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Employee

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2.3K Messages

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39.8K Points

Tue, May 18, 2021 6:23 PM

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INTRODUCING: Updated IMDb.com Title page experience

INTRODUCING: Updated IMDb.com Title page experience

We are excited to announce the launch of IMDb’s newly refreshed movie and TV show pages! The renewed page is meant to make your IMDb experience easy and enjoyable, and its design represents the diverse interests of global entertainment fans. The refresh reflects IMDb customer feedback and research designed to enhance entertainment content discovery and navigation.

Please note, we are gradually launching the new design to a selection of IMDb customers. If you do not yet see the design, we expect to make it broadly available in the weeks ahead. Thank you for using IMDb!

For more information, check out this Help article.

1 Message

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64 Points

Il y a 1 a

The new format sucks.  I detest it.  Please allow those who want to the opportunity to go back to the old format.

22 Messages

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298 Points

Il y a 1 a

these pages are horrible - looks like something out of a 1997 tripod site. Before it was easier to read, now everything's all over the place, things are all different sizes and the thumbnail pictures of actors don't look as good as the designers probably thought they did. Most of the time I'm just looking someone up or reading the trivia, don't need a trailer, a clip of an interview, weirdly giant font randomly and a giant ad at the top to boot.

22 Messages

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298 Points

@cougs Oh and I had to sign up for an account just to give feedback - there is no place to actually give feedback without being a member of one thing or another.

schitlipz

22 Messages

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508 Points

Il y a 1 a

Ahhh!  Somebody decided to crapify the layout.  I can't stand when established pages do that.  Now it's got all the rinky-dink bells and whistles of every other annoyingly "modernized" web page, with endless scripts punching my browser in the gut, and twirly waiting-to-load things everywhere... waiting to restructure the page upon completion of load.

It's really crap.  Like really, really, really crap.  The loading speed of the page makes me feel like it's 1995.  Why?  WHY!?  Please, somebody tell me how I can return to the old layout.  I don't want to see this anymore: Welcome to the new version of this page.

It's funny; everybody complaining in their reviews about crappy reboots, and here goes IMDB dutifully not understanding that vibe... The vibe of don't-fix-it-if-it-ain't-broke.  Now they gone and broke it.

Would be better if it was all run on a VIC 20.

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled New Layout, May 2021. Grrr!

1 Message

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60 Points

Il y a 1 a

An option to revert to the old design would be much appreciated. In my experience the new layout is simply harder to use and read.

1 Message

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80 Points

Il y a 1 a

Thanks but no thanks.  The new layout is crap.

schitlipz

22 Messages

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508 Points

Il y a 1 a

It sucks!  It absolutely sucks!

1 Message

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60 Points

Il y a 1 a

The new layout is awful. Awful awful awful. I get that it may be appealing to some, but please make an option to go back to the old look. I know what I want when I come to IMDB, and now I want to look somewhere else.

1 Message

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60 Points

Il y a 1 a

Total trash. Change it back you incompetent morons. 

14 Messages

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380 Points

Il y a 1 a

Love that we can finally click instead of hover to add a title to a list.

But can it be higher on the page so we don't have to scroll down?

not the biggest issue, but just slows down productivity that much more.

love most of what I'm seeing so far though!

2 Messages

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70 Points

Il y a 1 a

Put it back the way it was. I LOATHE the new format. Every time IMDB makes changes, there is no improvement, or anything better, just changes for the sake of change. The new format, in a word, sucks

4 Messages

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214 Points

Il y a 1 a

Well, I've given it a week and this layout is horrible for desktop users. For the sake of offering constructive feedback though and not just complaining "new thing bad" here are two suggestions. 

>Dark mode no longer works. The top box with the poster and trailers are black, but nothing else is. Please roll out a proper dark theme over the next month or so. It hurts to swap from my own profile page to the movies. 

>Things are way too big! One of the best aspects of IMDB is the fact that all of the information was neat and easy to find. Why in the world does the cast need to be so large and spaced apart? Why are the related moves so much more obtrusive, yet don't even include the plot summaries so I would know if I want to check them out? While technically I'm not scrolling too much farther the presentation of information does lead to the "glazing over" that others have described. Your eye is not really drawn to the information since it really isn't next to each other. The spacing is a huge issue! I feel like if you just added a "compact mode" of some sort the new layout would be much nicer. The actual order of information and even amount of info given is fine, it's just the size and spacing. 

