December 05, 2014

Website Redesign Fail: Real Art Ways

Dear Real Art Ways:

Please put your old website back up. The new one truly and verily sucks. I mean, it looks nice and all, but from a user experience perspective, it's nearly useless.

The ONE THING that I visit your website regularly to do is to find out movie showtimes. I'd go to your calendar page, which used to look like this:


And there, I'd easily see your film showtimes for the week, make some quick decisions about going to the movies, and perhaps even notice another upcoming event.

Flash forward to today - I visited your site to see what's playing - maybe catch a movie tonight. So here's the calendar page. And....I have no idea what is playing tonight.


There are four films listed as playing over Dec 5th, today's date, but no clue as to which films are playing today, nor what time said films are playing. So I dutifully click on Citizenfour (what I'm really interested in). There, on the far right, I see Dec 5th - No Screening. So I click back to the main page. How about Diplomacy then? Again, click, look, again, No Screening. Hit the back button. So now I am four clicks past where I used to be able to see the schedule, and I still have no idea what's playing. 

Turns out 4 clicks later, 8 clicks total, that Pelican Dreams is playing at 5:15 pm and Force Majeure is playing at 7:00 pm. 

Guess what, Real Art Ways? Your website is no longer useful to me. I will, in the future, be relying on Moviefone or Fandango or Yahoo to figure out what to see and when. 

That has two results that negatively impact Real Art Ways: 
  1. I'll be easily able to see what is playing at other area theaters, and might be lured away from your otherwise lovely arts center. 
  2. I will fail to see news about your live events, openings, special events, etc. that I suspect you would hope I would notice if I went to your site. 
I'm not being a bitch capriciously. I'm a member, I'm a fan, I regularly visit for movies, speakers, live events, arts openings, and social events - and I want you to continue to thrive. I will, no doubt, continue to visit often. But bad web design damages, and sometimes kills, businesses and organizations - even ones as good-hearted and progressive as yours.

Oh, and P.S. - Your site is not responsive, and all that hunting and clicking, annoying as it was on my desktop and tablet, is 10x as bad on my iPhone 5S. But you knew that, right? 

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