I canceled my subscription - here's why



  • I really like the streaming offerings that Funimation offers, but the overall experience of using the website made me cancel:

    • Discoverability: It's extremely difficult for me to find a list of episodes for the current series I'm watching without having to do navigational tricks - the current method I've been using to simply get to the next episode is to stream the current video to near-the-end where it will then prompt for you to watch the next episode. Adding a list of episodes on the video page to jump to would significantly help.

    • Discoverability 2: On the main Funimation "Watch online" section, clicking on the show title jumps me directly to the current episode for that show. If I've never seen the show before, why would it take me to an episode that isn't ep 1? Not only that, the issues mentioned above make it much more difficult for me to want to watch the series because I have no way of getting to the first episode.

    • Streaming: When watching, I'll see that the video has streamed a good portion (the grey stream progress bar indicator on the video controls), but if I jump to any portion of the completed progress bar, the entire video has to re-buffer. Not only is it a waste of bandwidth for Funimation and I, it's a jarring experience to have to wait for it to buffer again.

    • Other: The pulldown view that happens when you click on your account name is jarring. I'd rather have a dedicated page for my queue, or have it listed on the side of the main content instead as a sidebar item.

    tl;dr: I want a way to quickly get to the episodes of a show and not have to jump through hoops to get it. I recommend looking at competitor sites like Crunchyroll to understand how their UX works and why it works.



  • @Personalife:

    the current method I've been using to simply get to the next episode is to stream the current video to near-the-end where it will then prompt for you to watch the next episode. Adding a list of episodes on the video page to jump to would significantly help.

    There's a "playlist" menu on the video bar; click that and the episode list pops up so you can scroll to the video you want.



  • It appears you are a bit misguided on how to use the service, that is the source of your "confusion": Granted, it isn't the cleanest of presentations. Some points below:

    @Personalife:

    • Discoverability 2: On the main Funimation "Watch online" section, clicking on the show title jumps me directly to the current episode for that show. If I've never seen the show before, why would it take me to an episode that isn't ep 1?

    What you are looking at are the "recently updated videos". So whatever just came out; will play, and not the start of the series.

    @Personalife:

    -Streaming: When watching, I'll see that the video has streamed a good portion (the grey stream progress bar indicator on the video controls), but if I jump to any portion of the completed progress bar, the entire video has to re-buffer.

    The bar doesn't show download buffering or otherwise… it only shows were you are/completed progress of the video.

    @Personalife:

    • Discoverability: It's extremely difficult for me to find a list of episodes for the current series I'm watching without having to do navigational tricks

    If you have a series in the query, you can look at all videos for that show by clicking on "View All Videos".

    Alternatively, you can access the full series of videos from any video by clicking on the 3bar icon (next to SUB/DUB button). It pops up with a UI that allows you to select all the videos for the series.



  • @TIL:

    There's a "playlist" menu on the video bar; click that and the episode list pops up so you can scroll to the video you want.

    Thanks, but it's barely noticeable. It does help though. Doesn't mean the issue is solved for others who are also having the same problems but haven't bothered to check the forums.



  • @Personalife:

    Thanks, but it's barely noticeable. It does help though. Doesn't mean the issue is solved for others who are also having the same problems but haven't bothered to check the forums.

    The UI is a HULU one. Basically, its the same for everywhere (Twitter, Youtube, CR); one way or another. A general rule of "Al Gore's Internet" is to simply play with all the buttons, until you know what they do.



  • It's definitely a buffer bar:

    http://imgur.com/v3yF952

    I may be "misguided", but there's nothing on the site to "guide" me. I can't be the only user and that kind of attitude with respect to support will just alienate more users from using the site.

    Can't press buttons if I can't even find where they are. Asking the user to press (or even search around for) things until it works is bad UI.



  • @Personalife:

    It's definitely a buffer bar:

    It looks like a buffer bar, but I assure you, it is not one. Its a "fake buffer bar". It may look like a real one; as you clearly stated, if you move the video around, it reloads. Plus there is no way a HD video could load that fast anyways, if you think about it.

