Ongoing changes to several IMDb features

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  • Announcement
  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
As you may have noticed, there have been many changes to IMDb in recent months, and many more are in progress now with planned delivery over the coming weeks.

One of IMDb’s top focus areas for 2017 has been to replace the remaining parts of our old software systems with more modern maintainable versions, enabling us to accelerate product development and therefore deliver new features / searches / content to you. In the process, we are continuing to make customer experience improvements, feature simplifications to improve usability, and identifying opportunities to bring consistency across our desktop / mobile platforms.  The ultimate aim is to serve all our customers better and to continue to grow the IMDb content and services in 2018 and beyond.  Once complete, the new system will enable us to more easily address any remaining longstanding bugs as well as faster fix any new ones which may emerge.  An example of visible change as part of this process is the new Parents Guide (for example Blade Runner 2049 (2017)) which moved off the problematic swiki system where only a small number of people could make edits and over to a managed data type.

Some of the features on IMDb are more than a decade old and as part of upgrading the backend technology, we are making a combination of interface refreshes, feature simplification, consolidations and deprecations. These decisions are not made lightly and are driven by a myriad of data metrics; however, we’ve built a very passionate customer base over our 27 years and we have seen some deprecations cause customer confusion/frustration. This is not our goal, but we know we cannot continue to deliver the site and features our users deserve and we aspire without making these changes. 

As a heads up, there will be more changes in the upcoming weeks. We will announce the most impactful changes in the Announcements section of Get Satisfaction. For changes with lesser impact, our team will monitor Get Satisfaction immediately following the change to provide helpful guidance to users. 

Thanks,

Col Needham
Founder & CEO, IMDb.com
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Posted 1 year ago

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Adrian, Champion

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Is one of the changes that the backend is now more synchronized to the front end? I've noticed now that you can edit changes made to a title within hours if not minutes whereas it used to be at leat 24 hours before you could edit submitted data before?
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Yes, this is one of the benefits.  It is currently in testing now so not everybody has access to this all of the time quite yet. 
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lheslov@sbcglobal.net

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My film Served Like a Girl has been attacked over the last week by a group of white supremacists. I did not have a single one star review until the last week? Now I have 17? These are personal attacks. As are the death threats. None of these reviewers have actually seen the film. How do I get them taken down?
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Another recently launched benefit from this is you can now click the number of episodes on the title main details and full cast pages of any TV-show to show exactly in which episodes the person appeared directly on the page.  For example, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/ (by clicking "9 episodes"):


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Q Leo Rahman

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This is a curious change. I'm not sure whether it's helpful and shouldn't be on the "episodes cast" page. With shows that are 100+ episodes it could be maybe tedious to go through. 
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ACT_1

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Another recently launched benefit from this is
you can now click the number of episodes on the title main details
and full cast pages of any TV-show
to show exactly in which episodes the person appeared directly on the page.
 For example, from
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/ (by clicking "9 episodes"):
by Col Needham, Official Rep
- - -


The Bold and the Beautiful
TV Series (1987– )
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092325/

Series cast summary:
Katherine Kelly Lang    ...   Brooke Logan  4,277 episodes, 1987-2017 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0485810/


- - -


https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/-actor-in-the-most-episodes
by ACT_1
Posted 4 days ago



(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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I'm not sure whether it's helpful and shouldn't be on the "episodes cast" page.
If you mean pages like this one -> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/epcast then please see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/tv-series-full-cast-crew-pages as title/epcast is being closed this week. The functionality is now on (in this case) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/fullcredits 
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Peter, Champion

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Not *really* the same functionality, though.
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John Capizzi

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I don't find this as a benefit.  I prefer if I am binge watching to have all episodes cast opened together
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Marco

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Thanks for the heads up and I'm looking forward to more improvements. Some things at the top of my mind that I hope will come along:
-the new genres, obviously,
-a proper place for dubbers, obviously,
-being able to view one's photo additions/corrections/deletions in one's Update History,
-the return of the Location Tree,
-shorter/"prettier" links for the new Help Center,
-users not being referred to as customers by IMDb. I don't mind advertisers seeing us as customers, but I'd like you guys to think of us as users of this incredible database.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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No timelines (of course) but most of these are on the roadmap for the future at some point.  The Location Tree will need more "customers" (sorry) to request it;  I was a big fan of the location tree, but it is customer feedback which counts above all. 

No chance of shorter URLs for the new help as the longer URLs aid discovery by search engines, sorry.

We prefer "customers" over "users" because of the subtle difference in English between the nature of the two;  there's an old joke in somewhat poor taste which posits "Why do only drugs and computers have users whereas everything else has customers?" :-)
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ACT_1

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We prefer "customers" over "users" because of the subtle difference in English between the nature of the two; 

Col Needham, Official Rep

How many ... ah, People here purchase something from IMDb
IMDbers should be users
AMAZONers should be customers


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/customer
customer (plural customers)
1. A patron; one who purchases or receives a product or service
from a business or merchant, or intends to do so.


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/user
user (plural users)
1. One who uses or makes use of something, a consumer.

2. A person who uses drugs, especially illegal drugs.

3. (computing) A person who uses a computer or a computing network,
especially a person who has received a user account.

4. (pejorative) An exploiter, an abusive user
(a person who uses something or someone unfairly, selfishly and/or unethically).

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gromit82, Champion

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Marco: If you want to support the Locations Tree, please give it a vote at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/restoring-the-locations-tree.
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Marco

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Col, thanks for the response (and the joke :) ).
I'll never complain about customers vs. users again. (although I do feel a little addicted to IMDb :) )
I see your reasoning behind the longer URL's for the new Help Center. Hadn't thought about that I have to admit.

