordPress plugin from 1pixelout. It’s a really nice design. I couldn’t figure out how to customize the design even though they said it was easy. I have to admit, I didn’t try THAT hard.

See the new design in action. (Halfway down the page) I like it plenty. It works almost as well as the other one from a user perspective, and has the much needed benefit of streaming the mp3 file in externally. Now, I can add new podcasts without getting the flash engineers involved.

UX is only as good as it is maintainable. You can’t create a 1-time wonderful thing if the maintenance is a nightmare. The world changes. People want new content. What was new yesterday is old today. Maintainability is part of the responsibility of the UX Designer.

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