Review: Updated Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) mobile app

Ever since I learnt and practice user experience nowadays, I too now believe it should be incorporated into almost anything which we use including the GSC mobile app.

Golden Screen Cinemas releases new mobile app user interface

My memory first installing the GSC mobile app was with concerns because at the time, mobile app development was still very new and many were pushing the need for it for monetary gain than its true value.

Original GSC mobile app landing after animation
Original GSC mobile app landing after animation

This was the original GSC mobile app user interface for the landing screen.

GSC mobile app landing screen
New GSC mobile app landing screen

And the screen to the left now is the new GSC mobile app landing screen. The banner below is not hiding the 5 quick icons, instead it has been moved inside the menu (three lines at the top right). When you click on the menu, then it reveals your navigation tabs.

From the landing screen, now I’ve to make an added step to make a movie booking compared to when I had the quick icons.

GSC mobile app cinemas and movie information
GSC mobile app cinemas and movie information

In the Cinemas screen to the left, there’s a new heart icon now which I’ll let you guess what it is as part of a mini user experience test. The other prominent visual I now noticed in this tab is the ticket buying button. I probably never bothered with this last time because the quick icons were good enough for me.

The screen to the right above is what you’ll see when you click on a movie. The presentation here is cleaner and more consistent now, with the addition of viewing the movie trailer – opens in YouTube.

Mark your favourite cinemas
Mark your favorite cinemas

If you guessed the heart icon was linked to your preferred cinema then you are right. 🙂

The updated GSC mobile app does come with some commendable new ideas, like the ability to now mark your favourite cinemas and arrange them later in the My Favorite Cinemas tab. After identifying your favorite cinemas, it’ll help speed up your future movie bookings.

New GSC mobile app movie booking screen
New GSC mobile app movie booking screen

The only option now I found close to how I used to make my movie bookings like the original GSC mobile app is via the FasTicket tab.

While my first thought of this screen was that I could make a booking as smooth as what I used before, I didn’t feel that way though. No t sure it could’ve been due to my mobile performance as well.

Click and pop
Click and pop

What happens now is when you click on the first step, it’ll pop up the list of available dates like the right screen. Then, after you select the date, you will have to wait for the 2nd icon; Select A Cinema, to light up before clicking on it.

My first experience here was that I didn’t know I had to wait for the 2nd option to activate (light up) before I could proceed. I felt a little disappointed and frustrated that every time after I selecten an option, I had to wait for the next.

My opinion here is because I placed my conscious state thinking a FasTicket would be fast (it’s called fast) and seeing how the steps are displayed as a list, I thought making the booking would be really fast. Just click, select, click, select and next.

Something good to note on this screen is you can now pre-purchase a food combo (popcorn and soft drink or bottled water) as you book your tickets. Good stuff!

Select your seats and make the payment
Select your seats and make the payment

Once you get to the seat selection screen, I’d say this was an improvement over the previous version. The top portion reminds you of your chosen booking details and the icons now look more user-friendly with its colouring, and size too I think.

The one small confusion I had with this screen was that the Legend to refer the meaning of the icons was either in the “box with lines” icon or the ” i ” icon.

Naturally, I tapped on the ” i ” icon because it’s commonly used to represent helpful information – it wasn’t the Legend. It was weird having to click on the icon with boxes and lines because when you browse the internet, this icon is normally used to represent an alternative display arrangement of products with description on its side. *shrug*

Just before you get to the payment screen on the right, if you’re using the new mobile app for the first time, you’ll be prompted to complete your personal details. After doing this once, it’ll be pre-filled in future when you go through this step.

One thing I’ve observed from this new interface is that the time limit now is clearly visible and positioned on the payment screen. *thumbs*

Booking history and QR code
Booking history and QR code

Once payment is completed, you’ll find the new booking listed in your History tab.

To GSC or the mobile app team,

If you are reading this, please quickly update your app to arrange the history list from most recent to oldest by default.

It’s now displaying the oldest to most recent. Imagine the required scrolling if my history is rather long. T_T

The one improvement here is instead of having to click on your booking to load the next screen to retrieve the QR code, you can now click on the QR icon on the booking list and it’ll popup the window as per right screen. *thumbs*

This definitely speeds up retrieval of the much needed QR code when entering the cinema.

Updated GSC mobile app in summary

  • Removal of quick icons wasn’t the best move.
  • Love your idea to add favourite cinemas.
  • Current delays using FasTicket is bearable though can be improved – maybe not display the next steps (total off state).
  • Move the Legend into the ” i ” icon or find a better way.
  • Good job making the time more visible and prominent.
  • Rearrange the History list from most recent to oldest very very very soon.
  • Great choice made to open the QR code in a popup than load a different screen.

