Adding a ticketing system to the event feature on a SaaS community platform Open Social.
Open Social is an open web (SaaS) community engagement platform that is used by over 1000 organizations to create their own customizable online community platforms.
Events are one of the core functions of Open Social that is used by a lot of their clients as one of the main engagement drivers.
While the payment process is available, the organizations are still forced to use third party tools to sell tickets for events. The client wanted the organizations to be able to access and personalize the whole event flow, from start to finish on the product.
Research and design a system that would enable 30% more engaged members in the communities (end-users) within a year and create secondary revenue streams for Open Social.
It will allow OS to catch up with the main competitors in the market as 90% of surveyed event managers would prefer using a community platform with an integrated ticketing system.
Note: the project was presented to the client as a concept with the actionable steps how to implement it further, and is currently in the further research and design stage on the client's side.
UX/UI Designer (Research, IA, User Flows, Prototyping, Usability Testing, Interaction Design, Project management)
Myself (Dagija Kugeviciute), Annemijn Pikaar, María Arranz Domínguez
Responsive ticketing feature, SaaS
Figma, Maze, Google Suite, Trello, Otter, Pen & Paper
1 week, Jul 2021
A responsive and well-integrated ticketing system designed for two flows that allows:
(A person from a community responsible for an event creation)
—to set up the tickets and have an overview of all attendees;
(Any person who wants to attend an event organised by a community)
—to purchase and access the tickets seamlessly.
The design process was split in two in most parts because the client asked to design a ticketing system for two flows - event managers and attendees. Throughout the project we worked in close collaboration with Product Manager and Developers of Open Social.
Diving into the research, we first wanted to do a competitive analysis to better understand how the direct competitors of OS approach events
From what we could find, we predicted the current and the ideal market position where OS will be heading with the new ticketing system.
Market comparison chart
Feature comparison of best ticketingpractices
However, due to a limited access to the competitors' software, the data we could identify was not sufficient to make a detailed feature comparison.
For this reason, we chose to analyse the best ticketing practices instead which later proved to be extremely helpful in creating a comprehensive list of potential features.
I have highlighted the features which we later decided to integrate in our ticketing system after realising that these would best meet the needs of our target users as you will see in the following findings.
WHAT DO EVENT MANAGERS EXPERIENCE?
In order to better understand what OS end-users are struggling with, we conducted 3 interviews - with an event manager who uses OS platform, the CSM and marketing consultant of OS who know their clients' experiences best. Additionally, we sent out several surveys (incl. open-ended questions) to OS end-clients.
KEY INSIGHTS FROM SURVEYS AND INTERVIEWS
of event managers would prefer using a community platform with an integrated ticketing system.
claims that their event attendees are usually already part of the community.
Ticketing serves as a way of monitoring event attendance in advance.
For B2B events, it would be a real pain if there wasn’t an option to automatically generate an invoice.
“Events are a very important source of revenue. They are very expensive as well to host and organize though. Therefore, ideally, we’d have a perfect integration with all tools and it is just very easy to set up.”
- COMMUNITY EVENT MANAGER FROM ASSOCIATIONWORLD
The user persona was created based on the data from the user research.
Since 1000+ of diffferent organisations are using the OS platform, we decided to focus on the goals and pains rather than on the character traits.
User Persona - Event Manager
The current user journey map creation was the following step we took to even better empathize with the event manager on his journey when creating an event.
Now clearly seeing the touchpoints, we identified two opportunities:
A dashboard showing the information about attendees, payments and tickets sold;
Easily customizable ticket options.
User Journey Map - Event Manager
PRIORITIZED THE FEATURES BY THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR THE USER
Overwhelmed by a long list for features identified in the best ticketing practices as well as in in the user interviews, we created a MOSCOW chart that helped us proritize.
In the MUST HAVE section we have put the features that solve the users' problems and enables them to achieve their goals.
Note: (M) for manager and (A) for attendee.
FIGURING OUT THE ALTERNATIVE FLOWS HELPED ME IDENTIFY ANY POTENTIAL ERRORS
After deciding on the features, I took the initiative to create the user flow diagram. I mapped not only the happy path to ticket creation but also all the alternative user flows I could think of. Among other things it helped us realise:
The necessity of a filter under event data in case the user wanted to compare it with the previous data.
