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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Perplexing Multiplex

Sometimes you encounter an online usability experience so bad it almost feels like some kind of twisted game. Let’s say you’re considering going to see a film at StarCity, Your World of Entertainment in the Midlands. So you go to the site, and your eyes are drawn to the ‘Movies’ button at the top:

StarCity top ‘button bar’

But wait, don’t be fooled, those aren’t clickable. OK, so how about the highlighted bit of text saying “UK’s largest multiplex cinema”? Nope, that’s not a link either. Let’s try ‘Events’, that’ll list everything going on, right?

Check back for latest events coming soon!

Ah. Not a lot happening. We’re left with “What’s in StarCity”, which uses a Flash movie to show Burger King, Clare’s Accessories and Holmes Place. If you scroll down and spot the ‘More’ arrow and click it five times you eventually get to Vue Cinemas at the end.

That link launches the badly-built Vue Cinemas site (all cookie-driven, so you can’t link to anything) in a new window, and you have to select ‘Birmingham’ then click ‘GO’ before finally getting some information, by which time you’re determined to stay in and watch a DVD rather than give them any of your money.


That truly is an awful site.

Just had a thought though. With all the roadworks they're carrying out on the M6 at the moment near Star City, maybe the website is mimicking the difficulty of getting there in the 'real-world'?

Daniel, 5th Aug, 9:55pm

I think there must be some kind of law requiring cinemas near Leamington to have terrible web sites; Apollo and Showcase both look straight out of 1997.

Matt Round, 6th Aug, 8:22am

Nice to see the Showcase site has the lovely separate 'accessible' version. Do these people not care?

Even the infamous Odeon site has been redeveloped to be more accessible. I doubt it's squeaky clean, but it has to be an improvement to what they had before.

Daniel, 6th Aug, 1:14pm

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