September 07, 2003

Right of reply?

To paraphrase the old saw, "Everyone complains about the web, but no one does anything about it." Except Matthew Somerville. As an Independent story details, Somerville has undertaken dramatic redesigns--and usability improvements--of problematic sites he's found on the web:
Ever got really frustrated with a website? So frustrated that you decided to redesign it by creating your own interface to the information that it offers? Matthew Somerville has.... He's put together simpler, more accessible versions of the Odeon cinemas site, National Rail's online enquiries and live departure boards, BT's directory enquiries, and even the Hutton Inquiry. He's got rid of such time-consuming hi-tech puffery as big graphics, JavaScript, frames, cookies, pop-up windows and drop-down menus. And in each case, his version is faster and easier to use.
Some of the sites have not taken the criticism well:
"Not only is his website an infringement of Odeon's copyright, it is also confusing to Odeon customers." Remarkable, given the huge disclaimers on his site. When pressed, Richard Storton, Odeon's brand manager, retreated somewhat; Odeon will not ask Somerville to take the site down after all. Storton insists that Odeon has sold a million tickets through his site, which he says now accounts for 5 per cent of its cinema admissions.

(via Blackbeltjones) Posted by johndan at September 7, 2003 12:55 PM | TrackBack