The New IMDB Redesign
About the new IMDB redesign: The Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB) has changed their site design and it's for the worse. I write a lot of movie reviews for my sites, so I use IMDB as a reference for things like Director, Movie Connections, Cast List, Date of Release. The old way was to use the nice sidebar on the left and click the link relating to the information I wanted. Simple and easy.
The new way removes the left sidebar completely. Here's their bizarre reasoning, from the FAQ:
During user research, we found that many users were not discovering any of the links on the left-hand side of pages. But they often gravitated toward the bottom of the page, especially the footer area, looking for the additional information. We also wanted to use more of the page for features such as the Cast list and Filmography. Since the last redesign, we received a lot of feedback that the filmography was too cramped in the center column, and it was hard to read. So going to a two-column layout (one wide, one narrow) gives us more flexibility to show extensive content. It's also more consistent with other pages on the site, such as the homepage, the photo gallery, and the video gallery. Additionally, we've received positive feedback that you can now see the entire list of additional navigation options in one screen without having to scroll down the left hand side of the page.
Are they kidding? I have to scroll down the page anyway. That's because everything above the fold is completely wasted real estate.
Here's the old design:
Notice the amount of information above-the-fold: title, date, rating, director, writers, plot, news. Access to the cast list requires a little bit of scrolling, but you don't even need to do that - you could simply click the link that says "full cast and crew" on the left sidebar.
Now take a look at the new design:
Talk about a waste of screen real estate. The poster, which is not that important and was easily accessed by clicking the thumbnail in the old style, has now been blown up in size, sacrificing real estate. There's hardly any data at all to the right of it - what's with the space between writer credits and the Watch Trailer button?
And all other information is removed to make room for "Top Billed Cast" which has large thumbnails of the actors' faces.
At least I can still click the Cast and Crew link, but what about trivia, quotes, alternate versions, etc?
The middle of the page is just as bad - filled with more photo/video thumbnails. Then the cast is displayed below those.
With the left sidebar removed, it takes a large amount of scrolling just to find the information you need. And "Quick Links" should be up near the top - that's what makes them "quick"!
The new redesign seems to suggest that IMDB (now owned by Amazon.com) is intent on branding itself as an online magazine and not a database. For monetization purposes and for most surfers, I suppose it will work. The one thing I like about the new style is that the right sidebar has useful links above the fold (showtimes, buy/rent links). But IMDB is no longer a "reference"; it's a blog made for iPhones.