FunimationNow Beta "Review"



  • This is going to be disgustingly long so if you put up with it you truly deserve a pat on the back. Forgive me!!

    I was curious and decided to check out FunimationNow's beta. It's neither perfect nor /terrible/. I think my problems with it are purely in the aesthetics. While I don't think everything will make me specifically happy in the end, I hope it works in a way that makes the most people happy. Here's how I felt about the beta in the limited time I used it, know that this isn't the final product. First I'll talk about the player page.

    What I liked:
    -10 sec autoplay
    -the video options bar looks nice imo
    -still has the dim lights option (to my knowledge CR doesn't have this and it's good it's coming over from the current site)
    -it adjusts when I make Safari smaller. somthing the current site and CR doesn't do. I think it's a nice touch for multitasking

    -the second or two before the video loads you see the show's key art.

    What I didn't like:
    -hard subs still
    -the video can't be paused by clicking on the the video. you have to click the pause button unlike the current site
    -the banner is pretty big and follows you down the site even over the player
    -the background is stark white on the whole site. it's nice that there's a dim lights option but the white is kinda blinding and highlights how little is there. maybe make it light gray like the current site and make the space around the video either black like it is now or gray

    -BIGGEST PROBLEM is size of the player. It's HUGE! its size rn is better and I get expanding it but it's way too big now. the player is so big that if I scroll so that the player is right under the banner the video options bar isn't completely visible. it's worse when watching subs tbh

    Unnecessary maybe but here's fullscreens of CR, the old site, and the new site's player.

    -wish the episode listing wasn't only here but also went horizontally under the video player. Not a negative but unlike the app, the episode listing doesn't have an audio language change option. you change audio on the setting option button

    -Player quality issues. For me the US site starts up in HD but I definitely saw it start up in 420 and work up to HD on FuniNow within the first few either seconds or 3-4 mins (like it took Noragami 30s but Yurikuma 3 mins. I don't think it's my connection bc in the meantime I played a YouTube video in 1080p just fine). Probably a Beta thing. I didn't see buffering while it was playing and I'd only get a sec or two of buffer and low quality when I skipped around.
    -Above the player is nothing, not a fan of that. I think it would be better to keep the show logo like the US site does. . The background to the entire page is stark white. I'd rather it be light gray
    -below the player is super barren and boring. there's a comments section, but it's a Facebook plugin rather than our Funi accounts. they also ditched the Similar Shows section which I don't understand. It's helpful and I've discovered great shows through it.

    I'd basically bring back Similar Videos and have a portion to the right for it like the current site.

    I'm pretty neutral to the fact that once your cursor isn't on the video you won't see the video options bar. Can't remember if this is the same with CR and I know it's not how it is on the current site. It's like YouTube's player.

    I'm so lame for writing all of this and I haven't even covered the entire site kill me but I was curious about what's coming over and I think it's important to like directly tell them this, ya know. I can clarify anything anyone has questions bc I know this was messy (and I'm totally open to me being wrong about something and that part is totally good for everyone else)!



  • @vhernandez:

    I was curious and decided to check out FunimationNow's beta.

    I think you buried the lead… I don't anyone is "aware" there is a (semi) public beta. How did you get access to it in the first place?...



  • @thegrandalliance:

    How did you get access to it in the first place?…

    It's FuniNow in the UK and I used Tunnelbear to sign up w a free trial



  • @vhernandez:

    but it's a Facebook plugin rather than our Funi accounts

    Awe HELLLLLLLL no. I don't need GrandAlliance finding out either my real name or my facebook. I get amusement knowing that he it trying and i'm like 90% positive that he won't pin-point me. But if he finds a video I comment on…. that just doesn't bode well (imo).

    @thegrandalliance:

    I think you buried the lead… I don't anyone is "aware" there is a (semi)public beta of this product. How did you get access to it in the first place?...

    Isn't the uk site the beta site? (source: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-04-07/funimation-now-launches-in-the-u.k-and-ireland/.100775)



  • Do you have a URL link?… me having hard time finding UK Funimation site... appears to be either IP locked (www.funimationnow.uk redirects to US) or otherwise…

    Figures, Brits get this first, but no matter...

