Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : User Experience Rants

Everything Wrong With Hoyts on Mobile

Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : User Experience Rants

On the weekend I had to book movie tickets online. As I was at home I decided to use the Hoyts desktop site as I usually go out of my way to avoid using their mobile site.

Unfortunately the desktop site was timing out (possibly due to the popularity of Hunger Games) so alas I had to use the mobile site to book the tickets.


Oh yeah. Rather than writing a long offensive rant I thought it might be better if I actually list out the issues with the Hoyts mobile site and the areas they drastically need to improve on or change.

The Homepage

When you arrive at the site you’re presented with the desktop site. I wasn’t automatically redirected to the m. site. The desktop homepage shows a list of the most popular movies. The most important call to action, and the link every user looks for WHEN ARRIVING AT A CINEMA SITE is the Select Cinema link. So surely they made this nice and prominent –


Oh wait



Make the ‘Select Cinema’ link the most prominent on the homepage. For any popular movies have the ‘Select Cinema’ option next to each of these for easy access.

But let’s just focus on the mobile site for now. Which I have to manually go to by entering the m. address in my browser. First I am shown an interrupt screen asking if I want to login or go to the app. App? Sigh never mind.

Session Times

With the large Session Time link at the top I go straight to this. Below I am presented with a list of films. When clicking on the film I want to see I am shown a ‘See where this movie is playing’ which takes me to….

Hold on….

Still loading….

Oh it’s a blank screen.

Maybe my phone had an issue (highly unlikely with a Samsung) so I’ll click back to which now I have a list view which shows me the states to choose from. Hmm must have been a site issue.

I then find my cinema of choice and I’m taken to a detail page with the contact details of the chosen cinema. No session times. And where’s my chosen movie?

Scrolling down shows me other movies showing at that same movie. I don’t want to see other movies I want the session times of the movie I just chose!!!

Scrolling down further I find my movie in the list with the possible session times below it.

Now, what if I want to change the date or even specify the type of cinema I want to visit e.g. what if it’s a mums and bubs session or a La Premiere?

I have to scroll back to the top leaving my movie lost in the long list. Once updating the filters I need to then scroll back down, find my movie, and view the session time results that have changed.

Lastly if you want to see additional session times, you can scroll to the right of the screen. There is nothing to indicate this to the user, no arrows, no sliders to show that this is possible.



If a user is entering a page having already chosen a movie and a cinema, then the session times for that movie should be displayed at the top in an easy to read format. The toggles to change the Date and other filters for type of cinema should be right next to the times so that I can change my search details and see the results update accordingly.


They also offer a Cinema search in the menu. Clicking on this takes you to a Google Map of Australia. I’m guessing you’re meant to zoom in to see cinemas near you?

That’s handy. I’ve always wanted to look at cinemas in WA and NSW at the same time.

Even when I zoom in all the way past states to get to Chatswood, there isn’t even a marker to show that there’s a cinema there.

There is literally no reason for this map. It’s a tiny google map with nothing else. That’s it.

Maybe I can’t see the cinemas on the map because I’m in the Select Cinemas tab. The one that opened on default when I came to the page. Whatever that means. I’ll change to ‘Other Cinemas’ and now I can see the cinemas marked out when on the NSW view. Maybe I zoomed in too far to see a ‘Select’ Cinema so I’ll try again.

Well ok…there is no ‘Select’ cinema from Newcastle to Bankstown. So why would they choose ‘Select’ cinema as the default tab for users to search on?

Just then I noticed a ‘My Favourite Cinemas’ sticky link at the bottom of the screen. I click this to see a list of cinemas in NSW and I go to mark Chatswood Westfield.


Now what?

I’m trying to get out of this view and I can’t.

I tried clicking on the link again…nothing.

Tried scrolling up…nothing.

It’s not until I get to the top of the screen that I see a strip at the top of the screen with a cross symbol. I guess clicking it gets me out of this view?


Now I’m back to the detail page of that cinema. But now I wonder what happens if I had of clicked multiple cinemas to be my favourite. I go back to the map view and click on the ‘My Favourite Cinemas’ link again aaaaaaaand nothing. The link doesn’t work.


Oh I see

It’s because I was in the ‘Chatswood Westfield’ tab that used to be the ‘Select Cinemas’ tab and it turns out I need to go to the ‘Other Cinemas’ tab to get the ‘My Favourite Cinemas’ tab to work. Ah ok gotcha. It all makes sense now. I can’t believe I didn’t understand that at first.


Where do I start.

  1. Firstly it would be good if the ‘Other Cinemas’ tab could be open by default considering that this is where the majority of cinemas in Australia sit. Select Cinemas should be a secondary option, whatever that means.
  2. Maybe show users a drop down first so that they can select their state rather than presenting them with a map of Australia. No customer is ever going to appreciate having the ability to zoom in on WA or NSW at the same time.
  3. Make the ‘My Favourite Cinemas’ link accessible from any tab. Use a ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’ button and have this visible at all times rather than relying on users knowing to scroll back to the top.
  4. And on that topic who uses a cross symbol to save? If I see a cross symbol I associate that with exiting a certain view not saving it.

My overall conclusion?

Fuck it, I’ll download a movie.