Reel.com makes movie matching easy and fun

Date of evaluation: 5/20/99(See our disclaimer on the date of evaluation.)How to get there:1.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor
Date of evaluation: 5/20/99
(See our disclaimer on the date of evaluation.)

How to get there:
1. Go to www.reel.com
2. Click the "Movie Matches" link.

Summary: A quick, easy and fun presentation of a "similar products" feature

Reel screen shot -- small
Click for larger view


Similar to CDnow's Album Advisor, Reel.com's Movie Matches makes it easy to find a video based on viewing preference. Enter the title of a favorite movie into the "Movie Matches" feature, and Reel.com returns a list of recommendations of similar movies. Each listing contains the title, year, stars, director and a one-sentence synopsis.

The results are carefully presented to meet customers' expectations of relevant matches: results are grouped into "Close Matches" and "Creative Matches." Customers who want the closest possible match right away will be happy to find the "short list" of Close Matches on the top of the results page. Creative Matches are lower on the page, which is the right design: these results may not be as accurate, but they're still valuable to those customers who actively scroll down to find them.

Another good aspect of the Movie Matches feature is its speed. By using minimal graphics on the page, and relying on creative use of colored tables, the Movie Matches page loads quickly yet still is attractive in appearance.

The search form on the bottom of the page makes it easy for customers to search again. This is beneficial to Reel, because it helps generate more page views and gives customers a broader look at Reel's product offerings. For customers, searching again turns "Movie Matching" into a fun activity by itself.

Reel.com's Movie Matches are quick, easy and fun to use -- and that turns browsing into a good customer experience.

Disclaimer: It's possible that the features discussed in our evaluation may have changed since the time we reviewed the site. We still find it useful to display and discuss these features, though, since our aim is to learn from the good or bad design of the feature, regardless of when it was live on the site.

Creative Good Our Methodology:
ZDNet and Creative Good have teamed up to bring you the best and the worst examples of e-commerce on the Web. In ranking a site, we use a specific methodology. The methodology alone should serve as a great set of guidelines for any e-commerce architect.

Why Best Practices?
When it comes to providing the best online experience for your customers, there's no place to go to learn from what others have done. ZDNet's E-Business Best Practices area changes all that. Brought to you by ZDNet and Creative Good, Best Practices is the first and only library of the best and worst that the Web has to offer in e-commerce design. If you're one of that new breed of IT professionals they call e-commerce architects, Best Practices will give you explicit examples of what works, what doesn't and why. You won't find anything like this anywhere else on the Web.

Editorial standards