    @darthrutsula:

    Awe HELLLLLLLL no. I don't need GrandAlliance finding out either my real name or my facebook. I get amusement knowing that he it trying and i'm like 90% positive that he won't pin-point me. But if he finds a video I comment on…. that just doesn't bode well (imo).

    1. Don't link your Facebook to FUNInow; Mission Accomplished. I don't' even have Facebook, so no worries.
    2. "Videos I comment on…" hmmm looks like your post above gave yourself away more info by itself thin anything...

    @darthrutsula:

    I did not have sexual relationships with that women…

    …as it were...



  • @thegrandalliance:

    I did not have sexual relationships

    I fixed that for you xP So overrated.

    @thegrandalliance:

    2. "Videos I comment on…" hmmm looks like your post above gave yourself away more info by itself thin anything...

    That I'm a video commenter?

    @thegrandalliance:

    1. Don't link your Facebook to FUNInow; Mission Accomplished. I don't' even have Facebook, so no worries.

    Unless I want to comment on a stupid video and they are requiring me to link my bookFace



  • @darthrutsula:

    1. Don't link your Facebook to FUNInow; Mission Accomplished. I don't' even have Facebook, so no worries.

    I never linked my Facebook to FuniNow. I'm logged in on Facebook so it showed up here. I like the idea of commenting on a video under the video itself but it should really be w our accounts here.

    I'll sign out of Facebook and see what it shows me. Cant believe I didnt think of that earlier.

    UPDATE:
    Ok yeah so the only way to comment is through Facebook :(



  • @vhernandez:

    UPDATE:
    Ok yeah so the only way to comment is through Facebook :(

    LoL, figures again. No matter… no need for useless video comment spam. Of course, I wonder what the official "Sophie" response is to this. They best be considering this "feedback" now, b4 it is "too late"...

    Furthermore, absolutely no reason to have Facebook track your life any more then it already does. Bad enough FUNI isn't free (with ads/sub); but now selling ur data to FACEBOOK........ figures....



  • @thegrandalliance:

    no need for useless video comment spam.

    Useless yes, but it is something plenty of people want.



  • @darthrutsula:

    people want.

    "Want"? Perhaps, assuming Millennials even know what they want most of the time. "Need"? Hell ****ing no…



  • Hopefully this is detailed and not messy. I'm adding in how I'd fix what I don't like, but what they have could be better for everyone else.

    First might be a dumb question but when the site comes over to the US will it be funimation.com, redirect us from funimation.com to funimationnow, or will we have to write out funimationnow.com?

    Not related but am I the only one having problems w audio while watching Orange on CR? It's so quiet? But the show is Beautiful! I hope CR gives it a good dub if they have home video rights, which they probably do.

    Here's what you see once you go on FunimationNow w/o scrolling. Covering the rest in a diff post.

    I'll start with the banner and its contents:

    • I like that the banner goes completely across the site but I think its size is way too large, esp too large for how tiny the words are. I don't like how it follows you down the site either.

    • I'm sure the new US site will have a Shop choice on the banner

    • For the drop down of Watch, you'll see this

    If you click Watch, you'll get the summer simulcast season roundup. It's nice.
    If you click on Shows from the Watch drop down you get this really boring page imo

    I kinda don't get what they were going for with the page. It looks like the app, an app I like, but this isn't an app it's supposed to be a full site. It's so barren, the white is boring and blinding, and several things confuse me about it.

    HOW I'D FIX THE SHOWS PAGE:

    • There are 5 language filters if you click See More. Why? Funimation doesn't have anything in Cantonese, Korean, or Mandarin? Just keep Japanese and English. if they do sorry
    • Get rid of all the white. It's boring and highlights how much space is wasted. Make it the gray of this site.
    • Why not have the choice of a popularity filter for the shows or an alphabetical sorting or a not automatic updating filter?
    • There are way too many genre filters (I think I counted 29?? have 15 at the most). Why have a genres filter here if you also have Genres as a drop down option under Watch (get rid of the one under Watch and keep the genre filters here pls)?
    • If you click See More under Years, it literally goes year by year until 1942. Why? Maybe make the year choices go yearly until 2010 and then decades for the rest. Not perfect but I think it's better than having 1962 as a singular option.
    • Move everything more to the left
    • Change the show art size to somewhere between the current size and what you have it as on the Beta
    • On the right, add the simulcast schedule in list form (I don't think it's listed anywhere on the Beta), keep trending shows somewhere on this page
    • Change the font of Shows, add a divider from the header and body

    I don't know how logistically possible this would be but maybe have a poll on the forums or something where we choose what shows get featured on the front page or maybe add a subscriber's show choice section on the Shows page that gets updated monthly or weekly. That would be cool imo!!