Gromit: I voted for restoring the locations tree. Let's hope more customers vote for it.
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ShadyJ

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There is no such thing as a new genre.
Whether you like it or not, you are a customer. You pay by advertisements viewed.
ACT_1 unwittingly pointed out that you are a customer.
customer (plural customers)
1. A patron; one who purchases or receives a product or service
from a business or merchant, or intends to do so.
You receive a service from IMDB. Due to the use of OR, payment is not required to be considered a customer.
(Edited)
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Marco

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Whether you like it or not, you are a customer.
Well, as I've said four weeks ago, "I'll never complain about customers vs. users again".
There is no such thing as a new genre.
What I meant was a new genre to IMDb. For example, it is currently impossible to tag a soap opera with that genre because it is not (yet) a genre at IMDb:https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/genres/GZDRMS6R742JRGAG?ref_=helpsrall# (that being said, it's not impossible for new genres to emerge, I'm not quite sure, but I think reality-TV is relatively new)
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nonduc nonduc

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There IS such thing as a new genre at IMDb -- at least two at first sight: 1) erotic (because “Adult” is used primarily for hardcore porn); 2) concert (because now for live concerts often misused documentary genre after they are not staged music films).
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Jena Auerstedt

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You are not the customer, and you are not the client. You are the commodity that is being sold to the advertisers, who are the real customers. All that counts here are numbers, not the satisfaction of the users.
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The next change is now live, please see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/updates-to-the-ratings-pages-and-functionality

This also includes an update to the title/ratings page, for example: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/ratings

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Marco

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Can a staffer please explain why the hell this happened? I believe the Contributor's Charter forbids me to speak my frank mind about this, but it seems that a lot of stuff has simply been deleted and replaced by nothing. Why?? Or am I missing something here and did you add more functions than you removed somehow???

Also, why hasn't this been announced on this part of GetSat?
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Peter, Champion

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Why the shock and swearing? If you read the top post, you must have noticed that it isn't just about additions and updates, it specifically talks about "feature simplification, consolidations and deprecations".
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Marco

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Well, I guess I just thought things would get better instead of worse, that's all.
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Adrian, Champion

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How is this worst? Or are you commenting in the wrong subtree? I just don't see how the ratings changes should evoke any emotion at all.
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Marco

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How is this worst? Or are you commenting in the wrong subtree? I just don't see how the ratings changes should evoke any emotion at all.
It's not the new lay-out I responded to, it's the removal of a large number of features connected with your ratings: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/updates-to-the-ratings-pages-and-functionality
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Marco

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This also includes an update to the title/ratings page, for example: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/ratings
My ideas/questions/complaints about one's Vote History are on that thread, but I do wonder: Why did you remove the mentioning of a Top 250 position on the ratings pages? I don't see a reason for removing them and I think these links helped getting people to those lists and having them spend more time on IMDb as well as discovering new titles to watch.
(Edited)
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Andru Xion

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Well, alright, I prefer the compact way it was before, but it's no biggie. However there used to be a link to go to the previous episode on the ratings page.
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Aaron

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On reflection, I think it is good that IMDb is undergoing a modernisation. The loss of some features has been a shame, but I look forward to seeing improvements in the future. I appreciate your transparency about the situation as well.

The images below compare the old and new designs of the Your Ratings page. I like that the new design is more detailed, showing the number of votes, age rating, runtime, and genre. I also like that the IMDb score is now alongside your own score. My only criticism over the design is the availability information at the bottom, which is really just a promotion for Amazon.


(Edited)
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ACT_1

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled [ New Changes to IMDb ? ].



IMDb is here to provide information about Movies and TV shows and the people involved
http://www.imdb.com/stats
Titles: 4,633,621 | People: 8,248,515   (Credits: 92,130,317)

with features Users can Use to keep track of their favs
and add comments, trivia, ratings, etc
about 266,164,000 messages were posted on the IMDb Boards Aug 6 2002 ... Feb 20 2017 - (GONE)

Oh, and how many Users add information about these Movies and TV shows ?? (for free!)
https://contribute.imdb.com/czone/hall_of_fame

How many of the 82,340,000 IMDb Users requested these changes ??
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur82340000/

There are a lot of complaints here about these changes
Most of the Users do not know about GS to write more complaints

How many Users need to sign a petition to undo these unwanted changes ??
- - -

IMDb Traffic Statistics
https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/imdb.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMDb
- - -

PS
I have been a registered User looking up information here almost everyday for 17 years



Thank you IMDb !!!
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The context for all of this is explained in the announcement at the top of this thread.  The changes are the best path forwards and will complete the groundwork for future enhancements in 2018 and beyond. 

We accept that people will not be happy with all of the short term changes, but what would be worse is allowing the old systems to continue to slow progress.  If you look through Get Satisfaction you will see hundreds of old threads complaining about inconsistencies, bugs, complexities on IMDb -- the root cause in most of these cases (and the reasons they are not easy to fix) are the old software systems. It is time for the old systems to finally go. 
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Jeorj Euler

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It might be all too obvious, but it is worth pointing out anyway that the electronic world is changing crazily right now. Look what happened to the Hulu Plus. In mid-to-late 2017, the "New Hulu Experience" was rolled out for a number of streaming device models, and a lot of subscribers detest it. Support for the YouTube app on the original Wii was needlessly abruptly retired. The transitions from seventh generation video game consoles to eighth generation renditions have been a rough ride as well. Microsoft Windows "Ten" is itself spyware, whereas the previous versions were barely that. The world-wide web in general is deteriorating as web developers scramble to pander to the masses of mobile device users (the newest and youngest of whom may be unfamiliar with the true scope of computing). For the time being, internet relay chat (IRC) is still sacred, but for how long? It looks like Hyper-text Transfer Protocol may simply take over the functions of a number of other communications network protocols.
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Jeorj Euler

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As we know, a vast majority of the customers to IMDb haven't, aren't and won't notice any of the changes. It's also not being reported in the news let alone headlines. There are about a dozen or so articles around the web that reported on the decommissioning of the message boards, and even fewer YouTube videos or Reddit threads addressing the matter. It's as though IMDb belongs to the deep web, even though most of it is on the surface.
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Sparse

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Here's an idea: Why not ask IMDb users what kinds of changes they'd prefer before making changes? Like, put up some polls to see what people would be opposed to or supportive of.

