Friday, June 24, 2005

Usability and the Orchestra Web Site

Last September, Drew McManus reviewed the Web sites of some 70 American orchestras. San Francisco Symphony's ranked number 8 at the time.

If they're that good, I hate to think of what the other Web sites are like. I've run into several issues at the SFS Web site recently:

  • The Search box simply doesn't work. Try, for example, searching for the term Thomas, which, for obvious reasons, should be returned dozens of times. Searching for it returns no results at all. Neither does Tilson. Neither does Gershwin, whose musicals Of Thee I Sing and Let Them Eat Cake make up this week's SFS program.

  • Purchasing tickets on line now requires a login name and password, a change from a year or so back. I set up these credentials at some point, but have forgotten them. I tried to reset the password, but the promised email with information on how to do that never arrived. Email to was not answered.

    That's right: the Symphony has made it harder to purchase tickets over the Web. (I wound up phoning the last time I needed to buy tickets.)

  • Apropos of yesterday's posting about Keeping Score, I tried to find a press release on the Web site about the choice of Fresno. Unfortunately, the last press release is dated May 27, and it's about casting updates for this week's program.

SFS could be doing better than this. Maybe next year!

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