    The Episodes & Movies section

    I find this whole page redundant. There's already an updating simulcast section on the main page, all the shows on the Shows page are automatically filtered by the most recent simulcast, and it's in the same order here. So it's effectively the same page. Oddly there isn't a filter for movies and episodes either.

    HOW I WOULD FIX THE EPISODES & MOVIES' PAGE:

    • add a filter for movies and episodes if you have to keep both pages
    • add a filter for live action and anime movies
    • add more movies for streaming (I bet licensing sure is rough)
    • change the white to gray
    • move everything to the left some more and everything else I said about the formatting the Shows page on the right
    • just make it a movies page!!

    On to the Community & News drop down, where you'll see News and Launch Updates. I think the Launch Updates is a pretty page and gets the info out concisely. But for me just like the rest of the Beta the page weirdly fitted?


    like that's just the banner of that page, the actual content is lower than that so you need to scroll to see the main point of the page but even then the entire banner isn't visible at a first look of the page.

    On to the News section:
    I love that Funimation is taking in editorials!! But don't you think I would be better to put that stuff in a different drop down option not News? News should be "Hey! We've acquired this, simulcasting that, dub cast for this, ya know." Just call the editorials section Features and Editorials. Maybe you could feature sponsored content here as well? I think it's great imagine the possibilities! Unfortunately the formatting for the posts on the blog is pretty ugly imo :(

    On to the My Info drop down (which changes when you sign in so it's what I scratched it out), there's a drop down for My Info w my account, queue, setting, FAQ, and logout. Next to that is a tiny icon. imo it's not visually obvious but it"s Your Queue again. Then the search tool. Given how large the banner is, the icons and words are too small. imo it"s redundant to have My Queue in the drop down when you can see your queue with icon directly to the right. Ditch the My Info one or have it somewhere on the My Account page. Not sure if it's possible for Funimation but it would be cool if the My Queue icon could have an alert if a show in your queue updated.

    Queue:

    HOW I'D FIX THE QUEUE:

    • allow rearrangement
    • get rid of the header bc the My Queue header remains even when you look at your viewing history
    • change the white background (I can't stress how much I'm not a fan of the white lmao)
    • fix the search bc whenever I type a title despite you having it I get this ridiculously large visual

    • include the episode description under the shows on the queue,
    • make the whole thing smaller by a ton
    • move the entire thing to the left
    • make a section to the right for maybe the trending shows, loved shows if you're bringing that back, or the account"s highest rated shows

    Ok I think I've covered everything content wise concerning the banner. Will my suffering ever end? No. There's still more site stuff but I think this is most I have. Gotta stress I'm not trying to be mean and this is all my opinny~



  • Yes, I must admit… whitespace is evil, especially on small screens I have noticed. In theory, the background should have some sort of splash Anime picture thing, in either case.

    BTW, good reporting overall... most appreciated, indeed.



  • On to the entire main page, here's how it looks:





    First the main page slide thingy, I like it! It's vibrant and sleek. Wish it was a bit smaller though. It should be small enough so that at least the Continue Watching row is completely visible. Right now the slides are of MHA, current broadcast dubs, Dimension W, Attack on Titan, and Psycho Pass. Like I said earlier it would be cool if the featured shows slides (Dimension W, Titan, and Psycho Pass) were something we could choose a reg basis, maybe weekly or seasonally idk I'd like that. Like you give us the choice of like 10 shows and we chose which 3.

    The entire site being divided into rows is probably something people will be split on. I think it could work but I'd like some things to be in a column form as well though. The current rows really aren't effective imo. Why have the genres of Action and Sci fi as rows (ik they're popular but again there's already a filter for that on Shows.

    So once you hover over a show, it pops out a bit like Netflix does; however this close up motion is a bit clunky and not smooth. Probably a Beta thing. Not sure if this is also a Beta thing but scrolling down the main page is not very smooth. I think it's because there are so many rows. Thankfully I haven't notice the whole show art getting larger if the cursor is on it being bothersome. I'd prefer if the arrows to scroll across weren't at the widths of my browser though. Here's how it looks after you hover over the show:

    Then you can click Details and you see a huge detail card for said show. It's really pretty, nice, and a great touch imo but again way too HUGE.