It's pretty much a unanimous feeling from the community, it seems to me, that the site is becoming increasingly frustrating to use.

Just an idea.
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Vincent Fournols

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@Sparse : let's be fair, Col Needham has announced several weeks ago that there is a extreme need to change the system, which is becoming technically obsolete, and make it consistent, in order to propose new and enhanced services.

I am just baffled that, with the background of Amazon expertise, services and technical framework, this change is so poorly managed. IMDB should have undertaken the technical migration to make it as transparent as possible, proposing "as is" functions, then evolve by proposing improvements. Consulting users, who provide the raw material making the IMDb valuable, would have made sense.

Now, I am so disappointed to witness the ruining of such an image.
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Jeorj Euler

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Our site is a neglected stepchild, I'm afraid.
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Sparse

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I know there's a need to change the system, and I didn't mean to imply that they shouldn't have tried. But before removing essential features with the updated versions, it would have been nice if they asked people.

It's still a work-in-progress though. Things are being fixed little by little. I'll be patient.
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Phil Leguichard

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Some of these layout changes are actually reducing functionality -- not enhancing....

These recent changes to IMDb's interface are truly puzzling. When viewing user reviews now, I can only sort them by "helpfulness" -- but what will become of newly written reviews? If I were to write a review of a film that came out, say, one month ago, it would surely never been seen by anyone, let alone read, because it would be buried beneath hundreds of other reviews! I also wonder why I can no longer view all episodes of a television series on the same page, in compact view. It was tremendously helpful to see them listed that way, as it made comparing ratings across seasons much more feasible. For a show like The Simpsons, which is nearing 30 seasons, I'd have to scroll through 30 independent lists now.

It's bewildering that a website like IMDb, one of the most-visited sites in the United States, could dare not only to stall, but to REGRESS in functionality, in a digital age like the one we currently inhabit. Even little things, like the removal of the availability of the filming dates of a movie, gnaw at me.......I mean if I can't find that information on IMDb, where else am I supposed to go for it? IMDb Pro is aimed at professionals -- I'm merely a cinephile. I really wonder how many more "updates" I can stand. It'd be one thing if I were simply being difficult about adjusting to a new layout. But this is an actual LOSS of faculties, making the website HARDER to use.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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The next advantage from the new system launched earlier this week -- list editing has finally been added to the IMDb Android app, please see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/imdb-android-lists-update (which was a very popular request)
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Jeorj Euler

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Yes, it is a very popular request from people who have not proved their worth. Pft!
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Noah Seago

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I'm hoping you'll add a profile view to the app version similar to the website.
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Chris Dynamo

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Hi Col, when you try to edit lists, you can't swap them around as you used to be able to, to see where certain items looked in certain places, whether you wanted to keep them there or change them again.  Now you can only type in what number position you want an item to be moved to, and this only actually happens, actually moves to that position after you press edit (twice for me), so you can't see what your changes will look like mid-edit.  A lot of features on the old system have thankfully been reinstated, please consider this one too, it will make editing lists so much easier.
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Jeorj Euler

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For those of you who are unaware, a lot of the changes that have been made, are being made or will be made (which have adversely impacted desktop customers and bulk data customers) are for the purposes of bringing more features to mobile customers particularly ones using the previously relatively barren IMDb app. They had been begging for and demanding the ability to submit reviews and create lists for years, but still have not thanked the IMDb company for caving in to their pestering. Why do these 100 millions of people matter so much? What's going is a bunch of populist hogwash!
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Morgan Sage

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I'm a mobile user, and have had absolutely no problem using imdb got anything, including submitting reviews. In fact I use the desktop version on my phone, because it's just more user-friendly. So don't make any changes for me, imdb.
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Jeorj Euler

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Morgan Sage, even so, there is a difference between the kind of mobile user who accesses the website through web browser on a smartphone and the kind of mobile user who accesses everything through IMDb "app", as it were. In some ways, the matter has nothing to do with mobility of a device. The same problems would exist if the IMDb app was available on Roku or video game consoles. You're fine, in other words, if you're not relying upon that silly little company-provided app. What they seem to be doing is reducing everything to conform to the limitations of the utility-specific app. Anything that it will not be able to do, the website might also not be able to do. That's what I'm afraid of, to articulate the situation more concisely.
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Jose Leal

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Horrible idea. Why shouldn't you be able to list the user reviews by date, like and dislike? With divisive movies with highly motivated haters (e.g. Star Wars the Last Jedi) you will only get to see the hate comments. Why are you doing this? I thought this website was for movie lovers, not for movie haters. Shame on you!
(Edited)
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gromit82, Champion

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Keeping track of the changes to IMDb features.

As we have seen, there have been a number of changes to IMDb features and functions, and presumably more are coming.

Would the staff be willing to post a page that will list the features and functions that have been removed, and explain the future status of those items -- that is, whether they are (a) going to be brought back, (b) going to be brought back but with some significant changes, (c) under consideration to be brought back, or (d) not going to be brought back at all? 

This page could be posted in the Contributor Zone and would be helpful in enabling IMDb users and contributors to know what is going on. 
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Thanks for this. We will post a reply in a moment and tag it as an official response. 
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Official Response
This is in reference to gromit82's post below:
Would the staff be willing to post a page that will list the features and functions that have been removed, and explain the future status of those items -- that is, whether they are (a) going to be brought back, (b) going to be brought back but with some significant changes, (c) under consideration to be brought back, or (d) not going to be brought back at all? 
Thanks for the suggestion.  We are just about finished with the retirement of the old software. We have less than ten items to go from the starting set of over 210, and the remainder are mostly on the small side -- some are simply HTML pages still served off the old system; the largest is advanced name search for which there is a drop-in replacement with a whole set of bugs and limitations removed (including the dreaded 10,000 result limit; the same limit will be removed from advanced title search in Q1 2018).

