Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Queue is Dead - An User driven Analysis

It is really a great initiative done by Satyam Cinemas to come up with a cool website https://www.thecinema.in/ for online booking of cine tickets. I am sure many of us in Chennai (India) would have used the website atleast once. For newbies "It's better late than never". Do give it a try!!

The entire website has been built on Flash with AJAX technology behind it. The response time is really quick with literally zero page refresh.The Information is neatly structured and booking tickets is a simple 6 step process.

Step 1 - Select a movie & date along with the number of tickets required. (i.e. check availability)
Step 2 - Log in using account information
Step 3 - Select your seats or let the computer select it
Step 4 - Select the food items required (optional)
Ste p 5 - Give your credit card information
Step 6 - Take a print out of E-ticket or note down the reference number

However, there are some inherent drawbacks with the website. They are;
  1. Lack of User control & freedom - We cannot select more than 10 tickets at a time. In case of bulk booking I am sure many of the users would be wondering why this restriction?To book more we need to go through the same 6 step process over again which is highly irritable. Solution - They could rather have a text box where the user can input the number of tickets required.
  2. Lack of proper System Status - On selecting the movie & date along with the number of tickets required the system prompts the user to either "Book tickets" or "Go back".The whole selection gets highlighted with a translucent layer on top of it. However, I am sure many of us would not be able to recognise the selection done.Solution - Probably they can highlight the selection shown with some bold colors to make it upfront for the user.
  3. Lack of Error Prevention - Once the user enters Step 5 the user is asked to input Fuel card holder name, fuel card number & HPIN number. However, I am sure many of us would have entered our credit card numbers. Also once, I entered my Debit card number and I realised lately that only credit cards were allowed :(. Solution - Display the card type drop down & then only on selection of the card type display the other fields. Also, indicate that only credit cards are allowed.

By the time I complete this article , referring to the website in another tab I have been logged out almost 3 times :-). There is no indication on time remaining for session to expire.Probably a counter could have helped me better. Again the system status was not shown to me :-(

Inspite of all these drawbacks, https://www.thecinema.in/ has branded itself as the pioneer in enhancing user experience and would certainly be ranked better if they consider the solutions given. I wish them ALL THE BEST!!{including the users :-)}


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