Website Redesign - Have Your Say

Hey PianoGroovers,

In the next few months, one of my tasks is to redesign the website to create a better structure, and to make it easier for students to find related materials.

As an example, Autumn Leaves has the following lessons:

1. Autumn Leaves Ballad (1st half of lesson)
2. Autumn Leaves Up Tempo (2nd half of lesson)
3. 2 Handed Comping Over Autumn Leaves
4. Autumn Leaves Bass Line & Right Hand Voicing
5. Autumn Leaves Simple Bass Line & Improv
6. Combining all of the above into 1 arrangement (coming soon)

And so the question is: should the website be restructured around standards?

ie. Autumn Leaves has it’s own section. And other tunes will have their own section.

Obviously I know that all of those lessons are related (because i made them). But to a new student this is not the case and I don’t like this.

These dedicated sections for each jazz standard could also contain the:

  • lead sheet
  • transcription
  • lesson supplement
  • notable records
  • related forum threads
  • lyrics
  • backing track
  • any more ideas?

I just wanted to take this opportunity to ask for your input, feedback or ideas.

Your feedback doesn’t have to be on the topic above, but if you have the time I would very much appreciate your thoughts :smiley:

A site redesign is an expensive, time consuming, and risky process and so I want to make sure I get it right for you all the first time around!

I have the right people around me to make sure the technical side runs smoothly but I want all of your input to make sure the layout, content and structure of the site is the best it can possibly be.


I’m definitely in support of restructuring the website around “standards” I think it’s a good idea since Learning jazz concepts and building repertoire work hand in hand. It will definitely be a time saver.

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Nothing terribly wrong with the website right now.
It took me a while to see the search icon, so now that’s what I use to find the song. Before that it was tedious to scroll down searching for the song

We now have a boss and nova section, add a slow blues section in the future

That’s great Lori… I know the website is suitable right now. But as it’s growing and expanding into other areas (Bossa, Blues etc…) i think this needs to be addressed now rather than later.

I have already done a fair bit of preliminary planning. I completely agree that the long lessons page need to be restructured. That page was originally designed to house ~40 lessons, and now it has ~100 so it must be amended.

Thank you as always for your input! :slight_smile:

That’s great Tyaer, I’m glad the idea sounds good to you.

I’m thinking maybe a main page for each standard, which could then contain tabs allowing you to move up difficulty, or style, or tempo, or anything. Then also boxes at the side containing links to lead sheet, transcription, recordings etc…

This will all be professionally designed and I will share the designs on here before finalising anything into code so we can make amends and additions where necessary.

Your comments are much appreciated and i look forward to sharing initial design concepts.

Everyone coming to your website does so with a vast difference in musical backgrounds and technical ability. Can only give you input on my experiences. Sure you have advanced individuals who grasp the full content of your arrangements. However, a far larger group probably goes through a learning curve which spans all of those differences. You should have three sections clearly marked. Beginner, Intermediate and that the student can attempt a new standard and match their personal ability level with your lesson content. School always taught us that when we get lost while studying for a test we go to the INDEX to at least find a thread for an answer. (your manipulation of the screen to slow down the video and segment the lessons is excellent) Index your lessons with a standard, easy to follow list. When you teach a Standard place the index list on the download for reference so the student can look up the specific lesson when they get stuck. You verbally tell us to review or learn specific lessons while you are teaching. That works to an extent but past a certain point it’s very hard to translate lessons into action. Call it Student Guide Section for lack of a better term and place it as part of each rendition of the standard. Guess some things never change: Crawl, Walk and Run

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Harry that’s some great feedback… thanks for taking the time to provide this and I will definitely be incorporating your suggestions.

I think the Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced idea is brilliant.

This could be reflected both on the ‘front side’ of the website, and then integrated with the lesson progress tracking functionality.

Yes this is great inspiration for the actual lesson page layout… i think it should incorporate all of your points.

That is the main goal of the redesign:

to make all related website information easily accessible and filed/stored logically

Thanks Harry, your comments are much appreciated :slight_smile:

Hi Hayden

Many of the ideas suggested already are definitely heading in the right direction. I agree with splitting 3 areas for beginners, intermediate and advanced students similar to what is already there.

I also think the idea grouping or listing within each group by music standard is also a great idea and may be you could also use matching colours to also differentiate these sections and their contents. (i.e using URL links to Kenny Baron, 251 Progression, Upper Structures, etc). This would save also going back to the dashboard to locate and reference and study the theory, etc.

The suggestion to incorporate for example in a beginner section the song “Tenderly” and within that page using tabs or buttons, etc to direct the student via a URL link to the specific sections referred to in your video lesson Its almost like having everything on the page in front of you "Standard on a Page"

The other area that I find difficult is somehow a clearer idea of how to progress through the standards and in what order as a guide if at all possible (similar to what you have tried to do. For example, Autumn Leaves could be both a beginner tune and intermediate

One of the difficulties for people may be that they get to a stage of playing some of the standards not knowing what do play next or what theory to do, etc…like a roadmap I suppose that would also help in daily practice.

Simple but effective is probably an over-arching principle to always refer back to

My two cents!

Brilliant… I also really like this idea - I’ll get to work on categorising the lessons right away. Then I will leave it to a web designer to find the best way to display them from a user interface perspective.