Given we are talking about over 200 systems / features and many of the changes only added functionality and/or fixed bugs, producing a comprehensive list is not going to be practical, sorry.  Everything with an announcement thread can be located by https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=update and we are encouraging the teams to keep either the main announcement up-to-date or to add an official reply as appropriate (although sometimes things are moving so quickly that it is simply best to get on with building the software). 

The items which were not announced (sometimes deliberate, sometimes accidental) which have active threads are:


Col Needham
Founder & CEO, IMDb.com
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et_tu_Brute

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Hi.. I realise imdb.com was probably long overdue for a makeover and streamlining of the interface. This is good move and will make the site appear more dynamic. Unfortunately, I have a vision impairment which makes looking at images too small to view... (I liked the posters and the image galleries, particularly for the older movies & actors). When I click on them, they appear to be just static thumbnails. Any chance when you review your changes, that you can re-instate the images galleries to how they behaved on the old web-site.  Thank you for reading. :)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Sorry about this.  Do you have an example name / title page where we can take a look? 
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Michael Schlesinger

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On top of everything else, it appears the "find two people working together" function has also disappeared. Or is it hiding somewhere?

Add my name to the list of those who are unhappy with these changes.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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This is located at http://www.imdb.com/search/common

You can reach this via the advanced search page at http://www.imdb.com/search/ which in turn can be accessed from the search menu at the top of any IMDb page (see red highlight below):


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Michael Schlesinger

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Thank you, kind sir!
(Edited)
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rob

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled What has happened to IMDb??!!!!.

I log on after inactive for a few months and I am shocked by all the downgrades and loss of features. What gives IMDb?? This use to be the best site.
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ACT_1

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I log on after inactive for a few months
and I am shocked by all the downgrades and loss of features.
What gives IMDb?? This use to be the best site

by rob

Joined on December 27, 2017

- - -


There are more Announcements of recent Updates in this Announcements section

Not many Users like the changes


(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Not many Users like the changes
Like all changes, the people most motivated to comment are those who are having the most trouble adjusting to the change or those people who have not yet spotted what is on the short-term bug fix lists.  You know this yourself from observing pretty much every redesign we have ever launched -- funny how "worst change ever" in 2007 becomes a "perfect design" by 2010 -- change is always hard. Please note many of the perceived negative comments are justified constructive criticisms which we are reading, recording and acting upon where appropriate, whether short or long term. Unfortunately we cannot do much with "yeah, everything now sucks" or "just put it all back" type comments (and surely people would not want all the bugs back too :-).  

The numbers we are watching here are all showing improved customer engagement, with even more potential as things like review sort orders and ratings filtering are added back in the New Year.  We now have: a consistent design across all core pages on the web site; list editing on the Android app; all user reviews readable everywhere; consistent (and automatic) character pages; news available everywhere; all data published  everywhere as it is processed and available for instant editing (not random sections running 24-36 hours out-of-sync); an easier data cross-linking format; a better help system; a faster suggestion search powered contribution system; more visible core box office information; more modern list editing (okay yes, drag-and-drop on web is an unfortunate casualty, but the rest is better IMHO); the end of the unmanaged wiki systems (open for all contributors, with FAQ coming soon). This had led to new registrations at an all-time high across 2017; data contributors and data contributions similarly on all-time highs, yet (ignoring temporary holiday backlogs this week) the fastest ever overall processing times plus with the smallest ever backlogs.  Behind-the-scenes almost everything is now on the same modern software platform with simpler, faster paths for future changes; hundreds of (sometimes) years old bugs have been resolved; scores of longstanding requests / suggestions have been implemented; consistency has improved hugely between the nine "on platform" sites and apps which our team directly supports (with more work to do here in 2018).

Of course, not everything today is perfect nor in its desired end state. As mentioned, we had to make some awful short-term trade-off decisions to ensure we completed the technology migration in 2017, but we are confident the short term pain is worth the long term gain. 

Sonny: "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end." from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1412386/quotes/qt1645298 :-)
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cartman_1337

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@Col Needham; Reading your post makes me a little more optimistic for IMDb in 2018. I'm sure the changes you've rushed out now are great news for your team, but as a user I really can't buy things like "and surely people would not want all the bugs back too", as a matter of fact I can't remember the site ever having as many visible bugs as it does right now. We want our old, faster, less buggy IMDb experience back.... That shouldn't be hard to understand. Rushing out not thoroughly tested new solutions is never a good idea, and does not make you look good or professional, regardless of motivations or long-term intentions.

funny how "worst change ever" in 2007 becomes a "perfect design" by 2010 
Isn't it also funny how the 2007 complaints died out relatively quick, yet now nearly 8 years after the 2010 change, people are still complaining about that? Maybe the 2007 design wasn't perfect, I don't remember the design before it too well, but compared to the 2010 design even a Notepad (from Windows) simple text document of a movie's information looks nearly perfect. As such, I really, REALLY hope that now that you've achieved your dreams of unifying all platforms into a single software (which I'm not really sure is as good an idea as you think, but that's a different discussion), that a new and actually better design is in your plans. Considering you're still on a much-hated and complained about 8 year old (a lot in the computer world) design, it is really well overdue! And when doing so, please take all complaints and suggestions (which as I read them are mostly disguised complaints) into consideration, as well as trying to understand why so many users, pretty much all who actually care enough to comment, preferred all previous designs to the 2010 design.
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Elwood Blues

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I second that as well. Look, I can understand that you wanted a new "backbone" and an interface that looks everywhere the same but from a contributors point of view this new design is just... strange (and I'm saying that as somebody who has been contributing for almost 20 years and remembers the fist design). It is non-intuitive (why are the selections like trivia on the right) and shows topics by default that should be in the background (like the entire "Did you know" section or plot summary at the bottom). By changing line spacing, pages for larger films are now so much longer. And due to bad formatting, only about 40% of the screen is used to display information (look at any movie, scroll down, after "Share this page").
I really hope that you will start making changes ASAP. The contributors view does not necessarily need to be pretty - it needs to be functional.
(Edited)
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ElM.