2 Messages

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120 Points

Il y a 1 a

The new design is truly terrible. It's too busy, hard to navigate, everything is too big but still somehow hard to find. When you search user-unfriendly in the dictionary, you will find a screenshot of the new imdb design. 

How can I get the old view back?

1 Message

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60 Points

Il y a 1 a

Hate the new design, counter productive, harder to view, harder to navigate, in short, it stinks.

If you must continue with this then please give those that want it a choice of page design to suit the individual.

11 Messages

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194 Points

Il y a 1 a

@Col_Needham I'd like to take a step back and ask a few questions about the new redesign.  
 
1. What was the primary objective you were hoping to achieve with this redesign? From the press releases and communication in this thread, I have seen mention of the need to merge the web and mobile platforms because you were having to build each feature twice. I've also seen it mentioned that it is supposed to increase engagement, and the desire to "modernize" the look of the site. So, back when you made the decision to start this major overhaul, what was most important (and what other goals were included)?
 
2. You said that "A redesign at IMDb always starts with the customer," but who is that customer? Without going down the rabbit hole of customer profile groups, let's just simplify the question down to a few user types here are 4 distinct groups: casual browsers; specific searchers (i.e. using IMDb to lookup specific movie/actor/etc.); decision seekers (i.e. visiting IMDb to determine what to watch - possibly viewing trailers); Database & Power Users (Users who create lists, track movies viewed/owned, etc.). I know that's an overly simplistic view of the customer universe, but for the sake of this discussion, which group or groups most influenced the new design?
 
3. I know I tested the new page several times over the past several months, and each time I opted out after testing and provided feedback that the new design was unpleasant. I never received any follow-up or was asked to participate in surveys, so the next question is how did you gather feedback, both from current users and the "proactive outreach with research panels of customers and non-customers alike"? While I realize that the comment section of a community forum is a small sample size, it does appear that a large number of power users of the site weren't asked for any feedback.

4. What is the purpose of IMDb? The about IMDb page describes the site as "...the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities." I recognize that it has grown exponentially from the beginning, so I'm curious how you perceive the role of IMDb now.  

5. Are you open to the possibility of making changes that will help those of us that are seeking something different - and I'll caveat this right now with the acknowledgment that you can't please everyone, but I think it's a fair question to ask whether you and your team are open to changes. Obviously, if you aren't, then I know I would appreciate knowing that, so I don't spend time on something that won't be considered.

Let me share my background, to explain my lines of questioning. For most of the past decade, I created all the customer help interfaces for one of the largest television providers in the US (on-screen, web, IVR, and help apps, all from scratch), and my systems earned JD Power awards 8 years in a row (after which we bought another television provider and promptly shut our own distribution down). I'm not just someone ranting on the Internet - I have extensive experience in this area AND I genuinely want IMDb to succeed. I would really appreciate it if you would respond, as I think it would help us understand the thinking behind the change. Plus, there's a good chance some of us that are more technically inclined might be able to provide solutions to help solve some of the biggest concerns about the new page. 
 
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read/respond, and I'm happy to engage offline if it's more convenient.
Austin (Texster)

11 Messages

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194 Points

@Taylor Can you weigh in on these questions? @Col_Needham hasn't responded to either of my replies, and I think it would help this discussion to hear the IMDb employee perspective about why these changes were made, and help us understand why we're being told that our concerns are not being considered.

11 Messages

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194 Points

It looks like no one from IMDb is going to answer or even acknowledge my questions - and I guess that is kind of an answer in itself. It's clear you're reading the thread because you're responding to some posts, and I'm not trolling or looking to argue, but it would be nice to at least have some acknowledgement that you've read the concerns, even if you're not going to respond.

I'll also say that it is curious that you have a now 11 page thread with about a 95% sentiment that the new redesign is absolutely a huge step back for the site, but the only responses from IMDb employees have been quick answers to specific questions and a couple of blanket statements from @Col_Needham that (paraphrasing here, not putting words in your mouth) it's happening and the old view will be gone completely very soon. There has been zero acknowledgement of any of the many specific issues we have presented about the new design. 

If you've recognized that there are some major issues with the redesign but you need time to sort it out, say that. That would at least let us know you've understood the concerns we have raised and are considering how to proceed. Of course, If you've decided to plow forward, no matter how a majority of your users feel about it, do us a favor and say that, so we can move on and either suck it up and be frustrated with the user experience, or go over to TMDB or somewhere else that will fill the role IMDb used to. 

Geodacius

36 Messages

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648 Points

An excellent statement.  I sure hope that Col Needham responds to it.

