UI Problems with the RedBox Android App

By Eric Lathrop on

While I was out to dinner last night I decided to pick up a movie on the way home. I opened up my RedBox Android app, and tried to make a reservation. The experience was more frustrating than it needed to be, so I wanted to document the problems with the app's UI in the hopes that they are fixed, and so others do not make the same mistakes.

Update 2013-09-27: RedBox recently pushed an update that addressed these complaints, and is a much better experience overall. Bravo!

The RedBox app

Do not display useless options

After you search for a movie, and press the "Reserve" button, you are presented with a list of kiosks which includes kiosks that do not have the movie.

The RedBox app lists kiosks that do not have the movie

Solution: do not display kiosks that do not have the movie.

The map screen commits the same mistake. The map screen shows many kiosks, only two of which actually have the movie. Have fun guessing which two!

The RedBox app map shows kiosks that do not have the movie

Solution: do not display kiosks that do not have the movie.

The map screen is even worse because you cannot tell which kiosks do not have the movie until you press the reserve button and get an error:

The RedBox app map failing to reserve a movie

Provide links between data

On the location list screen, you can see the address of each kiosk. In Android, you can normally click any address to open it in Google Maps. You can open the address inside the RedBox maps screen if you click the red location marker, but I did not figure this out until much later.

The RedBox app does not let you see the address on a map

Solution: make the address itself clickable.

After you successfully reserve a movie, you are probably going to drive to the kiosk to pick it up. The RedBox app checkout complete screen shows you the kiosk address, but does not link it to open in Google Maps. If you need driving directions to the kiosk, you are forced to write down the address and google it yourself.

The RedBox app does not link the address to Google Maps

Solution: make the address clickable.

Do not force re-entry of data that could be saved

Every time I try to complete my reservation, I am forced to re-enter my password. Why is there even a "Remember me" checkbox if I am logged out automatically? After I log in, I should never be logged out unless I explicitly log out myself. My phone has its own password, so I am not worried about someone making reservations without my consent.

The RedBox app does not keep you logged in

Solution: stay logged in until I log out explicitly.

Even more frustrating is that when I finally login, my cart is emptied and I have to begin the reservation process all over again!

The RedBox app empties my cart after login

Solution: remember the cart contents after login.

My current location is not my future location

If I am out at dinner and I want to pick up a movie on the way home, I would rather stop at a kiosk that is along my route, but farther away, than go to a closer kiosk that is out of my way. The map screen does not show me my current location, so it is hard to tell if a kiosk is on the way.

The RedBox app does not show your current location

Solution: show my current location on the map.

The map screen also provides no way to look for kiosks at a different location to where I currently am. If drag the map to where I am headed, it should show me the kiosks at the new location.

The RedBox app does not show kiosks at other locations

Solution: refresh the kiosks when I recenter the map.