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Academy Website Gets a Beefier, Friendlier Makeover

Redesigned Oscars.org launches with fan giveaway for Oscar bleacher seats


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled a redesigned Oscars.org, its main member and public website, on Thursday. While the site has undergone extensive changes in recent years, this is the first full site redesign since 2008.

In recent years, redesigns have more typically focused on Oscar.com, a consumer-oriented website devoted specifically to the Academy Awards.

The newly designed Oscars.org incorporates social media more prominently into the site, is more mobile-friendly and features more photos and graphics from the Academy Museum and the Academy’s library and archive holdings.

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It also includes 50,000 photos and videos, an extensive collection of Oscar highlights and a more robust section allowing fans to explore Academy events.

Although Oscars.org is also a portal for Academy members to access screening schedules and member information, and a repository of information and images for the press, it has been beefed up as a consumer site, as what AMPAS’ chief marketing officer, Christina Kounelias, called “an extension of our ongoing efforts to inspire, educate and entertain fans worldwide” in a press release.

In addition to a searchable Academy Awards database of winners and nominees, the site also features a database of acceptance speeches. (The Academy only says it has “hundreds” of speeches on file, but a haphazard search for five memorable winners — Joe Pesci in 1991, Emma Thompson in 1996, Jessica Yu in 1997, Stanley Donen in 1998 and Michael Moore in 2003 — turned up transcripts and video of all five.)

The launch of the site also offers the first opportunity for fans to seats in the Oscar viewing bleacher at the 87th Academy Awards by entering a random drawing online. (The entry form is here.)

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Features like the list of Academy officers and members of the Board of Governors are not as prominent as they were in the past, reachable not from a “Meet the Academy” header at the top of the page but from the small word “ABOUT” at the bottom, alongside contact information and legal notices.

The new site is still a work in progress, with some pages returning users to the old site, occasionally broken links and haphazard navigation from the site map.

The entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park collaborated with the Academy to design and build the new site.