11 Messages

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194 Points

One last point, which I know you know, but it bears repeating: Without the contributor base that makes the actual database complete and correct, the page views & trusted status of the site (and this revenue from ads and the like) will drop, no matter how flashy the site appears. You can proceed however you want...at the end of the day it's your site, just recognize that just because you're the king of the hill now, ignoring the users that contribute to your success is a sure-fire recipe for failure. Look at Vine (acquired by are large parent company, shut down after making changes), Digg (introduced a huge update that removed many of the elements that had previously made it such a success, trying to become more like social media, but ended up losing 80% of its users), or MySpace (also acquired by a large conglomerate, was soundly beaten by a competing company [Facebook] that provided a better interface) for a glimpse of the possible future along this path.    

Employee

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4.7K Messages

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148.4K Points

@Texster We are reading your comments, thanks.  You asked a set of detailed questions which require time and thought for a response. I am helping out the launch team by replying to quick questions here when I can (my day job is not customer support) so they can continue to focus on the launch itself.  I will get to your questions when I can, which at this rate may not be until the weekend, sorry.  However, to answer this point now:

One last point, which I know you know, but it bears repeating: Without the contributor base that makes the actual database complete and correct, the page views & trusted status of the site (and this revenue from ads and the like) will drop, no matter how flashy the site appears.

Our contributors are important and we already provide an alternate interface for them, which is why I directed Alex to that option in my reply above.  The contributor view was designed in consultation with contributors.  The reason it was created was exactly to address your point today, but in a previous redesign -- some contributors were unhappy with the 2010 redesign, and so we accomodated them by continuing to provide access to the previous design.  We updated this contributor view in 2017, again in consultation with them, when the technology which previously powered it reached end-of-life in December 2017. 

The technology which powers most of the site is also now reaching end-of-life (11 years is a long time on the web) so it is not practical to provide an opt-out to keep the 2010 design, especially when we already provide another older view already.  Each view brings a maintenance load along with it which in turns slows down future feature development. 

The reactions we are seeing to the 2021 redesign are identical, sometimes almost word-for-word, to the reactions we saw to the 1995, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007 and 2010 major redesigns. Yet without those redesigns IMDb would not be what it is today (as I noted in my earlier reply we prefer to avoid major redesigns, so as you can see from that sequence of years, we have been improving).  Yes, the very design which people on this thread are now saying was perfect was once derided as the worst thing in the history of the web.  Was it the worst thing or was it just that people generally need time to appreciate change? I tried (and failed) to make this point in https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/imdbcom/introducing-updated-imdbcom-title-page-experience/60a40631c1307254c6cc1b0d?commentId=60abb5553258dd21c738c969 so I am being more direct here.  The new front-end design and back-end technology enable IMDb to stay relevant and to grow long into the future (as I hinted earlier: in ways which we cannot disclose now). We know that change is hard for some customers to accept, but not changing will simply lead to stagnation and the end of IMDb. We owe it to 30+ years of contributors to ensure what we have built together is sustainable and continues to attract new users and contributors alike.  Sticking to an 11+ year-old design is not a winning strategy. 

I can cite even more services which are no longer here because they failed to adapt than are in your list of services which at least tried to adapt and failed.  

Hope this helps. 

Col

IMDb Founder & CEO

11 Messages

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194 Points

Thank you Col, I really appreciate the feedback and information, and I apologize for allowing my frustration about not seeing a response spill into my post. You are far more responsive than just about any other CEO and in hindsight, my expectation was unreasonable. I had a little mental laugh when I pictured John Stankey (now CEO of AT&T) replying to messages or jumping in to help the launch team! I know I appreciate the fact that you're willing to answer questions and I appreciate you taking the time to think about the ones I posed. 

You make several valid points, and I recognize that the company path forward won't always match my individual preferences. I appreciate you considering my feedback (and that of others in this thread) and I hope we can help find solutions that will satisfy some of the concerns presented within this thread while still aligning with your path forward. 

I'll let you get back to your day job now, but thanks again for your thoughts and I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts on the questions above.

Cheers,

Austin Britt

Employee

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4.7K Messages

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148.4K Points

@Texster Sorry for the delayed reply. I am going to answer each question separately as there's more chance of being able to cover everything this way.  Some ground rules: for competitive reasons, there are some elements of IMDb strategy which I cannot discuss here and we cannot reveal future plans in detail, sorry.  However, I will do my best within these constraints to answer, starting with:

1. What was the primary objective you were hoping to achieve with this redesign? From the press releases and communication in this thread, I have seen mention of the need to merge the web and mobile platforms because you were having to build each feature twice. I've also seen it mentioned that it is supposed to increase engagement, and the desire to "modernize" the look of the site. So, back when you made the decision to start this major overhaul, what was most important (and what other goals were included)?

