Open Site Navigation


2 Week Sprint

April 2020




UI Designer


Improving the Miami Film Festival Website

The Miami Film Festival comes around once a year in Miami, FL. It showcases independent American and Latin American films. More than hundreds of local Miamians and people around the world attend the festival.

Design Challenge

As part of this design challenge, we are going to evaluate the Miami Film Festival website by conducting a heuristic evaluation.

Insights Uncovered

The MFF website has a few things working against its goal to provide a seamless experience for the aspiring filmmaker to the seasoned cinephile. Multiple pages lead you down a flow to complete a task, to end at an “interaction dead end.” There’s also UI inconsistencies and mini-sites and external site inside its navigation that trap you in those experiences without a way home. There are content pages with unrelated CTAs on the page. Last of all, there are a collection of  “accordions” sprinkled throughout the site that labor the ingestion of content. 

Break Down of Identified Concerns

After our website walkthrough, we proceeded to identity concerns using Neilsen Norman Group’s Usability heuristics. We proceed to score on a scale of 0 - 4 (4 being exceptional).  

Heuristic #4

Consistency and Standard

This GIF shows a variety of different screens throughout the pages. It shows inconsistency throughout various pages. Having various pages with different layouts and various design solutions increases the overwhelming sensation to the users.

Our proposed solution would be to make sure pages are consistent throughout the whole experience.

Heuristic #6

Recognition Rather than Recall

The navigation page is confusing for the user. There is nowhere to sign up for a membership. There is a condensed amount of text before realizing you have to email the head of the memberships in order to subscribe.

Our proposed solution is to layout content for the user to lead them to an actionable way to sign up and pay for the memberships.

Heuristic #8

Aesthetic and Minimalist Design

This page has no minimalist design. The user may feel overwhelmed on what buttons to click on. The text provides the user irrelevant information.

Our proposed solution is to clean up the design and layout and make sure that the content on the page corresponds to the desired action.

Heuristic #9

Recognize, Diagnose, Recover from Errors

The page labeled “Industry” has a hard stop for the user. It does not explain what the page is about; it just mentions that the registration is closed, giving the user no direction or accommodation. 

Our proposed solution is to organize pages, so that site visitors do not end up on pages with no actions, but they directly solve the error if encountered.

Heuristic #10

Help and Documentation

The footer for the Miami Film Festival website leaves users feeling overloaded with options. You can easily get lost in this navigation process.

Our proposed solution is to eliminate the categories in the footer that result in less traffic within the page.


Our first step was to do a user walkthrough for the website; to identify points of friction.

1.3 Usability Score

After careful consideration and analysis, we determined that the Miami Film Festival has a determined usability score of 1.3 out of 4. The digital experience might not be broken, but there is a high cognitive load for use and many activities that require high input of effort without payoff.  

Severity Rating Results

After reviewing the heuristics, we came to the following results.