Kaysta

ABT has a new website!

48 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

It looks nice and up-to-date!  Way better than the previous version.

 

http://www.abt.org/

 

It looks like they are still working out the kinks, as not all of the links are working.  But welcome to the 21st century, ABT!

Edited by Kaysta

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But if you click on any link, it takes you to the old website. It's basically just a new home page, with sub-pages that are all from 1998, or whenever the old site was created. Sigh.

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Wow. That wasn't up this morning. Looks very "NYCB". If you go to a different section on this site (the "1998" section - haha) and then click on "Home" again, it takes you to the old front page. At least they're making progress!

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Posted (edited)

And, the headshots are too large - you can see their pores! (Except for Lendorf's which is much smaller than the rest, and that looks strange.)

 

They should have worked out the kinks before uploading this. It's looks unprofessional.

Edited by ABT Fan

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8 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

It's looks unprofessional.

 

Then it fits perfectly as part of the overall ABT "marketing" "strategy"!

 

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I know nothing about website design and implementation, but clearly they are actively working on changing it over.   Personally, I plan to withhold any criticism until the process is complete.

 

 

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It's possible to completely redesign a website and THEN launch it. The changeover can be virtually instantaneous; it doesn't need to happen page by page. I don't know what ABT is thinking. 

 

And I wonder if they even have plans to redesign the other pages. The menu at right actually has an option that says "Visit the Full Site," which transports you back to 1998. So it's intentional, not accidental, that you can access the full old version of their website, home page and all.

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Posted (edited)

Hopefully more is coming.  I'm just going to hold out a few days before I tear it apart.  But I agree, if it stays as is (with all of the links leading back to the old page), then it wasn't a very professional job and the criticism will be warranted..  

 

But I'm naively hopeful more is coming.

 

As for the pictures of the dancers, I actually like the close-ups, though I agree Lendorf's picture needs to match the rest.

Edited by Kaysta

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56 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

It's possible to completely redesign a website and THEN launch it. The changeover can be virtually instantaneous; it doesn't need to happen page by page. I don't know what ABT is thinking. 

 

Indeed! I am definitely not a Web design expert, but had some involvement with a complete change-over for an association two years ago to all-new software and design. We spent months working on a beta site that was password protected so only authorized people could access it to change/comment. One afternoon before a holiday, we made the switch-over. Presto! All at once. I shudder to think who is handling their public piece-by-piece update. Perhaps a volunteer intern??

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Also, I just noticed that on their new front page where they list upcoming performances, the performance start times are all screwy. Today's is (was) at 3:30pm and same for tomorrow. Saturday's matinee is at 10am. (It's like they uploaded a test page.) I don't think a regular ballet/theatre goer would believe that's right, but hope no one thinks the time was actually changed or at least calls the box office to confirm. Or else they'll spend a long time at Bar Boulud waiting for the curtain to rise! :huh:

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3 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

(It's like they uploaded a test page.)

 

Maybe the Turkish hackers are to blame!

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3 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Maybe the Turkish hackers are to blame!

 

HAHA! Good one.

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2 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

Also, I just noticed that on their new front page where they list upcoming performances, the performance start times are all screwy. Today's is (was) at 3:30pm and same for tomorrow. Saturday's matinee is at 10am. (It's like they uploaded a test page.) I don't think a regular ballet/theatre goer would believe that's right, but hope no one thinks the time was actually changed or at least calls the box office to confirm. Or else they'll spend a long time at Bar Boulud waiting for the curtain to rise! :huh:

If that was the case, it isn't now...

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Posted (edited)

So, it's been six weeks and no progress has been made on updating the rest of the website, if that was the intention. All season I've found the new homepage (i.e., the modern-day portal back to 1998) to be a huge hindrance in getting to the information I actually want. It's just one more thing to click on before getting to the full website. Why create an additional barrier for visitors to your website? 

 

Also, I find the new home page (more of a splash page in its function, really), to look much better on mobile than it does on a desktop. However, it's quite glitchy on mobile, at least in my experiences using a newish iPhone. Often times, I'll click on something in the right-hand menu and absolutely nothing happens. The only link that consistently works for me is the "view full website" link.

 

This half-baked website "redesign" is an embarrassment. 

 

On the flip-side of the coin, ABT is now consistently producing modern-looking promotional and informational videos. Yay! Still not as slick as NYCB, but a huge leap forward.

 

Edited to add: Oh, and the picture of Murphy in Don Q on the homepage has been captioned as "Hee Seo and David Hallberg in Giselle" for quite some time now, I believe for the past six weeks. I think a pic of Hallberg and Seo was on the homepage at some point. I know I'm being persnickety, but the photo captions are very prominent. How could someone not have caught that?

Edited by fondoffouettes

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fondofouettes, I've noticed/experienced everything you say and couldn't agree more. It's tacky and looks very unprofessional to say the least.