Awesome I like the colouring idea and particularly the URL links.

Each jazz standard page could have a box which links to relevant tutorials (if for example a jazz standard lesson covers the Kenny Barron voicing, then that link would be included).

With Wordpress (which is the website software i use), this can be programmed into the admin interface, and so when I add a new lesson page, i can tick check boxes which would automatically populate the links to related lessons.

This is exactly why these kind of suggestions are so important at this stage so I can pass the requirements over to the designers and developers.

Yes I agree that the tabs/button/accordian style interface is the way forward. This will reduce clicking, remove the need to search/sift around and ultimately, just have all related resources in one place.

[quote="Paul Bahnisch, post:7, topic:201"] One of the difficulties for people may be that they get to a stage of playing some of the standards not knowing what do play next or what theory to do, etc...l**ike a roadmap** I suppose that would also help in daily practice [/quote]

Yes I agree this ‘road map’ is also key. I acknowledge that whilst the Lesson Progress Tracker provides some level of organisation, it needs formalised into a set progression though the material. Maybe Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 etc…

Lot’s of great pointers there Paul, exactly the kind of stuff I’m looking for. Thank you! :slight_smile:

I agree with Tyaer.Some great comments by others here as well.

Thanks Paul.

The comments posted here are really valuable for the actual lesson page template - I think how this page is structured will tie a lot of the site together in terms of related material. And make it much more user friendly.

I will update this thread with visuals/mock-ups to keep everyone in the loop on how it is progressing.

Now that I am re-visiting I fall in love too easily, I really appreciate those chapters, broke up into sections. cuz I just wanted to work on those left hand voicings and because my iPad / app keeps seizing up I can’t loop – it starts over. Which isn’t the end of the world… but I love the newer format for sure.
I’d like to hear you improv on this song over the LH voicings :grinning::notes:

Great thanks for the insight Lori.

I agree that the all older lessons need to be broken up into smaller bit sized chunks. And they will be.

On my side this isn’t too big a task. I already have all the lessons edited in a program called Screenflow, so I just need to split them into multiple parts when the focus changes eg. from left hand voicings, to full arrangement.

Then re-export and re-upload. I need the the new lesson page layout (see below for update) to make this process quicker and easier.

[quote="Lori Nelson, post:11, topic:201"] iPad / app keeps seizing up I can't loop [/quote]

Yes the A/B loop on touch screen devices has been problematic. I’ll keep pestering my tech guys about it.

That’s great to hear. I’m aiming to get a ‘wireframe’ of the new lesson page in this thread in the next week or so.

A ‘wireframe’ is kind of like a blueprint of a webpage, which contains all of the information that needs to be on the page. I then pass this onto a graphic designer and they will use their skills and creativity to turn it into an actual ‘concept’. The wireframe is just words and lines/boxes. Whereas the concept then takes this information and makes it look pretty and user friendly to navigate.

I’ll share the wireframe on here as soon as its done and then also share the concepts as they are created. Both can be amended based on input here.

As we have discussed above, I think it’s very important to have some kind of tab system which will allow students to navigate between the related tutorials.

Something that just sprang to mind is also Lesson Chaptering

Here is an example using the video player i use:

This could be useful even for the short tutorials so that students don’t have to fiddle with the A/B.

It looks relatively straight forward to implement. Just a strong cup of coffee needed :smiley: :coffee:

I’ve tested the above link on both my laptop and iPad and the chapter markers work great.

Yes i think that’s a great idea. I’ve actually just had a quick play over it with iRealPro.

The other comment you shared (amazing performance btw) is a lovely but complex improv. I’ll reply to that shorty.

I’d recommend trying something simpler. Really focus on the chord tones (roots, 3rds, 5ths and 7ths) - if you feel your improvisation getting lost, or lacking direction, just sit on those tones, or bounce between them, you should then feel ‘at home’ or ‘inside the harmony’. Then venture away by trowing in a few alterations/extensions and come back to these tones. The upcoming series on blues will cover this in detail.

Practice with the iRealPro too!!

The chord tones should always be the ‘bread and butter’ of your improvisation (unless you’re playing free jazz :smile: ) and then you should use extensions/atlerations sparingly to colour your lines.

I’ll make a tutorial on this. It actually ties into one that I’m making on transcription… I have almost finished transcribing a whole trumpet solo for “There Will Never Be Another You” and I think it will really open everyones eyes to the benefits of transcription.

It’s taken me over a week, on and off, but you need to dedicate this amount time to transcription.

Hi guys,

Just wanted to thank you all again for your input above :sunglasses:

Here’s a couple of the design concepts… the mock up images need to be swapped, but you should see that now the main lessons library page will be divided by: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced

Also every lesson will now be structured into ‘mini courses’ where you can track your progress and see how much of the course you have completed. These courses will cover distinct areas, the one below illustrates Altered Harmony / Upper Structures. This will make the site much easier to navigate and find the lessons/resources that you want.

This is still early stage designs but I’m liking how it’s looking. I will share more as they are created.

New Main Lessons Library:

**Individual Course Page:**

I really appreciate everyones input and feedback in shaping PianoGroove and how the website should be laid out and organised.

I’m super open to any suggestions or ideas so let me know if something comes to mind.