Odeon website accessibility now a reality

by on June 20, 2005

You may or may not have been following the Odeon cinema website usability/accessibility saga over the last year or so.

I installed a Greasemonkey script written to improve the site, and it’s pretty interesting. It completely changes the interaction design of the site, and throws in a new feature – a link to the IMDB page for each film – which the original site doesn’t have! This is all completely without the say-so of the site designers. Of course, you can probably count the number of people using this script on the fingers of one hand, but the principle is interesting nonetheless.


These days, the odeon site has it’s own accessible version
ahem – text version – which now even supports booking (wahoo) which it didn’t before. None of which is an appropriate solution, and it’s all done in patronising BIG TEXT (a major no-no in accessibility circles). Of course this still doesn’t address the problems the site always had – firstly, being painfully slow and almost impossible to use, and secondly having a booking process tends to fall over at the last hurdle, making it well nigh on impossible to book a ticket.

I suspect Odeon wouldn’t want to link to IMDB information, which may well contain negative reviews!

Actually my major motivation for writing that script was that I thought it would be funny :)

Yes, I’ve been appalled by Odeon’s web presence since it first kicked off (even in IE I hated that slide-in menu system) and I was on the sidelines of last year’s Odeon debacle when I wrote this: http://www.strawp.net/odeon

Their “Accessible” version, whilst it probably side-steps a law suit is just horrific IMO.

I’ve had a fairly steady trickle of users installing that script in the last few weeks, but it’s by no means been “discovered” in a Slashdot reader’s sense of the word.

Well, can’t say I noticed it
Text version. Hmm. I just went for the big Batman image. It must say something about how they’ve built the site that it was easier for them to create a whole new version of it rather than make the existing one compatible.

What’s also amazing is that there’s so much stuff on the net about how bad the site is – far more than any other. You’d think they’d take some notice. Stubborn buggers.

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