The new Pottermore: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Nowadays, Pottermore is a serious topic of discussion. After its big overhaul and complete makeover, Pottermore became so much more and so less than it used to be.

I tried to love the new Pottermore, I really did.

My efforts, however, proved to be in vain, because the more I visit it, the more I grieve the wonderful site it used to be. Of course, the new Pottermore isn’t all bad – believe me it could’ve been worse, however, the ugly parts are definitely in the forefront of this sad and confused site that is the shadow of its former self.

In my article, I’ll discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the new Pottermore.

Please note, that this is a personal opinion.

Without further ado, I start with the more optimistic side of this discussion:

The Good:

The availability of the site. While the site’s design is questionable at best, you can’t deny that the fact that you can reach  the site from any device is a good thing. This way, a larger audience – one that might prefer tablets or phones over PCs – is being drawn into Pottermore.

The wand, House and Patronus selections. It’s nice to see that the developers are listening to the complaints of the site’s users. Indeed, it is good that you can log into your new account, get a wand and get sorted not only to your Hogwarts house, but to an Ilvermorny house as well. I also adore the Patronus feature. It is the one feature that is exclusive to the new Pottermore that people have wanted since forever and now it’s here – brand new and super gorgeous.

Alas, with those minor good things in Pottermore, we have even more bad ones. So, here it is, ladies and gents. The list of:

The Bad:

Oh boy, where to start. There are so many things bad with this site that it’s just hard to pick. Okay, I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind – the fact that the “Writings by JK Rowling” section is a complete mess. Sure, it will display the few articles that Rowling had written about since the site’s remodeling, but if you want any older content – it’s not there. Believe me, sometimes I want to revisit the Celestina Warbeck article and listen to “You stole my Cauldron” one more time, but I can’t. I have to click the discover button to search for her.

What?

Instead of a simple click to the “Writings by JK Rowling” and searching for Celestina’s article, I have to rely on the search bar to find what I want. You’ve got to be kidding me. Here is another of my Peeves – the search bar itself. Would it really be so hard to  add some sort of filtering system? Celestina is pretty easy to find, but let’s just say I try to type “Harry Potter” and I get this:

EXPLORE THE STORY

Family ties in Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And that’s just the EXPLORE THE STORY part of the search results. All I wanted was an article on Harry friggin’ Potter. Please allow me to exclude things from the search to make my life easier. Also, the titles of the search results are misleading at best. Let’s go with the “Harry Potter” example. When I click on the link, I expect to see some sort of basic info and an article (or a collection of articles) on Harry Potter by JK Rowling. What I get is film stills, posts like “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”, quotes from the book and maybe if I’m lucky a link to the info on the Potter family or broomsticks or whatever articles that have nothing to do with Harry himself (although they can still be a fun read). Search for minor characters seems to be far simpler and the results far more accurate. Here’s another bad thing. Articles like the mentioned “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”. They are opinion pieces that are better left in the blog of whoever the “Pottermore Correspondent” is, instead of an official Harry Potter site that’s meant to enrich and expand the universe millions around the world have grown to love. The last bad thing I’ll mention is the lack of interactive elements. Where is the Potions brewing, spell casting? Where is the commenting feature that made Pottermore so attractive? It’s not in the new Pottermore that’s for sure. A Death Eater did it? Frankly, I don’t care. I want them back. Also, what happened to the charming articles by Rita Skeeter and the classes such as Duelling and Potions? I’d also like them back please.

I could go on and on, but I believe there are far more things to say in:

The Ugly:

The site’s design. Tiles, really? Those might work for Windows tablet interface, but on Pottermore they’re just butt ugly and they take up space. They’re just taking the whole “metro” craze a bit too far. Speaking of ugly design choices, can someone explain the site’s unexplainable case of MPD? Back in the day, Potermore was a pleasure to navigate. Yes, the interracive elements were there, but they were both intertwined and separate to deliver one of the best site designs ever. This headcase of a site is a royal mess. What is it supposed to be, anyway? A merchandise selling hub? A cheap HP fan site? A place to expand the fandom? A way to promote upcoming movies and plays? It tries to be all that and fails. Miserably. It delivers inaccurate info *cough*Lavender Brown *cough*, ridiculous content (I mean honestly, who needs to know the ways Harry messed up the Dursleys’ day.) and fails to deliver new and fresh content from JK Rowling. It seems that everything the site stood for took a back seat for all the things I frankly don’t care about. I don’t care about the limited edition cover designs. I care about learning about the Black family. I don’t care about info on the Cursed Child, a play I will never see as it is not being performed in my country, but I’d like an article on Colin Creevy or an article explaining what happened to Sally-Anne Perks.

Please, is it too much to ask for the developers of the site to return to the drawing board? I’m not saying that the new Pottermore sucked entirely. They did some good things with it. There is potential. So why not take that potential and turn it into something magnificent? Why not return some things from the old Pottermore to improve the website? Please, Pottermore, I’m begging you. Fix yourself.

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