The website I chose to critique this week is the special page of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival done by the Hollywood Reporter.
For a user, this page is easy to navigate. The navigation bar is easy to locate and use. But the only confusing part to me is the “Dailies” section. I didn’t know what it was about at the first glance. Actually it is the archives of the daily printed magazines during the festival. So I think another name will make more sense to users.
Overall, the homepage is not distracting, but it’s not that attractive either. For a film festival, there must be many great photos of those movie stars. They can be a more attractive element there on the homepage. But now, on the homepage, there is no major visual element there. I think it will be better with a photo gallery at a significant position.
The Hollywood Reporters are combing texts, photos and videos to cover the film festival. We can tell this from the navigation bar. But on the page, it’s really hard to distinguish the videos from normal news. Also, I found those social sharing icons under each story really distracting and unnecessary. They are less useful and too many for a homepage.
I think the intended audiences of their coverage are young people who are movie or star fans. Because of that, nearly all the photos on the page are about those stars. It’s right to do so but they didn’t do it well. Those sharing icons are also for young people who often use social media.
The festival is an ongoing event. They used the archives of the daily printed magazines during the festival to handle this point. Also, it used “Latest Cannes News” to demonstrate. I think categorizing the content into different parts might be helpful too.