By the way, my personal belief nowadays is we accomplish more and greater things when collaboration is formed. Maybe you could consider synchronizing the mobile apps booking history with your website because it doesn’t at this moment. 😉

Updated June 22, 2014

I found another bug while deleting my booking history because my past bookings were always above my new bookings.

History remains
History remains

After deleting my previous bookings, I noticed the older bookings which I had deleted still remained in the Delete list.

How Search Works by Google Business Group Malaysia

google business group malaysia

The Internet is ever moving forward. So there isn’t such a thing as not learning something new. This was why I attended the recent Google Business Group Malaysia event titled; How Search Works.

The event was held at a space owned by iTrain and graciously conducted by Wilfred Halim from Google Singapore, whom I’d like to add was very open in parting knowledge.

google business group malaysia
Meet Wilfred Halim

To start it off, here’s some interesting notes I took down:

  • Google makes about 500+ changes a year to its search algorithm.
  • Google prioritizes the indexing of a website by the update activity and authority. E.g.: Anonymous news site with unknown authors compared to CNN, who do you think will rank higher?
  • Google ranks search results using more than 200 factors.

So dear readers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not that easy to do, okay.

Tips and tricks to make a search friendly website

Tip #1: Is your content crawlable

One of the key ingredients to discover whether your website content is crawlable, is to use Google Webmaster Tools. If you already have an account, login and select the website you wish to examine. Then, go to Crawl > Fetch as Google to see whether the results is search friendly.

P.S.: “This content requires Adobe Flash Player…” is not the only thing you should have crawled for your website.

Tip #2: Background check

The Internet is 8249 days old and counting. There may have been domain names registered a long time ago, which you didn’t realize were abused and penalized by Google before but now own it.

One of the things you can do is use the “Wayback machine” to research how the previous owner used the domain name and whether its content may have been penalized for abuse.

If such a scenario occurs, what you would have to do is file a reconsideration to Google. And by the way, you may want to write in either Bahasa Malaysia or even Chinese, it may help speed up your reconsideration process.

Tip #3: What do your visitors want?

It’s all about the content. And making it easy enough for them and Googlebot to understand what is it you want to say. Sure, you may want it to sound “flowery” because you want to be seen more professional. However, not everyone is a wordsmith and if the visitor can’t understand you, they’ll probably just leave.

Think about the phrases and words your visitors may use to query your website. Have those phrases and words humanly written into your content. And 1 of added tricks was to think of alternative keywords your visitors may use as well.

Tip #4: Strategy in site design

During this slide, Wilfred emphasized user experience does play a role in a search friendly site. Is the navigation structure clear? Do visitors dig too deep for information?

The advice given was also to have 1 topic per page. So if you wanted to talk about “kangkung”, don’t throw in the “ayam” unless the page is about a recipe.

Then he also mentioned alternate tags (alt) for images are very important and should be written in relevance to the page content.

Tip #5: Better faster stronger

It is recommended for an e-commerce website to load in 2 seconds. While the measurement of this wasn’t made clear, you can start by comparing it to your local load time of the website.

There’s a Google tool for that as well. It’s called PageSpeed Insight and all you have to do is key in the website address URL to learn what can be improved and what is done well. Here’s an example:

google pagespeed insight website

Other mentionable notes are Google is aiming at even faster page load times, like half a second. Yes, half a second.

Tip #6: Cross product reference

Social media can help and boost your online presence. However, remember that Google also will measure based on your authority and activity. Thus, there can be a difference between social media accounts with a lot of followers but no updates and one with a little less followers but more updates. As put by Wilfred, “a site well liked by the community tends to do well”.

An added trick is to know what is the more popular social media platform of the visitors you’re targeting and be active in those platforms. For Malaysia, needless to say it is still Facebook.

Oh. Wilfred also informed everyone to be wary of hiring rogue search engine optimization (SEO) consultants and to watch our for guarantees. Because as he noted, you can be page 1 for one day but page 100 for life once penalized.

Tip #7: Mobile design tips

I was kinda taken aback when he mentioned this.

Asia Pacific traffic is more on mobile than desktop.

With a quick lookup, I managed to find this chart showing the internet traffic consumption by mobile in 2013.

asia pacific internet traffic consumption november 2013
Asia Pacific internet traffic consumption november 2013

And some of the keypoints mentioned were:

  • Mobile users are high maintenance and have little patience.
  • They prefer menus and lists to be short.
  • Preference should be filterting over sorting.
  • It is recommended to have a default input mode.
  • Reduce form submission errors by considering real-time verification.
  • Reduce pinch-to-zoom actions on mobile optimized websites.
  • Social media login should never be the only option for member based websites.

Lastly, a bonus tip was if you owned an e-commerce website, consider the ability to checkout as guest.

Well, I hope these tips were helpful to you and if you want to know about other future events organized by the Google Business Group (Malaysia chapter), go ahead and Like their Facebook Page.