MTV interactive head Toby Barnes recently oversaw the acclaimed redesign by Digit of the website of the music broadcaster’s digital TV channel, MTV2. Key to the redesign was integrating the site with the TV channel, to enable viewers to create an hour of music video programming and submit this through the site for actual broadcast.
‘The main reasons for redesigning the MTV2 site were that it was out of date, it didn’t fit the brand any more and it became very hard to do any administration from the site. We decided there were enough music-oriented websites styled on a news and reviews principle, so we spoke with our TV people and came up with three core areas for the redesigned site,’ says Barnes.
‘The first was to have MTV2 playlists and reviews of music videos, rather than just of the music itself. Second was to have a community section to encourage feedback and interaction with the audience and the third and most important was to allow people to create their hour of TV programming. From a design point of view it had to push the boundaries of the Web and the boundaries of design. It was not designed for people with slow modems,’ he adds.
‘The next stage for us will be a redesign in October of the main MTV website, which is more text-based. We are then going to be launching WAP and interactive TV services over the digital cable platforms,’ he adds, though he declined to name the design groups involved.