Hitlantis is for the music lover that's looking to discover new music from bands that haven't yet become mainstream. Hitlantis offers a unique user interface to facilitate indie music discovery. The app and web versions sport a solar-system-like look with the Hitlantis-core at the center. Artists orbit the core in their own bubbles and increase in size as content is shared, liked or bought.
I can safely say that I've never come across a music site like Hitlantis. In fact I've never come across a website like this at all! it's a nice idea that the musicians featured on the site get to visually grow via their 'map ball icons' based on user feedback.
From the point of view of music fans, Hitlantis is certainly a great way to discover new bands and musicians who may be looking for exposure, especially if they haven't been signed to a label.
When one first opens the site, their ears are greeted by a song which has been selected at random from one of the musicians on offer. These will continue to scroll through various musicians contained within the sites database; obviously a great source of exposure for the artist in question.
Looking at the core navigation, I totally get the idea that the spheres will be larger based on how popular they have been but I can't help but feel this is very unfair to the artists that haven't received as much play. I have no idea as to how easy this would be to implement from a technical point of view but if there was an alternative 'list' view that one could select, it would make the whole quirky look and feel here worth it. A simple list view would allow the user to see exactly which artists are on offer and indeed how popular they are. At the same time however, it would give every musician the same chance of being discovered.
Hitlantis is certainly a unique concept when it comes to functionality. I've never come across a user interface like it. And this leaves me very divided when trying to give a score for this section. On one hand you've got an amazingly innovative and original user interface that deserves a huge pat on the back but then on the other hand, because the navigation is so alien to anything else out there, it's easy to feel lost and uncomfortable in its environment. So maybe the guys from Hitlantis have succeeded in shooting themselves in the feet, ultimately becoming victims of their own talent.
Despite my reservations relating to the functionality of the site, visually it is very impressive and more than worthy of a giant pat on the back. There is no disputing that this site has been designed by a very skilled and professional team with a keen eye for detail.
The colour palette used for the spheres works perfectly against the muted dark grey background and there isn't one single tint or shade of a hue that feels awkward or out of place. Regardless of usability or interest in content, It's the great design of Hitlantis that will certainly grab the attention of a new user and I'll be surprised at anyone who would instantly dismiss a site that looks so good.
I will always give my admiration to someone who has thought outside the box when it comes to user interface and design of a website, so big respect to the creators of Hitlantis for that. However, as I previously mentioned, I find the usability here frustrating. So ultimately i have to be honest and admit that despite being a huge advocate of music based sites, this isn't one I would find myself coming back to in the future. Although I wouldn't like to be the one to put a dampener on such an inventive piece of work, so if you can get beyond the interface, it could be the perfect site for you. And I would certainly recommend you try it out just to get an insight into how a site can function and operate in a totally different manner.