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I'm not sure that the number of new registrations should be the indicator of the website's growing success... but on an economical level, it makes sens if it does.

I just miss the old IMDb, I used to be very active on the Daily Poll board, and I remember one poll by the end of the day could garner something between 17.000 and 20.000 votes, the lower on the page it got, the less votes it had, but it still managed to make something between 11.000 and 13.000.

Now, you have one lucky poll among many dozens that gets on the frontpage but it is at the extreme bottom with at least 20 sections before you get to it, making 20.000 votes in one week, while the other polls are lucky if they get 300 votes at the end of the day, so I don't know if IMDb has more users but they sure care less about the polls (or the polls lack so much visibility they're almost useless)

I could do without the polls but the reviews' changes were hard to accept, I trust there will be positive changes in 2018, but I'll never consider 2017 to be IMDb's finest hour, the removal of the message boards was like a "beginning of the end" to me.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Official Response
A quick update on the progress here ...

Yesterday, on Friday 29 December 2017 at 3:41pm PST (11:41pm GMT) the final piece of old software in this multi-year migration moved to the new platform. 

Thank you for your patience so far.  We appreciate change is always hard -- please be assured we are doing this to build a much better IMDb for the long term. As noted elsewhere across other announcement threads (see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=update), the final timing here left us no alternatives other than making some (mostly temporary) painful cuts in functionality of some features. On the plus side, it also made us examine some underused or outdated features and determine to simplify or remove them. Sometimes the best thing to do to improve the usability of an interface is to remove the least used features. Sorry if a personally beloved feature was in this latter set -- you can always gauge shared interest from other customers and lobby for its return by posting in the relevant "Ideas" section here on Get Satisfaction (for the web site, see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/categories/imdb_imdbcom?topic-list[settings][type]=idea).

For those interested, the final change was the advanced title search (ATS) form at http://www.imdb.com/search/title. It was a relatively small change so the page is pretty much as before, except the (broken) keyword suggestion search field is now a (working) manual field, and the entries in the include / exclude menus in "Lists" are now in most recently modified order for consistency with the rest of the site.  The suggestion search powered keyword field will return early in 2018.  This now clears the way for an upgrade to the back-end ATS software which will remove the 10,000 result limit. This same limit has already been removed from advanced name search at http://www.imdb.com/search/name via a similar upgrade as part of the migration work. 

We are already working on adding / returning features on the new platform.  The pace of this work will increase when more of the team are back in the office after the New Year holiday next week. Please see the individual announcement threads at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=update to keep up with specific progress as things launch. 

You should already see a more consistent interface across the main IMDb site, and in 2018 you will see more consistency across all parts of IMDb (web site, mobile web, iOS app and Android app). If a feature is missing or limited in one or more interfaces then there's a good chance it is at least in planning. 

Repeating some text which I wrote in another thread earlier this week ...

The numbers we are watching here are all showing improved customer engagement, with even more potential as things like review sort orders and ratings filtering are added back in the New Year.  We now have: a consistent design across all core pages on the web site; list editing on the Android app; all user reviews readable everywhere; consistent (and automatic) character pages; news available everywhere; all data published  everywhere as it is processed and available for instant editing (not random sections running 24-36 hours out-of-sync); an easier data cross-linking format; a better help system; a faster suggestion search powered contribution system; more visible core box office information; more modern list editing (okay yes, drag-and-drop on web is an unfortunate casualty, but the rest is better IMHO); the end of the unmanaged wiki systems (open for all contributors, with FAQ coming soon). This had led to new registrations at an all-time high across 2017; data contributors and data contributions similarly on all-time highs, yet (ignoring temporary holiday backlogs this week) the fastest ever overall processing times plus with the smallest ever backlogs.  Behind-the-scenes almost everything is now on the same modern software platform with simpler, faster paths for future changes; hundreds of (sometimes) years old bugs have been resolved; scores of longstanding requests / suggestions have been implemented; consistency has improved hugely between the nine "on platform" sites and apps which our team directly supports (with more work to do here in 2018).

Of course, not everything today is perfect nor in its desired end state. As mentioned, we had to make some awful short-term trade-off decisions to ensure we completed the technology migration in 2017, but we are confident the short term pain is worth the long term gain. 

Sonny: "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end." from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1412386/quotes/qt1645298 :-)

Thanks again for continuing to bear with us.  Lastly, thanks to the amazing IMDb team who have all worked hard across 2017 to get us to this point.  Onwards now to our traditional end-of-year "thank you" to IMDb's top data contributors which will be published as on Monday as usual (archive from 2016 and earlier, available at https://contribute.imdb.com/czone/top_msg). 

Col Needham
Founder & CEO, IMDb.com
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Vincent Fournols

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled IMDb updates.

I do not say I support all the changes, but do you offer any slightest evidence that these changes are universally despised?
Come on, it is only a website! And 95% of the former information is still/already available, and the rest will come soon, as promised by Col Needham.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: All the recent changes to the site.
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Jeff Beachnau

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled New changes to IMDb.com are horrible.

There are numerous problems with the new changes that have taken place to IMDb over the past month or so.  The biggest issue is that the pages won't load at all, I constant either have to reload the page numerous times or I have to press the back arrow then forward arrow in order to actually see the page I want, be it a movie or a TV show or a person's page.

Other issues I have with the site:
Sometimes when clicking on a person's Awards section, I can't click on the year of their award to see the details of that award.  For example, if I click on James Cameron's Awards page, it will show "Oscars, 1998 Titanic"  I used to be able to click on the 1998 year listed in order to see the info of those Oscars, but now I can't anymore.

I hate that a User Review Comment doesn't appear at the bottom of a Movie/TV show anymore.

A lot of browsing options have been removed from the TV show section (such as Episode Cast, or including the number of seasons on the main page)

I hate that a person's filmography doesn't include the number of their listings anymore.  For example, someone like Christopher Lee had #280 credits, but rather than listing them in order by number where it's easier to search through, now the numbers don't appear anymore.

