Artiden: Using Psychology in Music

Artiden is a website designed to for musicians so they can connect and improve their music practice using psychology techniques. Since I founded the website in 2010, it has featured renowned guests and performers such as music examiners and Juilliard faculty members.

Artiden Brand Identity

Traditionally, classical musicians, especially pianists, tend to be stiff and mostly isolated in their practice, and this platform creates a global community.

This solo project was born from my infatuation with music, but it has quickly become my design lab for experimenting with techniques, for example, with A/B split testing.

The web standards have evolved the blog throughout these four years.

The areas I’ve focused on are: Web & Graphic Design, Email Marketing, and Brand Experience Design.

The Psychology of Design

I’m interested in how people tick and how to influence their behaviour.

I’ve conducted countless experiments, and I’ve boiled it down to a few points.

1. Capture Attention

We have an average of 10 seconds to catch a new visitor’s attention before they never return again.

In the context of a single blog post, I almost always start with a visual about the article. People believe they read faster when line-lengths are shorter (in fact, the opposite is true) so I often cut the line length in half with an interesting visual. And if a person reads the first few sentences, research shows that they will be more likely to read the entire article.

I’ve conducted my own A/B split testing using heat maps which are consistent with research findings.

Artiden Brand Identity

Artiden by Grace Miles

2. Influence

There are three main ways that I might want a person to behave on Artiden: Subscribe to my email updates (details below), Share my blog post, Leave a Comment.

And there are different ways to manage each of these actions. Results have been measured using heat maps.

Here is an aggressive opt-in form on the home page. This converted well after testing, but it didn’t match my personality, so I removed it. It is, after all, quite a personal blog.

Artiden Brand Identity

Artiden Brand Identity

With that being said, subscribing to the email newsletter is still the most important action a person can do.

At the end of each blog post, I include an opt-in box– because, if a person has read until the end of my blog post, then they must be interested in my content. Why not invite them for more? In case a reader is already subscribed, they may share the blog post with a friend.


Email subscriptions are so important that I’ve written several free ebooks as thank-you gifts to people who subscribe.

I keep these people on a separate email list and I find that they tend to have a lower open and click rate than the regular list. This is likely because some people provide dummy emails to get freebies on the internet.

Artiden Brand Identity


3. The Email Newsletter

I track open and click rates; I experiment with different ways to write emails that get the highest rates. The Artiden email lists get an average of 30% open rate and 9% click rate.

New subscribers likely have images disabled, which means the software can’t track whether they’ve opened or clicked. So I almost always include an image in the email, along with a cheeky caption like “Can’t see my silly mugshot? Click ‘Display Images’ above.

The email newsletter is the main way I measure engagement– I love getting replies from readers. To date, I have not sold anything to my email list of my own, but I am planning to experiment with marketing funnels. The idea is that once a person gets used to my free content– and they love it– they want more. And by not providing a premium product that blows their mind, I am taking away from their experience.

Brand Identity

Smart music advice for creative people. Written by a normal person, like a friend. I don’t share my education nor resume.

For the visual identity, I wanted something clean and simple, that would not take away from the blog’s content itself.

Artiden Brand Identity

Artiden Brand Identity