Cognitive account of Pandora Internet Radio

I will be doing a cognitive account on which is a great site for anyone who loves discovering new  music. is an Internet radio site that learns what type of music the user enjoys and adapts to his or her likes.

Attention: When visiting Pandora for the first time your attention is drawn to the box asking you for a style, artist, or song that you like it will then create a radio station that caters to your likes as you continue to listen. Once past this simple first screen you  can start using the site’s many features. Here you immediately notice the simple tool bar at the top as well as the player in the middle of the page. This is good as these items are the bulk of the website. does a great job of eliminating clutter creating a clean appearance that makes finding things easy for new users.

Perception: Being a radio site relies heavily on visual and auditory senses. The user gains the majority of what the site has to offer through audio seeing as how the site is essentially a smart radio. The player portion of the site uses the standard symbols for play, pause, etc as well as thumbs up and down symbols to let the user vote a song good or bad. outside of the player the tabs use text to convey their function or in some cases use both text and symbols to add visual appeal.

Memory: may seem a bit strange to a first time user, but once the site is explored it is easy to remember how to use it. Everything is for the most part self explanatory the radio buttons are standard like all other players and the symbols used are not confusing and aid the user in remembering what they do.  Due to its basic nature is very easy to remember how to use.

Learning: Along the same lines as memory Pandora’s simple layout and concept aid in it’s learnability. The site also has pop-up boxes that guide a new user in using its features. Pandora in a way takes a new user by the hand and guides him or her through the site. This helps the user gradually learn all the features of the site without being overwhelmed and have the most enjoyable experience as possible.

Problem Solving/ Decision Making: is very good at helping users who want to understand more. The pop-up boxes that guide users are one way the site does this. It also has tabs that help users learn more about the site itself as well as the music that it plays.


2 Responses to “Cognitive account of Pandora Internet Radio”

  1. sosay Says:

    I agree with your description of Pandora usability and how it seems to guide the user and help them to feel like they know what they are doing. It is a really well made program and thought it’s use can be a little complex the cognition involved in making sure the user can interact with the site as efficiently as possible is really superb.
    By the way Dispatch Rocks!

  2. lynndombrowski Says:

    Nice post.
    I think pandora does a great job of showing a new user how their site works.

    Also, I love pandora, since it’s a great way to find new music.

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