Odeon wise up

Paul Boag

Credit where create it due. It is easy to criticise when there are problems but we should also be full of praise when people get it right.

No doubt, you remember the hail of criticism that Odeon cinemas received when they forced an accessible version of their cinema listings offline. The main Odeon site was so inaccessible that only users of Internet Explorer could access it. In response, an enthusiastic web developer created a more accessible alternative. Unfortunately, Odeon viewed this as a "breach of their intellectual property" and forced the owner to take it down.

I was quick at the time to add my voice to the criticism, so I feel it is only right for me to praise Odeon’s new site, which is an excellent example of good web design. The new site is built using web standards, conforms to basic accessibility guidelines and even works with Javascript and CSS disabled. They really have done an excellent job.

Like all sites, there is room for improvement. They do use flash for the selection of seats but at least they provide an alternative version (admittedly with slightly less functionality) for those without flash installed. They could conform to a higher level of accessibility and maybe even consider a low vision version. However, all of that is nit picking. They are now setting an excellent example that other large corporate would do well to follow. It is just a shame that they handled the initial dispute so badly.

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