Part 1: 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 end-users of Open Social 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 Open Social 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.
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 that allows an
to set up the tickets and have an overview of all attendees.
* A person from a community responsible for an event creation
Throughout the project we worked in collaboration with Product Manager and Software Developers of Open Social.
Time constraint: 1 week for one side of the ticketing system – ticket creation.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL MARKET POSITION?
Diving into the research, we first wanted to do a competitive analysis to better understand how the direct competitors of Open Social approach events in relation to ticketing.
From what we could find, we predicted the current and the ideal market position where Open Social will be heading with the new ticketing system.
Market comparison chart
BEST TICKETING PRACTICES AS AN INSPIRATION
Feature comparison of best ticketing practices
However, due to limited access to the competitors' software, we chose to focus on comparing the features of the best ticketing practices instead.
I have highlighted the features which we later prioritized to integrate in our ticketing system after discovering that these would best meet the needs of our target users.
WHAT DO EVENT MANAGERS EXPERIENCE?
3 user interviews & 5 surveys (incl. open ended questions)
After seeing the competition in this event space, I wanted to hear first hand what end-users of Open Social experience to cater the final product towards their needs. These were some of the main questions I had to event managers:
How do they currently sell the tickets for their events & take the payment?
What problems do they face when when managing an event?
What value does hosting an event bring to their organization in general?
TICKETING DIRECTLY RELATES TO THE EFFICIENCY OF AN EVENT MANAGEMENT
of communities are hosting events which require paid or free tickets.
finds events important because they enhance a feeling of 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.
FAQ from event attendees are about payment methods, cancelation and refunds, discount codes and invoices.
“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
Based on the data from the user research we created a user persona to better empathize. However, as 1000+ of different organisations are using the Open Social platform, we wanted to avoid generalizing the user. Therefore, we chose to focus on the goals and pains rather than on the character traits.
User Persona - 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 POTENTIAL ERRORS
After deciding on the features, I took the initiative to create the user flow diagram including all the alternative user flows I could think of. Among other things it helped us consider:
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, donation tickets).
User flow event manager
THE STAKEHOLDER WANTED TO SEE THE DESIGN CONCEPT SOON
We were on a tight deadline and now that we had identified the main user flows, we had to move forward with low-fidelity sketches.
After a brief alignment of our sketches, all of the team soon got onto the same page how we will incorporate the agreed features visually.
Low-fi wireframe event manager
RESPONSIVE MID-FIDELITY PROTOTYPES READY FOR TESTING
After aligning within the team and the product manager of Open Social of how to best cater towards earlier identified main user goals, we created responsive mi-fi wireframes. The design was optimized for different devices.
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.
Page: Ticket settings
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
THE USERS COULD NOT LOCATE THE DASHBOARD
After the mid-fi prototypes were ready, we conducted usability tests by Maze and collected some feedback from our stakeholder to validate our design decisions.
To our surprise, most of the users could not locate the dashboard neither on desktop nor mobile.
SO WE DID SOME MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS BASED ON THE FEEDBACK...
Since the settings and colours of Open Social software are customizable per installation, for our hi-fi prototypes, we created new buttons, microinterations and elements while using the colour scheme from one of the communities.
OVERVIEW OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DATA
In the hi-fidelity design, we also added the summary of the event data within the main event page to ensure event managers can look at the most important data on the fly.
CHALLENGES & LEARNINGS
Feedback from the client
Usability tests are key
Constant feedback loops with the product manager of Open Social and web developers were invaluable to understand how to better integrate the system into their customizable SaaS platform.
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...
More 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.
More usability tests
Solve other identified user pains
I would like to re-evaluate whether implementing tickets in the main event creation flow would be more intuitive for the users.
Consider implementing more features listed on our MOSCOW such as Waiting List, Cancelation & Refunds, Customizable Ticket Design to solve the other user pains and needs identified.