Overall, pretty much all the updates to the website have not improved the site, it has made it worse.  And believe me, I'm not the only one who hates these changes, numerous people I have talked with who are also frequent users of the site hate the changes.  I know my complaining won't make any difference, but I just needed to vent and let you know that I am not pleased at all.
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bderoes, Champion

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@Jeff Beachnau
I'm not having a problem with pages loading. What browser/platform are you running? I'm on Windows 10 and Chromebook, usually with Chrome, sometimes with Firefox (on Windows).

When I follow your James Cameron > Awards > Oscars 1998 directions, I'm able to get to the Oscars page with no problem. Are you running some new userscript or extension that maybe interfering with links/loading?

I'm not sure what you mean by a User Review Comment. Is that something in addition to a User Review? I remember that we were NOT able to comment on Reviews before, as we can at Amazon. Are you running Reference View, because 1 User Review still appears at the bottom of a "regular view" Title page? On Reference View, there's a link to Reviews in the second chunk of info, right before the Photos/Videos section. (Also a link to User Reviews at the top of a "regular view" page.)

I don't use the TV episode stuff much, so I can't comment about that. But the main series page still shows the most recent 3 seasons/years in Reference view (seasons right under the poster, and years off to the right), and all seasons/years in "regular view". (I checked on Friends.)

On a person's filmography, I don't remember the titles being numbered, although I do remember the character filmographies being numbered. You still get numbers when you use the Filmography choices under Explore More (right column), which I use a lot because you can Refine & Sort.

Don't get me wrong, I have my own list of grievances about the changes to the site, especially since Dec 6. But some of what you list here is not what I see. So perhaps you have a technical issue that can be resolved.
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Jeff Beachnau

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well, I used Windows 10 as well, and I still used the old IMDb format until this recent forced changed, so maybe I've been using an old format of IMDb for a while.  Though when searching on my phone, it's sometimes forced to search on the IMDb app (which I'm not a fan of, that's where a lot of the issues take place, such as the Awards complaint I made).

And yet, both on my computer and especially on my phone, I have issues loading the pages (and no, i don't have issues on other sites, so it's not my internet acting slow).

What I mean with the User Review, is that before these changes, when you looked up a film, on the main page, under the cast list, there would be one of the User Reviews listed at the bottom of the page.  I know on the side of the page you can click on User Reviews to read them all, but it was helpful to have a quick review to get an idea how people reacted to the movie, rather than clicking on multiple things to get to the reviews.

Which reminds me, another problem I have with the changes, now on these film pages, it lists the entire full cast and crew on the main page, so you have to scroll down extremely far to get to the bottom of the page to even see what country the film takes place or what language it is in (which is helpful when searching for foreign films).  Compared to before when you would click on "Full cast and crew" in order to get the endless list of names and positions.
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Jeorj Euler

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That's the new Title Reference View, by the way.
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bderoes, Champion

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@Jeff Beachnau
So you answered some of my questions, but not which browser, and whether you have extensions/add-ons running. They could be in conflict with something the IMDb pages are doing, and causing your slow response time. (I have some running, but see no slowness).

And you introduced a new wrinkle: the Awards problems you are having is on an App. Which one: Android or iOS? If you want IMDb staff to fix things that are broken, you need to be specific.

The new Reference View is supposedly designed for Contributors who want to see the whole cast/crew in 1 shot.  Over on the thread Updates to Title Reference View you can see some explanations of what they had in mind. Just search for Official responses.

Given that they lengthened the Cast/crew stuff, scrolling down to the bottom of the page to read 1 review doesn't sound as good as clicking a link at the top of the page to me. But I use the standard view, which DOES have that lone review, and I frequently scroll to it. 

If you don't like the App, why not uninstall it, so the browser on your phone doesn't have the option to go there? And I suggest you try the standard view. There's a link at the top of every Title page to "Change View", which takes you to your Site Settings. Just uncheck the dot for reference view, and see how you like it. You can add titles to lists and see the short cast list in the standard view.
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cartman_1337

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@bderoes; the person filmography numbers were part of the Name Reference View, and was indeed a very neat, and simple, feature, which I really hope they'll bring back in a future name view. The "Explore More" option you mention is not a poor "replacement", requiring a lot more clicks to refine a list down to specific job types (also needing to unselect one type to watch the next), and even in Compact view taking up a lot more space, not to mention being split up over several pages, than it used to.

@Jeff Beachnau; it seems you're using the Title Reference View, which does show entire cast and crew. IMDb decided that people didn't want to have options like showing or not showing the ENTIRE cast and crew on the reference view page, so they combined the two reference views we had before into a new one, also re-arranging useful fields that used to be at the top to the bottom, etc, which is what you're seeing. If you want to see the movie page without the entire cast and crew you must go to the default view, by clicking the "change view" link just below the title field.
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ACT_1

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Which reminds me,
another problem I have with the changes,
now on these film pages,
it lists the entire full cast and crew on the main page,
by Jeff Beachnau
- - -

That's the new Title Reference View, by the way.
by Jeorj Euler
= = =

Around the World in 80 Days  (1956)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048960/reference  ON
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048960/  OFF

You can turn that OFF here

Site Preferences
https://www.imdb.com/preferences/general

Contributors
[X] Show reference view with full cast and crew (advanced view)   ON
[_] Show reference view with full cast and crew (advanced view)  OFF



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Jeff Beachnau

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Thanks for letting me know about the Reference View, that did fix a couple issues, but I'm still having trouble with the site loading.  I guess I'll have to try work my way around it.  Anyway, overall, I really liked the old format much better.

Oh well.
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Paulo Alegria

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled IMDb.

you are really dedicated to completely destroy IMDb!!! whay are you putting the site in the hands of incompetent developers? the site was perfect a few months ago, and since the end of the movie discussions that you have been slowly destroying the site day after day. what's the idea? are you planing to close IMDb?

