Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Websights For Sore Eyes...

Come on guys, get it together. It's not like you're Universal Studios or something...Come on guys, get it together. It's not like you're Universal Studios or something...


If you've ever wanted to find out something about the Disney parks from the actual source then chances are you've gone to the official websites...

The one above is what you see when you wind up on the front page of the Disneyland Resort website.

Then you'll find this one if you click on to the Walt Disney World Resort's website.




And across the Pacific Ocean you'll find the Tokyo Disney Resort when you click on this website.



In the opposite direction across the Atlantic Ocean you'll find the Disneyland Paris Resort if you click on this website.



Lastly, you'll come across the Walt Disney Company's newest park, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort if you navigate to this website.



Notice the differences? In both design, style and quality they vary a great amount. All but one are owned by Disney(Tokyo being the OLC).

I find it a bit ironic that the blandest of them all is the original one for the Disneyland Resort. It's a bit too wordy for me. Cluttered with too much information scattered about, they could use a bit of design sense from someone at, say Apple? Or even one of their sister websites? Even though they are all owned by the same Mouse, I don't think they're all done by the same art department. This is clearly one instance where I think a little uniformity could help. See? I do believe in cloning... just not the parks.

Out of all the websites, the most creative and visual pleasing is the Disneyland Paris site. It's got great photos and is much easier to navigate than the rest. Tokyo's site is quite accessible, but lacks enough pleasing photos to do such a great park justice. Might I suggest they hire Chris Calabrese over at TDRFAN for their graphics? The Hong Kong site is nice and much more maneuverable than the American websites, although it too could use a few more photos of the small, but beautiful Chinese park. WDW's site is clearly better than Disneyland's but there is a generic quality to it that could be plussed as well. Get those Imagineers in there and have them help the web designers with some creative navigability. Better yet, tell Steve Jobs to stop by and give a few pointers. His self imposed vacation should be just about over soon, right?

With such a large marketing department you'd think the Mouse would have a little more design sense for their websites...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The US websites are definitely a notch below the foreign ones. I love browsing the interactive maps - Hong Kong's takes the cake, and Tokyo's is also quite good. By comparison the WDW and DLR interactive maps are very primitive. Overall I think I like browsing Tokyo's website the best. There are many ways in which this site is pleasing for the casual browser. For instance if I want to find out about the resort hotels, the different kinds of rooms available, and rates, etc - all this is very clearly described and labeled. Go to the stateside equivalents and they are cluttered and confusing.

- Tasman

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Disneyland Resort website is poor. As for Tokyo, the English site is fairly well done, but the Japanese-only site is glorious! Of course, not much good for those of us who don't read Japanese, however I guess that really shows who their main market is - with only around 5% of their visitors coming from overseas, why make the English site top notch? (But at least it is still better than the US sites!)

Bryan said...

First time responder here.

I have to say, I love your posts and always admire how in depth they are. Having said that, how could you over look the TERRIBLE renditions of the characters on the main site for DLR Paris? It is atrocious and embarrassing to the company. Stitch is almost unrecognizable, and Goofy, Donald, etc. look awful...

Anonymous said...

You go to World for a week, Disneyland is only a day or two when you are visiting LA, and Paris and Hong Kong speak to non american visitors.

I think it would be weird if they looked the same.

Colorado mommy said...

I dont think each website should be the same in looks but being able to navigate the same way would be nice. They should hire my hubby, he is a kickbutt programmer!!

Anonymous said...

Do what I do when I have a complaint about a Disney enterprise: tell them. I've written several e-mails to the address on their website regarding the new and 'improved' websites and offered specific suggestions about how to improve them.

Honor Hunter said...

I wasn't saying they should be exactly the same, but should have much more interactivity, which Disneyland's clearly doesn't have. They all should also post more pictures as well for those trying to decide to spend a large amount of money on a family vacation. Visuals matter.

As for Disneyland Paris' website, I wasn't just focusing on the main page, but the design of the entire website... it's very navigatable and has a much more visually rich website "atmosphere" to the person visiting.

As for Tokyo's Japanese language website, I can't say much as I haven't been there very much as I don't understand(much) Japanese...

Anonymous said...

Long time reader and never commented but just wanted to share how my wife and I love all things Mouse except for their websites. Countless times between booking vacations, researching, playing etc. we find the pages to be tough to navigate, super slow, and just not that user friendly. Seeing todays blog just made me laugh as I was just pointing to the screen and saying "EXACTLY!!!"

Anonymous said...

Just to modify my comments above...had not checked the interactive maps at the WDW site for a few months and I must say that they have significantly improved. However, still a notch below the Asian parks in terms of presentaiton and usefullness.

- Tasman

Dracula766 said...

A friend of mine built the site for the Epcot Food & Wine Fest which just went live.

http://www.foodwinefest.com/

I'm looking forward to seeing more content added,

Digital Jedi said...

Agreed, they don't have to be identical. But there should be design uniformity across all the sites. In this case the sites are supposed to convey information in the most intuitive way possible. They seem to be experimenting with all different kinds which gives the impression that they're just disorganized and not all are particularly organic or user friendly.

Anonymous said...

The d23 website isn't all that great either.

Anonymous said...

Well Honor, it looks like you are gonna get your wish. :)

Earlier today while I was logged onto Disneyland.com, I was asked to participate in a survey. It seems that they are looking to update the site, and they wanted feedback on some navigation bar designs and pull-down menu options.

I even saw a preview of what the main page might look like, a lot better in my option. Looks similar to the other Disney Park sites, but definitely more friendly-looking and attractive.

I like to think that I helped get the ball-rolling. Last year, (this blog post gave me the push) I started giving them website feedback often and saying that the overall site was rather bland and industrial looking.

Judging by some of the survey questions (or at least one, I was reading between the lines) the new website could potentially debut as early as Fall of 2010. Of course, I could be wrong on that, but one thing is for sure, a new website design is definitely in the works!