Cineworld Cinemas' website has been revamped again recently. It was not all that long ago that it was last done, but it has frequent had performance problems which leads me to believe that this is why it has been redone (more or less from scratch). I use our local Cineworld Cinema a lot. I saw 37 films there last year. This stuff matters a lot to me.
This makes it the third iteration in a row with severe accessibility and usability problems.
- The earliest website I saw was static, but ugly with a large spinning raytraced star. This was their branding style at the time. Although it had weekly film times, you could not book online. You had to phone a telephone number which had a horrific voice recognition system to book. Film times were displayed in one weekly timetable, by cinema.
- This was replaced by a much more contemporary website in their new branding style with AJAX drop-down menus for booking and searches for film times. This was clumsy and unintuitive; the menus looked exactly like tabs, and you were supposed to select one item from each tab/menu - cinema, film, showing, number of tickets - before moving on to book. The link I needed was a less prominent "What's On" at the top of the page to get showing times for the week ahead. However there was no way to bookmark the showing times for my local cinema, because it was a form POST. Most people are unlikely to want to search for their nearest cinema every time they are thinking of going! As I mentioned, this site ground to a halt regularly.
- The new one looks similar but works even worse. There are three somewhat cryptic tab/buttons called Cinemas, Films and Dates, plus a larger button saying "Find out what's on here and book now" which doesn't do anything. Cinemas takes you to a horrid Flash map to select region and cinema, but will then display showing times for today only: much less useful than a week's timetable. But it can now be bookmarked. Films lists all films that are showing at Cineworld Cinemas. But not necessarily cinemas anywhere near me. Dates takes you to, via the Flash region selection map, to a screen which lets you pick one date, one time, and one cinema to see which films are on. It then ignores the cinema you chose and displays film times for all cinemas in the "region" (19 cinemas covering the whole of the South of England). The page title, for the whole site, is "Cinematheque1". I can't operate this site on my smartphone, perhaps because it doesn't support the latest versions of Flash.
I just find it bizarre that their website should get so steadily worse, especially when Odeon was so strongly criticised for lack of accessibility.