    @Personalife:

    Can't press buttons if I can't even find where they are. Asking the user to press (or even search around for) things until it works is bad UI.

    It is how the Internet was designed… with the assumption that users self-service themselves. Where is the UI guide to tell me how to buy things at Amazon.com? Book a flight on United.com? Or even how to use Google.com? Or Youtube.com for that matter? The Internet has been designed in a way, that assumes people either know; or are able to figure out, how to use it. It takes no prisoners for the "technologically inept", at that.

    Don't worry about it. If you didn't figure it out before, just consider it as a learning experience. You, and anyone else like you, will figure it out eventually. Don't fear "button mashing", as it were.



  • So you're unsatisfied with the player and in general you weren't too keen on the service and layout itself in comparison to the more optimized Crunchyroll app. Honestly, as a user of both I can kind of see where you're coming from. One can only hope with the advent of Funimation Now on the website we can get something a little easier for all. But hey at the very least you can always choose to re-subscribe should you choose to if you would ever like to try it out again once all the kinks have been ironed out.

    On the plus side, love the username!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr61qXnOQMc



  • That's the thing - there shouldn't be a UI guide, it should be intuitive, and in this case it is not. Don't understand why a fake buffer bar is necessary if it doesn't do what it intuitively should be doing. HD videos can stream quite quickly if you have an extremely high speed connection (eg FIOS) and the site serving the video has upload speeds that can match the corresponding d/l speeds.

    This is my last message here. I'm sorry that rather than take in constructive criticism, the response is to blame the user or take it personally. I wish Funimation the best with Funimation Now(? first time heard of it), and hope that customer service improves as well. For now, I'll continue to use other paid streaming services and/or unofficial streams.

    I just wanted to make a post to inform that I and potentially others might have like-issues as well that may prevent Funimation streaming from gaining more traction.

    I didn't want to throw it out there, but I'm a well-known software engineer who has worked on large projects / sites that you've most likely used and thus have experience with how UI should work. I understand "how the internet works" in the sense of starting from what happens when you type in funimation.com in your browser down to the packets going out of the router, between routers, to servers, between servers (and the services that might get called along the way) and out again.

    And yes, my username is inspired by Persona, specifically Persona 2.

    I'm sorry, just wanted to help.



  • @Personalife:

    That's the thing - there shouldn't be a UI guide, it should be intuitive, and in this case it is not.

    Well, I found the player very straightforward; there is only so many buttons on it, by any conventional definition, in either case. Then again, I am not 40+ years old either…

    ...On behalf of our crew, all of our FUNimation team, and our Star Alliance Partners; we thank you for Flying the Friendly Skies with us today, and we hope to see you on another FUNimation flight soon.



  • These are all actually really excellent suggestions and they make perfect sense to me as things to look into in terms of FunimationNow UX and overall site design.

    I'll let Sophie weigh in on that one, since it's really more her area of expertise, but the only part of this I would comment on "negatively" is that the player is an adaptive bitrate player, so it does technically "buffer" and it is a buffering bar, but you'll never see it buffer very far ahead– this is not universal, but I would say it's widespread enough to be industry standard at this point, particularly as it's how Netflix serves video.

    The other things are really good points. Please be excellent to each other! ;)



  • @Personalife:

    This is my last message here. I'm sorry that rather than take in constructive criticism, the response is to blame the user or take it personally. I wish Funimation the best with Funimation Now(? first time heard of it), and hope that customer service improves as well. For now, I'll continue to use other paid streaming services and/or unofficial streams.

    I'm sorry you feel that way. Rest assured everyone at Funimation values and appreciates your feedback. I'm sorry that your experience with them was less than stellar. Hopefully once they get all the bugs worked out, maybe you can give them another shot sometime in the future.

    Again, apologies for the rude behavior of some of our forum members. Please rest assured that they most certainly do not represent the opinions of Funimation as a company. :)



  • @Personalife:

    I'm sorry, just wanted to help.