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I agree, they didn't do a good job implementing it.  I still think the front page looks better than it did, but I don't understand what they were thinking with just doing the front page and having it revert to the old website when you click on any links.

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This is the "at least get the homepage to work on mobile devices and we'll deal with the rest of it later" plan.  ;)

 

Most small organizations pay a 3rd party developer to create their website, and then have someone on the internal staff do content updates within the page templates that have been developed for them. But these projects (with 3rd party developers) can be quite expensive to set up. If there are people inside the organization who can do the website development themselves, that's great, but they are often busy on a daily basis with updating content and going to meetings to talk about new content being developed. Once the new website templates have been developed and approved, the staff has to import all the existing content into the new layout/system (and learn about how the new templates work). And, they often get stuck doing updates to both the existing old website and the new website under development at the same time until the new website is officially launched - a big pain. This kind of partial, band-aid fix looks to me like they may be trying to do it themselves but don't really have the people resources to set up the new website properly on another server to launch the new website as a complete package. Yada yada yada.

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My complaint is with the calendar function in the app. That is, there is no calendar function. No way to choose a date and see what's on. How could they omit something so basic? And for mixed rep programs each piece is listed separately. There is no way, unless I'm overlooking something and then I'll feel very stupid, to view the entire program for any particular evening. 

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Today is the day when ABT fall season tickets go on sale, and their website is a mess.

 

On the home page, under "Performances," each individual ballet is listed as a separate performance. So, for instance, there are apparently three performances occurring on Oct 18 at 6:30 pm, four performances occurring on Oct 19 at 7:30 pm, etc. The formatting is idiotic.

 

They are apparently transitioning their calendar page from the old style to some new style, which has only been partially formatted, so the layout there is all wonky.

 

You'd think they'd want to have something fully functional in some form (even if it's just the old format) on a day like this, but apparently they're not too concerned with the public face they're putting forward. This really makes the organization look unprofessional and third-rate.

 

It also doesn't actually say anywhere on the home page that tickets are indeed going on sale today. That info is only on their Facebook page.

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You can buy tickets for ABT's fall season right now on the Koch Theater's website: https://davidhkochtheater.com/Events.aspx

 

And Lordy! ABT's website is a bonafide dumpster fire ... If there's anything that needs to work, it's the link to the box office. 

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I really can't believe it's 2017 and ABT lacks a functional self-supported website. Whenever I buy tickets now I go to the theater website (Met or David K...). 

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The galling thing is that they don't really even need to build a ticket sales back end: most major venues will provide presenting organizations with access to the house box office / ticketing system for a fee and ABT has taken advantage  of that. (In this day and age it would be a waste of time and resources to try to roll their own.) All they have to do is embed a link in a "Purchase Tickets Now" button on the relevant pages. 

 

I won't even start ranting about making pages "live" before they're fully baked. Just leave the old version up there until the new one is ready to roll.

 

It's not like websites are the new hotness that only seven developers know how to build ...

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I won't even start ranting about making pages "live" before they're fully baked. Just leave the old version up there until the new one is ready to roll.

 

And it'd be one thing if the transition were to take a week or so but this has been two months now, spanning the company's most important season of the year. It's nuts!

Edited by nanushka

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6 hours ago, canbelto said:

I really can't believe it's 2017 and ABT lacks a functional self-supported website. Whenever I buy tickets now I go to the theater website (Met or David K...). 

 

After years of theater going I rarely use websites to purchase tickets.  I usually go to the venue, 99% of the cases within the very same day of the performance.  They all usually offer a variety of deals-(rush tickets...student tickets...standing up tickets...discounts etc).. On winter I scored a $15 rush ticket to see Placido Domingo in Nabucco the very day of the performance...right in orchestra. If I have to relay on online tickets, I then go to the venue website-(as with the upcoming Mariinsky Bayaderes). 

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4 hours ago, nanushka said:

Today is the day when ABT fall season tickets go on sale, and their website is a mess.

 

On the home page, under "Performances," each individual ballet is listed as a separate performance. So, for instance, there are apparently three performances occurring on Oct 18 at 6:30 pm, four performances occurring on Oct 19 at 7:30 pm, etc. The formatting is idiotic.

 

They are apparently transitioning their calendar page from the old style to some new style, which has only been partially formatted, so the layout there is all wonky.

 

You'd think they'd want to have something fully functional in some form (even if it's just the old format) on a day like this, but apparently they're not too concerned with the public face they're putting forward. This really makes the organization look unprofessional and third-rate.

 

It also doesn't actually say anywhere on the home page that tickets are indeed going on sale today. That info is only on their Facebook page.

 

During the Met season (and the subsequent issues with their website) I stopped reading the home page and would just click on "See Full Schedule" under Performances in the middle of the screen to get to the old site and navigate from there (whether it was to actually see the schedule or News or Dancers or whatever). I ran out of patience and their circa 1999 site still works fine.

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