Whenever a website is redesigned I am apprehensive, hoping for lots of good things, but dreading that something useful might be removed.
It may seem odd that useful things would be removed, but I am a contrary sort and I fully accept that I may be one of only a handful of people using a niche service, so it might be too expensive to maintain.
But if you are an entertainment venue, the most important and probably most used part of your website is your events listings.
That has to be clear, concise and easy to use.
Oh dear you are already thinking, what has happened to annoy Ian this time?
Each month I scan the listings pages for a large number of websites to see if they have anything interesting to add to my own listings guide, and therefore, a simple page that conveys the information is vital – not just for me, but I would expect, for anyone who wants to know what a venue is up to.
So who on earth is responsible for the abomination of a design at the Southbank Centre?
Sometime over the past month they have removed the simple and quite excellent layout and replaced it with what can only be described as an “advent calendar”.
Compare and contrast how two events are displayed in the listings page (the dates are old due to using Wayback Archive for the old version).
Seriously, they have stripped away all the useful information and left just an image and a title
Before, I could scan down the calendar for the month ahead and see fairly quickly what an event was about. Now, I have no idea. Is “person X” a musician, a writer, a social event? No idea! The only way to know is to click on each event in turn.
You think I am going to do that? Really?
OK, the previous version could have done with removing the tags, and maybe the venue – but the rest of the information was vital.
The Southbank Centre isn’t the only website that thinks hiding information is the preferred way to go as I am seeing more companies adopt this evidently fashionable, but utterly useless webpage layout.
Again, compare and contrast the previous and current design and tell me how the new design is easier to understand what each even is about? It is design by obfuscation – and totally barmy for a listings guide.
I should also point out that they have replaced a simple scroll down the page, with my eyes scanning left to right repeatedly – which for a month of listings is shockingly tiring for the eyes.
…has been replaced with this:
How on earth did their online team sign off that as an “improvement”?
Rant over – for now.