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Blue-ray

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blu-ray.com

Blu-ray is a website specifically designed to cover blu-ray related news, releases, and announcements. The website links useful resources to movie and tv lovers. Recently, they have expanded to cover 3-D movies, 3-D Blu-ray, video games, and other topics film fanatics may have interests in.

It may look like the website is selling blu-rays directly from the site, but it actually outsources all links to other websites where viewers can find the product. Blu-ray not only provides links to buy the product but contains a surprising amount of movie reviews.

Website Design

At first glance, the website design is a mess. The color scheme is okay. It is light blue and white. There is a clean fresh look, but it gets lost in the sloppiness of the text placement and layout. Navigation is difficult. It looks like the website design was not well thought out.

The text is very small and difficult to read. Eye strain is an issue while being on the website for a prolonged amount of time. There are no clearly defined spaces on the home page. The only way to differentiate articles is that the titles are in a bold text. There are random columns in the middle of the page without explanation. There are advertisements present on the page, but fortunately, they do not interfere with the user interface.

Content

There is so much content available on Blu-ray. It would be much easier to identify if the categories and sections of the website were more well-defined. The zoom function was utilized a lot for me while reading articles on this site.

Digging in a little deeper to the website, there is a great community feature. Forums are largely used by readers to connect and compare products. The forums are very active and helpful. This section of the website is also designed slightly better than the rest. It is easier to navigate. In the community threads, topics include Blu-ray, Movies, Tv Shows, Anime, Collectibles, Gaming, Home Theaters, Audio, and Hot Deals. There are many more categories with active users who respond quickly.

The main focus of the website is Blu-ray. In the category, users can look at the stats of new releases and favorite movies. The website has a database of an incredible amount of titles. The organization on this part of the website is also a lot better than the homepage. Readers are able to search Blu-rays by genre, release dates, by the studio, alphabetically, and in many other ways.

The video game section is still growing but has substantial content already. There are video game reviews, forums, and the best deals available on the web sections. The categorization of gaming content is also organized meticulously. There is a page dedicated to every gaming console. From there, viewers can read reviews and find offers on related products. If you click on a game the page reveals retail information, summaries, specifications, user reviews, forums, and more information.

The deals category on Blu-ray might be the best section of the entire website. It takes the hassle out of searching multiple times on different search engines and offers the best price. The advanced settings make searches a breeze. The search includes not only Blu-rays but also DVDs, box sets, video games, video game consoles, home theater equipment, Legos, Funko Pops, comics, books, posters, and snacks!

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

The desktop browser access is fine. The website design is not the best, so that makes it significantly worse. The layout confuses viewers and makes navigation a pain. The main menu categories are clearly labeled, so it helps some. It seems the home page is the one with the worst layout. Other specific categories were organized better and easier to use. The biggest issue is the font size. Without zooming, eye strain is inevitable.

The mobile browser is an even bigger nightmare than the desktop version. The site is exactly the same but much smaller. It is impossible to use without zoom. It is difficult to navigate. I did not use this version very long before giving up on it completely. It is pretty useless. Don’t waste time trying to use the mobile version. Do yourself a favor and skip straight to the desktop. There is no application on the app store for Blu-ray.

Positives

There is an incredible amount of content available on Blu-ray. The content is sometimes the technical aspects of movies like summaries and retail information. Although some of it may be boring it is still useful information gathered in a central location. The more entertaining sides of the website are the reviews and forums. ‘

The deals category is another entertaining part of the website. I could get lost on it for hours. The organization of deals is phenomenal. There is a multitude of filtering options. The advanced searches optimize the user interface. The general search is another positive feature. It delivers an impressive amount of results.

The community of Blu-ray is admirable. There are forums dedicated to specific topics including movies, tv, anime, pop culture, and collectibles. The users in the forums are very active and responsive. There are discussions that foster a sense of community. With a sense of community, it is no surprise that Blu-ray has so many active members, despite their website design issues.

Negatives

The most negative part of Blu-ray is website design. There is a lot I could complain about on this subject. The home page is the biggest issue. It lacks design and directionality. A good layout is consistent and directs the reader’s attention in a pattern. There is no clear layout to the homepage of Blu-ray. There are no borders or line breaks to separate articles. The only feature that stands out is that headlines are a couple of font sizes larger and in bold text. However, this is not enough to provide a true distinction. There are columns that are almost in the middle of the website, but not quite. They are off-center and unattractive to view. The menus are one of the only reprieves in the messiness. However, the color scheme and small text make that small positive into a negative as well.

There is a large number of ads on the website. They are sometimes frustrating, but mostly well-placed within the site. If the website design was not as annoying, this issue would probably be more relevant.

Improvements Needed

There are only a few improvements I could suggest for Blu-ray. The main one would be a website redesign. Focusing on making the site more visually appealing to viewers would be a tremendous help. Improving font size and readability would greatly help. I would spend more time on the website if it were not for having to strain my eyes to view every article. Zooming is a temporary solution but results in frustration. Aside from rebuilding the website entirely, there are a few small improvements that could be made – enlarging text, providing some sort of flow to articles, and using more graphics.

A mobile app would be a nice improvement. It would take a lot of work to optimize this website into an application, but if it were done it would be a huge improvement. It would increase website traffic and bring more users to forums.

Summary

At first glance, Blu-ray is a disorganized funky looking website. It has some issues, but once you get past them it has a lot to offer. There are movie reviews that are entertaining to read and a very advanced search function. The forums on Blu-ray is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests. There are also many topics to talk about and the community seems very active. Best deals are a category to find some amazing prices on unique items like Funko Pops, Legos, collectibles, comics, and more.

Likes & Hates:
There is a lot of available content
The forums offer a unique sense of community
Movie and TV Reviews are fun to read.
The advanced search is a great tool
The best deals section is a highlight of the website.
The text is ridiculously small
The mobile browser is useless to try to use
The layout of the website has no directionality
The design of the homepage is terrible