    Personalife if you are still here let it be known that any and all critical feedback of the layout and formatting of this website's player and flaws is and will always be warranted on this website, regardless and you should NOT be ashamed of trying to be critical and constructive by any means necessary. I apologize that someone chose to blame the user instead of taking your feedback but believe me any and all feedback on the state of the player or website is welcome, and is in fact, always something to be critical and constructive of as it is far from perfect.

    Also, said "user" does not in fact, speak for the website and I am VERY sorry that their decision was to "blame the user" instead of just, well, letting you speak your peace calmly and reasonably well written critique. I am very sorry. To me, that is not how the internet works.

    Also I've always actually heard a lot of good on Persona 2, but I actually started on the 3/4 parts of the series. I'm aware the battle system is probably vastly different but I've always been curious to start considering it's an important part of the series as well.



  • @thegrandalliance:

    The bar doesn't show download buffering or otherwise… it only shows were you are/completed progress of the video.

    The bar actually shows the buffering in Google Chrome. (At least for me it does.)



  • @Personalife:

    • Discoverability: It's extremely difficult for me to find a list of episodes for the current series I'm watching without having to do navigational tricks - the current method I've been using to simply get to the next episode is to stream the current video to near-the-end where it will then prompt for you to watch the next episode. Adding a list of episodes on the video page to jump to would significantly help.

    This already exists. Click the three lines button on the video player to display the playlist. You can jump to any episode from any season of the show.

    @Personalife:

    • Discoverability 2: On the main Funimation "Watch online" section, clicking on the show title jumps me directly to the current episode for that show. If I've never seen the show before, why would it take me to an episode that isn't ep 1? Not only that, the issues mentioned above make it much more difficult for me to want to watch the series because I have no way of getting to the first episode.

    This has been suggested before and has been addressed in the upcoming new US site.

    @Personalife:

    • Streaming: When watching, I'll see that the video has streamed a good portion (the grey stream progress bar indicator on the video controls), but if I jump to any portion of the completed progress bar, the entire video has to re-buffer. Not only is it a waste of bandwidth for Funimation and I, it's a jarring experience to have to wait for it to buffer again.

    CJ has already addressed this point. This is how adaptive bitrate works and is dependent upon the speed of your internet connection.

    @Personalife:

    • Other: The pulldown view that happens when you click on your account name is jarring. I'd rather have a dedicated page for my queue, or have it listed on the side of the main content instead as a sidebar item.

    A dedicated page for your Queue already exists. The pulldown at the top is just a quicklist of first 8 shows in your Queue's custom sort. If you click on the "View All" button below that or on the "Queue" link in the header, you'll go straight to your Queue page.

    It looks like your main issue was actually our site's poor navigation. You weren't able to find the features you were looking for because they were too hidden on the current site. The new site coming in a few months should address all of these issues for you, and I hope you'll come back for that. I would be happy to notify you when this happens if that is all right with you. ^_^

    Thank you for all of your feedback. ^^



  • @CJ:

    The other things are really good points. Please be excellent to each other! ;)

    @SpacemanHardy:

    Again, apologies for the rude behavior of some of our forum members. Please rest assured that they most certainly do not represent the opinions of Funimation as a company.

    @classyspartan:

    I apologize that someone chose to blame the user instead of taking your feedback

    Oh, the irony…

    @Sophie:

    This already exists. Click the three lines button on the video player to display the playlist. You can jump to any episode from any season of the show.

    This has been suggested before and has been addressed in the upcoming new US site.

    CJ has already addressed this point. This is how adaptive bitrate works and is dependent upon the speed of your internet connection.

    A dedicated page for your Queue already exists. The pulldown at the top is just a quicklist of first 8 shows in your Queue's custom sort. If you click on the "View All" button below that or on the "Queue" link in the header, you'll go straight to your Queue page.

    It looks like your main issue was actually our site's poor navigation. You weren't able to find the features you were looking for because they were too hidden on the current site. The new site coming in a few months should address all of these issues for you, and I hope you'll come back for that. I would be happy to notify you when this happens if that is all right with you. ^_^

    Thank you for all of your feedback. ^^

    Sophie says the exact same I did; to the degree of such, but yet I get blamed for everything. In my defence… note how I didn't saw anything that even could be considered "negative", as you imply, until post 10. I did not right off "blaming the user", as you falsely suggested. Also note, how the user already declared that they canceled their sub (and nothing said here will change that); so alas, trying to put blame on me for someone who has already made up their mind without due cause, is hardly my fault.

