tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

LloydsTSB working with Safari

I've just noticed LloydsTSB's on-line banking now works with Safari, which it didn't last time I checked (probably at Christmas.) This is very good as it means there's only one site left that makes me leave IE on my Mac - the Odeon cinema site. Normally I could have used the 'accessible Odeon' site, but the Odeon recently shut it down, claiming people were getting confused between the accessible site and the Odeon's. While I can't comment on whether people really would be confused or not, or whether it makes any difference, if the Odeon would just get on and replace their very nasty website which depends on some Javascript which is so badly written it only works in Internet Explorer then there wouldn't have been any need for the Dracos alternative and he'd have taken it down.

Here's currently what's wrong with the Odeon website, as I see it:

  • When you click on a 'Film Info' then go back, it takes you back to the day selection, rather than remembering where you were.

  • When I try to move the mouse to click on the 'Film Info' or 'Performance Times' I often move over one of the other films and have to go back and select the film I want again. This can be very annoying when the film I'm after has two long-named films above and below it and would work much better if the films were spaced further apart.

  • The page for the cinema takes quite a while to load. This doesn't stop it working, it just makes it feel bad.

  • Design-wise: longer named films overlap the scroll box which moves the film times up and down

  • I can't use the website in my preferred browsers (Safari or Firefox.) because the Javascript on the pages is very badly written

These points ignore the accessibility problems with the page, i.e. if you're using a screen reader it won't work. You can increase the text size, but if you need it larger than about font size 20 then it becomes rather unreadable because the boxes the text is displayed in don't grow, so you can't see all of the words.

Just to add some balance, here's what I think are good things about the Odeon website:

  • You can bookmark the cinema closest to you

  • It's kept up to date and is accurate (as far as I've experienced.)

Personally, I think the site also looks a bit out of date. Considering all the development work that keeps it up to date and allows ticket booking is done and seems to work fine, they shouldn't need to spend too much money to get a design firm in to change the front end to something that looks nicer, and is better to use at the same time. I have to hope they'll do this instead of just shutting down websites which are trying to be helpful.
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