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Updates to List Pages.
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Jeorj Euler

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Maybe the developers feel underappreciated, and companies like Facebook and Google are all too happy to "steal" them. I don't know. There is no telling what goes on behind the scenes.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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What's happening behind-the-scenes is we are celebrating the end of a huge successful software migration project.  Hundreds of flaky old unmaintainable systems have been replaced with a modern, smaller, simpler, more consistent platform which can be maintained and extended more quickly.  Hundreds of difficult-to-fix customer facing bugs have been eliminated; scores of new features have been added already  -- we have more content more consistently available and editable in more interfaces than ever before. Millions of lines of up to 17 year old code has been eliminated in under a year.  We are proud of what we have achieved to make IMDb better, faster and more scalable for the future.

We are now working our way through some of the more painful cuts to restore lost important functionality at a faster pace. Keep watching the announcement threads for progress at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=update 
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Sorry, we have to do our best to balance the needs of different customer sets.  You may find the mobile site at http://m.imdb.com/ more suitable to your needs and it works fine on a desktop browser. 

Alternatively please see "Title Reference View" on https://www.imdb.com/preferences/general (also see https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/general-information/site-preferences/GDL9NWJRKWRH5L6K)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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We have already surveyed the customer set for reference view and they are happy with it, sorry. 

We are sorry you do not like the new design. If there are specific ideas for changes which you would like to see, you are welcome to post on the relevant idea threads or start fresh ideas at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/categories/imdb_imdbcom?topic-list[settings][type]=idea so other people can comment and vote.  Please note that returning to a 2007 design is not a viable option, and neither are changes to reference view which violate the principles under which it was designed (this is a data-centric view for top contributors); anything else is fine to suggest. 
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Elwood Blues

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Happy with the new reference view... looking at this forum, that is a bold statement.
Which users did you ask and how did you ask them?
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Jeorj Euler

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"The index on the right should have the features of the index on the left." And almost no feedback thus far, implying satisfaction with the new platform.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Which users did you ask and how did you ask them?
We started on Contributors Help; then here; then email to select top contributors; and then early previews of what we just built.  While there are still bugs which we are addressing, it's mostly a case of people getting used to: the new layout; the extra information; the lack of fatal flaws (like 404 on image upload); and speedy updates (vs. 24-36 hours behind) synchronized with the update system. What you see is what you get when you click "Edit page" 
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cartman_1337

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We have already surveyed the customer set for reference view and they are happy with it, sorry. 
@Col; point of interest: did anyone in the customer set you're talking about actually use the old reference view? Wouldn't it be better to survey the actual users of the old reference view if they like the new one? It's not hard to do; the datas about who used and uses the reference view, along with their e-mail addresses, are all in your database, why don't you send US a survey e-mail? And send us the results when they are in. Then perhaps we'll believe you.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Okay but posts here are subject to https://contribute.imdb.com/charter
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cartman_1337

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Yes, all were key users of the old reference view. 
(Col Needham, in a now deleted comment)
What, in your, opinion, constitutes a "key user" of the old reference view? It is already clear, from how your now calling it a "contributor view", in many places, rather than a "reference view", that your opinion of what the view "should" be, and what it actually was to a lot of users, are two very different things. I do believe that you've screened to a select group of users who sees it as you think it should be seen, rather than a representative group of users who used it for what it actually was: a better overall representation of movie data than the default view offered.

I also cannot remember seeing anyone (not affiliated with IMDb) come forward, in the abundance of negative and criticizing opinions posed on this site about the changes, saying that "hey, I was part of the test group screening and approving this", defending you from any of the - sometimes extremely - harsh things said about the changes.

Now, don't get me wrong; I've seen evidence of our ideas and criticism being heard and dealt with, and I'm confident that more will come into place as we go along. I deeply love the site, overall, and want it to be all that it can be, and will do what I can to help. I've shared ideas these last few weeks, and will share more going forward, and I choose to believe you when you say that things will get better. But; I do have issues with a company whose line it seems is to completely disregard how the majority of users used the reference view, saying to their face "this is not the view that is meant for you", and ignoring very honest and true opinions about how the new view is inferior to the old, not only visually, but also technically (for instance; you say it's faster, user reports suggest it is much, much slower). If the old reference view wasn't meant for them, why did they use it? And why do they complain when they are forced to use something else? I'm sure the answer to that does not lie with the "key users of the reference view" you actually did ask, and I'm also sure there are far more of them than there are of users who used it only for what you think it should be used... Your users aren't divided into just those who comes to watch trailers and read reviews (for which the standard view is good) and those who want to get a long page of pretty much all the data available for a movie to ease the process of contributing to the site (I pretty much belong here myself, though); there is also a large group of users who wants something in between - who found the previous reference view, without full cast and crew info, to be the best option in the past, but who now don't have any good view options available for them, and who are pretty much, and very sadly, ignored in their plea for a new, good view option.
(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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First, thanks for the thoughtful and constructive post. 
What, in your, opinion, constitutes a "key user" of the old reference view?
The key users of the reference view for us are IMDb's top data contributors who want (and we very happy to provide) a data-centric view of IMDb's content for every title.  The main features they told us they wanted are: all the data in the credits for swift checking of what is/is not already in IMDb;  enough extracts of other data to give a feel for what else is covered; the smallest possible set of what they consider as distractions from the rest of the data.  

I do believe that you've screened to a select group of users who sees it as you think it should be seen, rather than a representative group of users who used it for what it actually was: a better overall representation of movie data than the default view offered.
This is a fair point to some extent. IMDb covers the entertainment industry, generally visual media, and specifically movies, TV, video games and online video; along with the creators in every role who make such titles. Our opinion, supported by hard data from detailed traffic analysis & soft data from customer feedback through various forms, is that outside of reference view, IMDb consumer site pages should sparkle and shine with our passion for entertainment.  This means plenty of visuals via photos & videos, plus a focus around opinion, recommendations, customer reviews & ratings, news, lists, polls and engagement with other site content. We see this in our traffic -- we know what works and we know what does not work -- we are continuously testing new placements and feature tweaks, especially in those areas of the site not hampered by our now retired old technology (which now means everywhere). Anyone else posting opinions here is guessing based on their own personal usage of IMDb at worst, and at best, posting as a representative of overall a small subset of customers. I frequently endorse building things at IMDb which personally I would never use or do not even understand, yet if the data shows us otherwise then, of course, we should build them. It's only a piece of software so if it does not work as built, we can always enhance it later or remove it. Yes, or remove it -- a good design is just as much about the things it does not have than it is about the things which it does have.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is take something away -- be it permanent if there's no hope or be it temporary so you are more free to recreate it without the constraints of the previous version. The perfection can often lie in the simplicity. 

