Can a new platform disrupt the way we book cinema tickets online?

I’m going to set out my prejudiced little stall immediately: I hate booking cinema tickets online.

In terms of annoying outdated UX, booking tickets for all the major cinema chains is up there with pagination, full-page takeover ads and reading our old non-responsive site on a mobile.

I looked at the major players Odeon, Vue and Cineworld earlier in the year and each provided a frustrating experience, full of unnecessary distractions and barriers to purchase.

Fight Club! Odeon, Vue and Cineworld: a UX comparison

It doesn’t feel like that long ago when this phone conversation was a common occurrence…

Automated Booking Line: Please say the location of your chosen cinema clearly.

Me: Manchester.

ABL: Did you say Chester?

Me: No.

ABL: Here are the film times for Chester.


ABL: You have selected The Nutty Professor 2 The Klumps.

Thank goodness those days are over… or are they? 

Modern online cinema booking is certainly far from the flawless experience it should be. In my experience its full of limited navigation, poor search and endless booking options.

In this user experience test I’ll be taking three of the biggest UK cinema chains through a vigourous check to see which one offers the best online experience, for desktop and mobile.

How should you respond to awkward customers on social media?

Our social media manager Matt Owen pointed me in the direction of a reasonably heated Twitter spat between Cineworld, the cinema chain, and a movie fan who felt that its prices were too high.

The exchange, which runs and runs, is fascinating. It’s one of the first times I have really seen a brand repeatedly back itself up on Twitter in the face of escalating criticism, albeit from one person.