Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Web Site Basics Redux: SFS, I'm Looking at You.

Compose-Your-Own went on sale at San Francisco Symphony today, meaning that as soon as single tickets go on sale, I can go through the frustration of:

  1. Ordering tickets to three programs, which SFS will assign to me.
  2. Waiting overnight.
  3. Now that I'm an official subscriber, ordering single tickets and getting to choose the exact locations.
This could be fixed, though SFS hasn't done it yet. It shouldn't even be that hard.

But that's not what this is about.

The layout for Compose-Your-Own's web page is good; it's a single page listing all programs and dates. However, without clicking through to the individual concerts, all you can tell about the programming is what a copywriter wants you to know. "Dutoit conducts Faure's Requiem," for example. You can't tell that Symphony of Psalms (Stravinsky) and the rarely-heard Litanies of the Black Virgin (Poulenc) are also on the program.

You can't tell, and you're not always told, who the soloists are for a given program. For instance, if you click "Britten: Bychkov conducts War Requiem," you're told there's a "marvelous cast of soloists," but not their identities!

I happen to know that one of them must be Christine Brewer, because I recognize the photographic icon of her, but does everybody?

Folks, this is pure Web Site Stupidity 101. Alex Ross and I have complained about this kind of crap for several years now. Please make it as easy as possible for patrons to see full information about your concerts. Don't make people click through, and don't omit important concert information! I mean, you do want people to buy tickets, right?

1 comment:

Henry Holland said...

Wow, what a horribly laid out website that is!

What I want to see on any orchestra website is the concerts listed in this format:


It's all there: the dates, times, performers, pieces and subscription series number. I don't want just the Highlights, SFS or have to scroll through 8 months of monthly listings.

However, it's only because I know the LAP website so well that I know to go to the Concert Tickets tab and click on 2013/14 Season, for first-timers it could be confusing.

At least it's not as bad as the ENO webpage, which splits their season in half and doesn't announce the dates, casting and production team for the second half until ca. January of 2014. Since opera companies know at the very least a year in advance who's involved, that's pathetic.