    I tried to get a screenshot of it that can show how big it is relative to the other stuff on the site but idk if it's clear. I'd like Similar Shows to the header of the card next to Reviews.

    Under that is My Queue again. idk I personally think we already have plenty of options to see My Queue on the Beta. Not sure how I feel about it, hopefully other people like it more than I do.

    Then the Featured Shows row, Broadcast Dubs, Simulcasts, Action, Sci-fi, and Promotions rows.

    Why have a Featured Shows row if some of those shows are on the main slideshow and 4 of them are in the Promotions row. I'd get rid of the Promotions row tbh. Why not have a simulcast schedule in list form on the main page? I'm neutral on having a Continue Watching row, but not a fan of it being right under the banner and easier to see than the simulcasting shows.

    HOW I'D FIX THE MAIN PAGE

    • make the main banner smaller it's pretty but huge
    • get rid of the Promotions, Action, Sci-fi, My Queue, and Featured Shows row. imo there should just be rows for Simulcasts, Broadcast Dubs, Newly Added and Extra Videos (which I guess has been dropped from the Beta) on the main page
    • ya know how I feel about the white
    • Simulcast Schedule on front page but make it nicer looking than the current one

    This is all in my opinny of course~ if you feel differently than I do pls say how, I'd like to hear your opinions because everything I said could be crap and not in Funimation's vision for what makes a good site. What do I know lmao. Also I can expand on anything if it seems too messy to understand bc honestly this is a mess.

    The suffering is almost over, thankfully! I just have to make a post about each shows page like what you see if you click on Noragami bc I'm almost at word limit and then I be done with this I think.

    I have to ask why not have given US users the opportunity to pay to test the beta (you could have, but I'm not sure, sorry if you have). I would have given $2-3 more a month to use the Beta. Like it's not like the UK Beta has soft subs, the player is different but similar to the app one we see. Plus we have experience with the former site. I don't think giving the UK users the beta was a bad idea bc the site is functional but how would they know what was an improvement from this site to the new one, what this site has that is better than the beta, and what is needed to be improved on from the old site. idk if that makes any sense :(



  • So many icons on the main page; like the app. Gets so hard and confusing to navigate that… I don't need 193874103928749013274 icons to "consider", only what is needed.



  • On to show pages, I'm using Noragami as my example here:

    FunimationNow Beta's Noragami Show page




    the current site's Noragami page



    I know it's the not the final product, but I vastly prefer the current site. There's too much scrolling for too little content on the beta. This is only emphasized by the white background and large, boring font. I don't think the whole row thing is beneficial here either.

    HOW I'D FIX THE SHOW PAGE

    • keep the backgrounds you're using currently. I like them! is this something people don't like??

    • show art is pretty but again, really big

    • overall site issue for me but I hate that the banner follows you down the site

    • move the See More Details to the bottom. i mean it's kinda unnecessary there~

    • once you scroll down past the show art (which is nice) you get another banner that follows you down the site. the problem with this one, other than it being there imo, is that there isn't enough content to justify having it. if you click Reviews it scrolls you down to the review section despite it being literally not even a full swipe down (i'm using a touchpad obviously) like it's nice but wholly unnecessary

    • I'd rather the episode listing go as they currently are on the show's video listing rn not the episode row the beta as

    • do people want to watch the simulcast version of a show if there's already a blu-ray release? I don't but what do i know

    • I think the show overview shouldn't be there. if it's going to be there, bring back the header this current site has that lets you click on episodes and you get all the episodes there. i feel this way bc I think having the overview there and having it take up so much space gets in the way of what's the focus of this page, the episodes

    • hopefully promotions doesn't carry over to the US site

    I feel like with this stuff while I like how pretty the site is, the site is colorful and vibrant (if not for all the white backgrounds), a lot of the important stuff is buried under the unnecessary. i think what is most important with a website is getting out all the important content, the anime, as quickly and immediately as possible. there shouldn't be scrolling to get to what we want.