    O wait, but when Sophie makes the EXACT same points (and I do mean exact) its OKAY; but yet when TGA does it...

    O NO! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

    BTW, and do take this one with /maxcondescension: Reading is a Skill. I believe we are done here…



  • Let's all be nice to each other, please. TGA was only trying to help and I don't think was being rude.



  • @Sophie:

    Let's all be nice to each other, please. TGA was only trying to help and I don't think was being rude.

    Pretend you're an upset customer then read over the posts again Sophie. The OP is looking for a more streamlined service and being ridiculed by TGA for not figuring it out. The whole "misguided" thing was the start, but is relatively easy to brush aside. The problem is TGA always assumes you don't know what your talking about, then when you respond that you do things get ugly. Read carefully, especially the third or fourth post by TGA…. You almost do the same and don't exactly address the points he/she made. I'm glad Funi is making an effort but it doesn't benefit you to alienate your customers, even the ones that are leaving, by not listening or by endorsing an over zealous fan that is being rude and getting away with it because they always take your side. Word of mouth can be a nasty thing.



  • @thegrandalliance:

    O wait, but when Sophie makes the EXACT same points (and I do mean exact) its OKAY; but yet when TGA does it…

    I wouldn't worry about it. I agree with you on most the points. The site isn't perfect, but the user had his mind made up and although there are issues there were some other ways he could have navigated the site to improve his experience, but he wasn't open to it. For someone who works on large scale web projects you think he would have more knowledge on navigating a slightly clunky user interface. I appreciate you and everyone on the forum. :)



  • @lefwig:

    Pretend you're an upset customer then read over the posts again Sophie. The OP is looking for a more streamlined service and being ridiculed by TGA for not figuring it out. The whole "misguided" thing was the start, but is relatively easy to brush aside. The problem is TGA always assumes you don't know what your talking about, then when you respond that you do things get ugly. Read carefully, especially the third or fourth post by TGA…. You almost do the same and don't exactly address the points he/she made. I'm glad Funi is making an effort but it doesn't benefit you to alienate your customers, even the ones that are leaving, by not listening or by endorsing an over zealous fan that is being rude and getting away with it because they always take your side. Word of mouth can be a nasty thing.

    No, I completely understand where the user is coming from. That's why I put the fault on the site and not on the OP. The OP is absolutely right. It's also why the new site will hopefully be more intuitive. What I was trying to do was offer help on how the user could get to where he wanted to go. :hmm:

    Yes, TGA could have worded their response better, but I think they were also only trying to help. However, that is also why I posted that everyone should be nicer to each other. I apologize if my response didn't come across that way and will look more closely at my responses.



  • @lefwig:

    Pretend you're an upset customer then read over the posts again Sophie. The OP is looking for a more streamlined service and being ridiculed by TGA for not figuring it out. The whole "misguided" thing was the start, but is relatively easy to brush aside. The problem is TGA always assumes you don't know what your talking about, then when you respond that you do things get ugly. Read carefully, especially the third or fourth post by TGA…. You almost do the same and don't exactly address the points he/she made. I'm glad Funi is making an effort but it doesn't benefit you to alienate your customers, even the ones that are leaving, by not listening or by endorsing an over zealous fan that is being rude and getting away with it because they always take your side. Word of mouth can be a nasty thing.

    No, I completely understand where the user is coming from. That's why I put the fault on the site and not on the OP. The OP is absolutely right. It's also why the new site will hopefully be more intuitive. What I was trying to do was offer help on how the user could get to where he wanted to go. :hmm:

    Yes, TGA could have worded their response better, but I think they were also only trying to help. However, that is also why I posted that everyone should be nicer to each other. I apologize if my response didn't come across that way and will look more closely at my responses.


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