New IFC HK Website: Never Learned

A couple of friends in Facebook notified their connections through their respective walls about the new-look website of the International Finance Centre.

I must say that this is a welcome news, knowing that the previous version was more than half a decade old. Not that the old one was horrible looking (see Disclosure below.), but a lot of things must have evolved during the period that the website may. During the same feature, rivals Pacific Place, Citygate Outlets and Harbour City underwent online facelift.

FreeMoneyWhen my curiosity took over and visited the website, the sight wasn’t worth the excitement someone else might have felt after over five years of wait. I didn’t know parking was a big part of the business that its page was promoted prominently in the homepage. Remnants of the old design was still present. However, if one might assume the current reincarnation of the website offers nostalgic journey of the past through these legacy templates, you’ll be frustrated. Littered with broken links, I was wondering that the agency tasked to revamp the website ran out of time to do a review as the mall eagerly awaits the website launch.

And did I mention that Flash remains one flagship feature of this website? I’d love to know who is the agency behind this. Perhaps it’s the creativity — or the lack thereof — that produced this new website version. But it could also because the client insists on recycling old ideas and make them appear new. And that’s not the fault of the agency — unless it’s proactive enough.

But design issues aside, one area that I felt sorry about is how sloppy the old website was handled; no proper turnover was made. As a result, a return visitor who searches the brand name in Google finds himself looking at a link that is no longer valid. That’s a loyal customer having a frustrating experience.

ifchk

Over time, search engines will figure out and replace that defective link with a working version. But while we await for that to happen, expect a good number of opportunities to slip away. And this experience could spill over other keywords people use to find IFC or its properties, too. As far as I could remember, when I search for ‘hong kong cinemas’ the cinema page of IFC is a constant fixture on Google search results. Now, it’s nowhere to be found.

oops

Oops, that’s what a frustrated search engine can only blurt about a page that is supposed to be there, but is no longer there. I guess Avinash Kaushik, Google’s analytics evangelist in his keynote spearch at SES Hong Kong yesterday hit the nail on the head when he shared many of Hong Kong’s websites puke with irrelevant information.

When will we ever learn?

Disclosure: I was part of the team that built the previous version of www.ifc.com.hk.