We accept every design is a compromise, especially when you are designing and building at the 250+ million monthly customers from pretty much every country in the world (and every interest level).  The one sure recipe for disaster is to try and please all people, all of the time, especially at this scale. We also accept all change is hard.  Simply rebuilding an identical copy of the 2007 design on 2018 software is, of course, theoretically possible but it abandons all hope of improvement for future customers. It also ignores the completely understandable knee-jerk reaction of hatred on initial reception; the 2007 design was not perfect, nor is the new reference view perfect and nor is the new standard view perfect.  All are simply the best reflection of what we could build at the time with the technology, people, and importantly, time available. 

My advice to anyone is to decide whether you are more suited to reference view or more suited to the standard view and then make constructive recommendations about the one you use, ideally via the Ideas category here and we will weigh them up with the other data and against other priorities. We are not going to fundamentally change the purpose of either view. Nobody is going to convince us to abandon either view; accept there are customers different from you, chose your option and work with us to make it the best it can be. Please also see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101669/quotes/qt0328172 

Anyway enough talk.  We would rather be judged on what we do than what we say. We remain true to https://contribute.imdb.com/charter always. We operate an open customer feedback platform here (with zero tolerance on trolling though). We have accumulated over 32,000 separate threads here on Get Satisfaction in just five years. You can see the problems solved.  You can see the ideas implemented.  You can see the potential in the future ideas. I am just the CEO and I have posted over 5,000 replies here;  I have filed hundreds of tickets for bug fixes which have been actioned (and, honestly, some where the data told us not to action them so we did not).  The whole drive for all these changes in this thread and the associated announcements at the end of 2017 is based on the frustrations of both ourselves and customers at IMDb not being able to move quickly enough. We drew a line in the sand.  We had to make some awful temporary compromises in functionality, but we are here and ready.  Could we go faster, yes, I remain frustrated at the lack of a magic wand to wave and reach the end point of where we want to go tomorrow, but that is life. As always:

Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end.
-- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1412386/quotes/qt1645298
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Jeorj Euler

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The sentiments of the "top contributors" surveyed may have perhaps been misinterpreted or interpreted out of context, I think. I wish the same people would speak up, right now, right here. Apart from Vincent Fournols, they might be most displeased with the recent outcome, and he is not so pleased either really but somewhat optimistic.
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Vincent Fournols

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Thanks for the spotlight! But I would not like being misinterpreted: I am not a top contributor, I have never used lists, I hardly miss the reviews. Actually I am much more concerned by IMDBb as a data repository, than a social, let alone a professional network, and I can adapt to layouts. I have also been working in IT for 20+ years, so I can easily figure what is at stake when such a infrastructure has to changed. And I consider that the change management here has been appalling. But I am rather satisfied with the outcome, and I trust Col Needham's assertion of upcoming improvements.

My biggest worry, by far, is the new proposed datasets with the https interface, which provide only a fragment of the former FTP interface (moreover, as shown in the proper thread, the title.principals.tsv file is absolutely useless).

This being said, I fully understand that some long time and involved users might prove disappointed by the current changes. They have to be heard, because the essence of IMDb is constribution, whatever Amazon thinks about it. But disappointment is no excuse for the contempt, or even insults, that have sparked the exchanges lately. Come on guys, it is only a website....
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Jeorj Euler

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O, in that case, I apologize. All of the bulk data subscribers to speak up, and we, are unhappy with the loss of so many data sets. The responses to the changes to the Reference Views are a slightly varied, but for the most part, we are displeased.
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Mikal Akhil Johannessen

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I have for many years been a user of the imdb site. It have always been a great site for us movie interested people. But its auprising that you guys would remove the recently viewed feature. It have for me as for many other users been a key feature. Wich i miss. And before you respond about the list feature it does not cover the use recently viewed did. Lets say i wanna look for a movie i dont know wich movie. But i an remember one of the actors but they played in another film i know i have reasearched earlyer. I could before just follow the breadcrumbs left for me in the recently viewed list. I really miss this feature and i know i`m not alone. Hope you seriously would reconsider getting this feature back as it is a key function for your users. After all the users are your audience and should be listened to if you want to provide the best service you can?!?!
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David Lightman

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I'd like to say thank you to Mr Needham & IMDB staff for bringing back "Prolific authors/reviewers & being able to sort reviews by user rating. I previously protested about it and I'm happy to get these features back. Just yesterday I watched a film which is generally praised by everyone and would have wanted to find some negative comments as well - to support my view of the film... today I noticed I can now sort by user rating again. Good.

There are still some small functionality/sorting issues which disappeared by past updates, at least not being able to sort by decades & genres on "Your ratings"-page... I guess that's possible using "advanced search" but that's a bit time consuming/hard to find for average user. 

I'm closing in on 5000 (film) ratings soon and I think most important feature of IMDB for me is being able to sort my ratings according to several categories. I use "Export" (to Excel file) function a lot.
IMDB offers me ability to keep track on films I've seen (rated), sort those films and read reviews (which I do mostly AFTER I have seen a film). Oh and of course checking film ratings to help me with my watchlist...
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Franziska Jimenez

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Supongo que el error de los 10000 títulos se va arreglar...
Tengo un gran proyecto de clase relacionado con ello, espero que sea antes de que termine
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Marco

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Helemaal mee eens, goed punt!
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Vincent Fournols

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Je dirais même plus... :)