    Anyways that's the show page and how I feel about it. I kinda hope it doesn't come over here like that, but if it's what the people want. All my opinion again. Sorry for being mean I just really don't think this page works and the success of a site overhaul is important



  • Was I being really unreasonable with this post bc I'll delete if I was? Or I can try to condense it bc it was a lot and I can't believe I wasted all that time writing it I'm self conscious about it now lmao



  • Your just fine… as me has done far worse here...

    Surprised I am only one responding here... as this should be news to all. They will learn, pathetic insects...



  • I've been trialing FunimationNow in the UK for a couple of weeks and must say I actually quite like that it's not cluttered. The top banner isn't at all intrusive or overly large for me, but I'm running at 1920x1080, so maybe that makes a difference. I agree that the blank space could be utilized some how, perhaps to promote similar shows.

    The main failings of the site that I've discovered (apart from the occasional database error where shows are mis-labeled, or where dubs are available for one episode but not the rest) are:

    1. It's sooooooo slow. Like most people, I'm used to clicking a link and the content loads almost straight away. This happens with YouTube, CrunchyRoll, Netflix, Funimation.com, you name it. Not so with FN UK. With FN UK you click a link and wait, then wait some more, then click again, then you open YouTube in another tab and start streaming a 4K video just to make sure your connection is still good, then you go back to Funimation and it's finally opened the page you want. Browsing different titles trying to find something good is bordering on futile. You'd need the patience of a monk. And when you find a show you want to watch and click play, you have to pause it and let it buffer for about a minute. Go make a cup of tea or something and when you come back, it's good to go. I've found the only browser which will buffer properly is Microsoft Edge. All other browsers, both on my wireless laptop and wired PC will not buffer properly (but only on FunimationNow UK). Perhaps there's some kind of work around, but I really shouldn't have to do anything out of the ordinary to get it working properly.

    2. Lack of content. I understand there are licensing issues, but by my count there are only about 180 shows (140 of which are available in English - and that's going by the search results which could return false positives due to database errors). In the US you have around 360 shows in total, with 322 available in English. So in the US, you guys pay $8 a month for 360 shows and in the UK we pay just over $9 a month for 180. Yep, we're paying 16% more for 50% less content. And that content is apparently streamed to us over an old 56K dial-up connection.

    Someone here made a quip about the UK getting the new site first. We're just the guinea pigs being used to make sure you guys get a decent site when it launches. We're still very much playing second fiddle to the US. Separate from the FunimationNow UK site, we also have very few ways to watch on our TVs. No PS3/4 app, no Fire TV app (even the unofficial Kodi app doesn't work here) and no Roku app. We're stuck watching on our computers or phone. There's no way I'm paying $9.27 a month to watch anime on my PC or phone when I'd be sitting 8 feet away from a perfectly good 40" TV with surround sound. And I'm certainly not paying that much when the connection is so slow. I saw someone on Funimation's UK Twitter account complain about buffering and he was told that 'some people have found the app runs better'. There's an app? Nope, not in the UK. I'd give my left arm to have access to the same content you guys have.



  • @tobyonekenobe:

    1. It's sooooooo slow. Like most people, I'm used to clicking a link and the content loads almost straight away. This happens with YouTube, CrunchyRoll, Netflix, Funimation.com, you name it. Not so with FN UK. With FN UK you click a link and wait, then wait some more, then click again, then you open YouTube in another tab and start streaming a 4K video just to make sure your connection is still good, then you go back to Funimation and it's finally opened the page you want.

    And I'm certainly not paying that much when the connection is so slow. I saw someone on Funimation's UK Twitter account complain about buffering and he was told that 'some people have found the app runs better'. There's an app? Nope, not in the UK. I'd give my left arm to have access to the same content you guys have.

    Yea, well from my years of experience on WoW/LoL EUW servers, I notice that Europe; although believes in "free" Internet, it doesn't believe in "reliable" internet. Even if your ISP connection is fine, the servers/backend/intraconnections within EU are horrible. Especially for Norway supposedly. So, it is possible FUNI's servers are just "poorly situated"… and when combined with all the "unnecessary graphics" FUNINOW has (a picture for every series; a bunch of series loaded), logically it would take 4ever to load that.

    Again, "too much clutter" on the site; the app or the new site. Nice way to destroy your Internet/Data caps, thanks FUNI...


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