Alternative cases such as what happens when other ticket types are selected (e.g. free or donation tickets)
User flow event manager
Now, that the creation of tickets is analysed in depth, let us move to the other side—purchasing of the tickets.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR TICKETING SYSTEM TRUSTWORTHY FOR THE EVENT ATTENDEE?
The user research on the event attendee side was easier to conduct because we targeted any person who has ever purchased a ticket for an event. We collected quantitative data from 26 individuals and conducted 3 interviews.
thought that when purchasing an online ticket, the process takes way too long.
thought that when purchasing an online ticket in the past few months, the ticket was very difficult to access.
finds it very important that they can buy a ticket on an event organizer’s website.
spends 7 - 10 minutes or longer to buy a ticket for an event
People use a variety of payment methods and expect them on a trustworthy website.
“It should be a super simple and super fast process. I would imagine that a lot of people give up buying tickets if it asks you for too many details or too many questions.”
- EVENT TICKET BUYER
The user persona was created based on the data from the user research.
User Persona - Event Attendee
The current User Journey Map creation was the following step to even better empathize with the ticket buyer. It helped us identify two opportunities:
Only collect the necessary personal information;
Ability to select different payment options such as credit card and Paypal to enhance the trust of the user.
User Journey Map - Event Attendee
Since most of the changes to tickets depend on the event manager's side, I mainly focused on illustrating a happy flow of the attendee when buying a ticket.
User flow event attendee
WE WERE ON A VERY TIGHT DEADLINE AND THE STAKEHOLDER WANTED TO SEE THE DESIGN CONCEPT SOON
Now that we had identified clear user flows, we moved forward with low-fidelity sketches to clarify how we will approach the actual design with incorporating the most important features we agreed upon.
Low-fi wireframe event manager
Low-fi wireframe event attendee
RESPONSIVE MID-FIDELITY PROTOTYPES READY FOR TESTING
Below are some of the main pages of mi-fi wireframes we used to test and iterate with.
Page: Event page & ticket settings
Disconnected the ticket creation from the main event creation flow in order to reduce the cognitive load of the user.
The new feature which did not exist on the platform before as in visible directly on the event page.
Meets the need of the event manager to see the overview of all tickets sold/attendee count.
Extra ticket settings
As 1000+ organizations are using OS, this option gives each community the freedom to customize the tickets according to their needs.
Mid-fi wireframes Event Manager
Focused on simplicity and minimize the steps the user needs to take in order to assure fast check-out experience.
4-stage progress indicator:
Assures better UX by indicating the direction of movement so the users are aware where they are in a process.
Brief Personal details:
Solves the user pain of spending too long on inputting unnecessary personal details.
Promotional code input option:
Allows managers to attract new community members and create secondary revenue streams for OS.
Mid-fi wireframes Event Attendee
After the mid-fi prototypes were ready, we conducted usability tests by Maze and collected some feedback from our stakeholder in order to validate our design decisions.
To our surprise, most of the users could not locate the dashboard.
SO WE DID SOME ITERATIONS BASED ON THE FEEDBACK...
Since the settings and colours of OS SaaS software are customizable per installation, for our hi-fi prototypes, we created new buttons and elements for the ticketing system while using the colour scheme from one of the communities.
CHALLENGES & LEARNINGS
Feedback from the client & customizable platform
Constant feedback loops with the product manager of OS and web developers were invaluable to understand the complex functionality of OS platform.
No one user persona
We decided to focus on the goals, pains & job stories rather than on the character traits due to 1000+ different organisations using the OS platform.
Usability tests are key
I was reminded the importance of the usability tests which led us to several iterations - meeting the actual user’s needs.
Accessibility and responsiveness
When designing for different devices accessibility needs to be taken into consideration. Especially - font and button sizes. After all, users will only trust systems they can understand.
IF I HAD MORE TIME I WOULD...
Conduct more extensive qualitative research
Due to time limitations, I could not conduct more interviews with end-users of OS. Researching a bigger variety of organisations would allow to design better customization of the solution.
Conduct more usability tests
I would like to re-evaluate whether implementing tickets in the main event creation flow would be more intuitive for the users.
Focus on one user flow first
A narrower focus - on an event manager flow could allow to more closely analyse different use cases to create an even more intuitive design for the user.
Implement more features to solve more pains
Consider more features such as Waiting List, Ticket Cancelation & Refunds, Customizable Ticket Design to solve the other user pains and needs identified.