The key sentence is in the FAQ at https://help.imdb.com/article/issues/G6HYBHAA9EHPXA6G 

The refreshed page preserves existing features and enhances accessibility and navigation for an immersive experience.

It does go beyond this though. There is a high "tax" on customers engaging with IMDb across different platforms: desktop web, mobile web, iPhone app, iPad app, Android phone / tablet app. Obviously not everyone accesses IMDb on all of these devices, but increasingly people move between at least two of them. It is an inconsistent mess when they do -- having to remember what features are where, how the UX functions, or even if the feature exists on the interface currently in front of them. In addition customer expectations are always increasing (see the section: "People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’" in Jeff's 2017 letter to shareholders) and a redesign offers the opportunity for us to think about how to consolidate changes which have evolved since the last redesign into something more coherent for customers (and with added "wow" :-). Even if a customer only uses one interface, having it consistent within itself is an obvious advantage and simplification. 

On the IMDb side, it is even worse: if we wanted to launch something new it sometimes had to be built six different times; updating an existing feature required coordination across all of these interfaces (there's a good example of this here). Added to this, in the previous technology too many things were entangled between the underlying data and its presentation, creating additional complexities and duplication of effort.   The new pages are built on cutting-edge, scalable technlogies with a clean separation between data and presentation, along with a modern design pattern library which can more easily be incrementally updated.  We are still on this journey and there is still much work to be done, but the end result has considerable appeal and customer benefit. 

The end result is a faster pace of innovation for customer features, regardless of how people access IMDb.  There are some accessibility and international advantages which come into play here as well. If we make IMDb easier to access by more people in more countries then (a) that means data which has been contributed can be accessed and enjoyed by more people, which is a win for contributors -- I love the fact that plot summaries I wrote 28 years ago can still be read throughout the world, or that everytime I add a plot keyword today it might make a good movie or show more discoverable to an audience member on another continent or in another 28 years (b) with more people accessing IMDb, they too can contribute some of their knowledge back and then see (a) :-)

It is all part of my (not so) secret plan to try and convert everyone into as big a fan of entertainment as I am, because after all, from my favourite movie quote: "All of life's riddles are answered in the movies." 

To be continued ... 

8.2K Messages

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186K Points

O, this is interesting, and perhaps the debrief many of us were looking for to begin with.

16 Messages

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202 Points

@Col_Needham This redesign sucks. IMDB is useless now. Your designers are incompetent.

Plethora

38 Messages

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656 Points

@Col_Needham "The reactions we are seeing to the 2021 redesign are identical, sometimes almost word-for-word, to the reactions we saw to the 1995, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007 and 2010 major redesigns"

AKA our opinions are meaningless. We are wrong. You know what we want so much better than we do, etc.

This condescending comment made me realize I will DEEPLY cut my use of IMDB if not eliminate it all together. These changes ADD TIME NEEDED to use your site. They make it HARDER visually and ergonomically. You think we don't know basics of UX/UI. Your new site violates just about any possible user need, but you simply don't care about your users. Going forward, don't even bother with your control group testing. You obviously know what we want. No need for input. Enjoy your site. I know I won't. (I've already used it less than normal today, and intend to use it less or even not at all.) 

1 Message

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80 Points

Il y a 1 a

Improper Title/Year Syntax

Example: A Quiet Place (2018) on one line is correct syntax. It makes for easy copying for list creation, further searching, what have you. It's just "right" that way; concise, terse, simple. Movie buffs know this. I find it odd I would even have to bring it up. (I forgive you for always having the extra space at the end, but at least it was near enough to proper form that I could live with it).

 

Breaking the title and year apart is not only incorrect syntax, it also makes more work and takes more time to convert the data into proper syntax. It's also bad Accessibility design when this is taken into account.

Hard to believe the trusted movie authority could get something so basic so utterly wrong.

If you could just fix this, I will try to muddle through the rest of the pointless redesign. But if you change your mind and call the whole thing off, I shall not weep.

Edit:  Just for clarification, The year should also be in parentheses. Always.

Title*ONE space*(xxxx)*NO space* All on one line. Thus:

Gone with the Wind (1939)

(edited)