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Ster-Kinekor gets mobile revamp

Ster-Kinekor has launched a new mobile web site, with a fresh look and new features. SEAN BACHER speaks to Neil Aves of Prezence Digital to find out what makes the new site special.

Last week, Ster-Kinekor launched its brand new mobile site which allows users to access a range of new features on the go, from any mobile device and for any Ster-Kinekor cinema located in South Africa. Developed by Prezence Digital, it replaces a mobile site that was more than four years old and had become dated by its use of older technology.

According to Neil Aves, technical director of Prezence Digital, the objective for the new site was to focus on three main areas, these being: design, usability and technical innovation.

The new mobi site was designed in such a way that it has a simple minimalist layout which allows for better performance in download speeds yet looks slick and in line with the branding on the new website to create a seamless experience across web and mobi. Because we are working with a smaller screen and do not have a lot of room, we did not want to clutter the interface with up-selling all of Ster-Kinekor offerings or have lots of distracting content. The mobi site focuses the user on movie listings and selecting options such as information, trailers, cinema and cinema options, all “funnelling”” the user down the route of booking, so once they decide what they want, it’s easy to jump into the booking process and pay for your tickets. While choosing cinemas on the mobi site there is a new option at the bottom of the listings called “”cinemas near you,”” which lists cinemas near your nearest selected cinema so should you find your desired movie is not available at your cinema of choice, you can easily jump to the next closest cinema.

Prezence Digital also have a product they developed called Handset Content Adaptation (HCA) which means that a mobi site ‚knows‚ what device is accessing it and what the device’s capabilities are, allowing a the site to resize and cater for all devices.

The major innovations on the site would be seat selection, GPS location and trailer delivery.

The biggest “”barrier for entry”” on the old mobi site was the inability to physically choose which seats you wanted. However, the new site now supports this, regardless of screen size and whether the phone supports javascript or not.

The solution works on any phone and if you have a smartphone, you will see an enhanced version of the seating plan, allowing you to pinch zoom and select seats while others first choose a segment within the cinema followed by their seats – slightly different experiences for different devices but in the end the goal was for this to work for everyone.

The new mobi site also makes use of the device’s GPS capability (if the device supports GPS) so that when a customer logs onto the site, it automatically searches for their closest cinema. Customers can then change the location should they wish.

Another strong feature of the new mobile site is that all trailers, which are downloadable, have also been customised for individual handsets.

We currently encode 20 different trailer versions. Older phones still use the 3GP movie format which the site caters for, whereas newer devices support the MP4 format which is also catered for. We also deliver different sizes of each trailer based on the device accessing the mobi site meaning that any device will be able to view trailers regardless of make and model.

Aves says that Prezence Digital will continue to work with Ster-Kinekor to make its site even more appealing to South Africans.

Check out Ster-Kinekors new site here:

* Follow Sean Bacher on Twitter on @seanbacher

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