Surviving the pandemic — A UX Research Case Study on Online Events Booking

Project Overview :

A daily dose of entertainment has become an evident part of today's lifestyle. People prefer a social life — going out watching movies and shows with friends and family. But what happens when people are at home for months, with less human interaction?

This is a UX research project to understand the behavioral shift that the pandemic has bought to the users in terms of entertainment. How could we boost the growth of booking tickets for various shows during the pandemic period?

Problem Statement

The pandemic has put a halt to all live events and movie screenings. Book Events, as an event booking app has seen a complete wipeout of their bookings. Understand the market users and make the required changes in the BookEvents App in this situation.

The Process :
The process followed in solving a challenge is completely based on the user experience design. The approach I followed in this case study :

The first question that came up to my mind while starting the research was “why do people prefer online booking for tickets” on pondering more about this I came with the following insight

Long gone are the days when people stood in caterpillar lines and waited patiently for their turn to book a movie. Nowadays, more often than not, people prefer booking movie and sports event tickets online. If you are wondering why exactly, think about all the time saved rather than physically going to the actual event/show counter and getting to know that seats are no longer available.

Secondary Research(Desk Research)

I started the ground search by browsing the data present on the internet. During the desk research I found out some statistical data of the people who are missing live events and going to movie theatres and many other useful insights :

Primary Research

With the help of my Desk Research, I was able to define the target users who would possibly be using the product.

Before jumping into the user interviews, I had a User Recruitment Screening in order to converse with the defined users for the 1:1 interviews. Here are a few snaps of the survey I conducted.

User Interviews :

I conducted 5 user interviews like a casual conversation, cause this was what ensured I had an open mind. This part of the entire assignment is what was a game-changer for me.

It brought in so many new perspectives, new ideas. It was what got me engaged, interested, and enthusiastic in the project.

Some more follow up questions were asked, specific to each user, after they gave answers to the above.

Analyzing The Users

Once I finished the User interviews, I noted down insights from each of the user.

A common behavioral shift among the users :

  • Users are now adapting to the current situation, they wouldn’t mind going out for a movie or an event with their closed circle as such given that the required safety measures are taken care of.
  • Users have made a shift to OTT platforms on a large scale for online content.
  • Users miss going out for watching live events and shows, Virtual content is not that satisfying (many don’t find virtual events cost-worthy too)
  • Most of the users have not opened the app since the lockdown (quite obviously they are not aware of the current upgrades on the app)

Empathy Mapping

I felt the need for Empathy Mapping at this stage was important as it helped me to get a clear understanding of the user's mind, (their emotions and their actions)in the process of going and booking the movie.

Building Personas

The personas represent the target user and are based on the data gathered from the user research process.

Pain Points of the Users:

After empathizing with the users and understanding their frustrations I listed down all the challenges/frustrations the users are facing currently in the pandemic.

I adopted to use the HOW MIGHT WE methodology against each of the pain points discovered, in order to help me scope down the problem and also to reflect more upon them.

Increase in the screen-time because of so much content available on the screen

How might we ,be able to give the users a lot of content but also be able to make it less cluttered .’
How might we reduce the screen-time of the users while giving them the best content?

Not able to see the details of 2 shows at a time (in order to compare the price of the tickets , reviews/ratings of the show ,time slot)

How might we let the user compare 2 shows/events/movies, without making them go back and forth all the time?

Since they don’t know when the theatres are going to open up ,(they dont pretty much come and check apps /or get updates)
[users have shifted to OTT platforms ,since shows and movies are releasing there]

How might we keep the users updated with the current features?
How might we increase the usage of the service, even while they are sitting at their home?
How might we bridge the gap of users using more OTT platforms?

Not fully assured of their safety ,even after the theatres open up . Might not prefer to have food during the interval from the theatres.

How might we give the users a sense of security /safety?
How might we assure the users that the food is safe?

To know the correct and the exact details of the events happening around (the information should be clearly visible)

How might we highlight the details of an event?
How might we guide them on the flow of booking their seats?

Be able to plan the booking with their friends and family at an ease.

How might we make this product to interact with friends and family?

The users feel the product should be cluttered (the UI should be pleasing to the eye , many users are not happy with the current UI)

How might we be able to give the users a neat as well as an uncluttered UI?

Pain Points I Took Up & Their Solutions :

After coming up with the HMW’s. I prioritized a few of the frustrations/pain points that I would focus on.

  1. Challenge:I discovered that most of the people have shifted to OTT platforms during the pandemic, which is quite obvious. (why would i open a booking app, if I don’t have anywhere to go to )users are not aware of the upgrades bought in by the app such as The fan hood store , ListmyShow, Various virtual events, and online workshops.

Solution: In order to solve this problem I have provided a feature in my prototype stage wherein, the premium users get access to the trending shows various across OTT platforms, under one roof.

Rationale — A user is paying to many different OTT platforms on the basis of their subscribed plan .(eg : Netflix,Amazon,Hotstar,sony live ). So why wouldn’t he/she mind paying the amount to one platform instead, and yet get the same benefits? This would initially increase the number of people using the product and also in-turn promote the other upgrades which they have added but have gone unnoticed by the users.

2.Challenge:At this point of time, the movie theaters are going to many states as per the announcement of the government.In this case , the audience would still be in a dilemma whether going out for an offline event is safe for them or not?

Solution: in order to install a sense of safety in the minds of the users, I have tried to play a bit with cognitive/human psychology. I have added designs in the prototype below which gives the user the security that going out to these places is safe.

  • checking of the location where the event is happening and providing the updates to the users
  • Giving them a sense of relief, by connecting them to people who have already been there .
    -The ones who are up for a conversation would be listed here, keeping in mind the privacy of people.
    -The conversation would happen over the app itself. The platform would provide a chat channel.
  • A checklist appearing on their screen to make them ready for getting out. And ensuring that all the safety measures have been taken up.
  • A live Covid tracker ,which gives the user the number of active cases in that particular location(where the event is supposed to happen)

Rationale — When people are reminded of all the precautions taken care of and their safety,the sense of fear starts reducing.

3.Challenge:Users find it difficult to communicate with their friends across various platforms in the whole experience.

For example, The planning initially started over WhatsApp, one of them goes to a booking app to see the various options, he then updates the shows, timings over WhatsApp and then goes back to book the tickets and shares the tickets via WhatsApp again. There is a constant switch of apps here .

Solution: So in this case, I have added a feature wherein the users are able to have a discussion over the app itself . Majorly , an option wherein can add our friends on our account and chat with them/ discuss the plan over the same app itself. (personal chats as well as group chats)

Rationale: This makes the app more interactable and people are now able to connect with their friends and make their weekend plans .the whole experience is in one platform rather than switching over apps.

4.Other features :

  • Added a comparison panel, wherein users can compare workshops or movies from a similar category. This would help them in their decision-making process.

(eg- a person can compare 2 workshops which fall under the baking category)

  • Nearby Visits: I have added a section wherein, people also get an insight into the cafes, restaurant,malls etc etc around the Location of the events. Many times people just don’t go out for movie , they also want to have a post-movie food or sit after the movie is done. So that’s the reason why I’m providing the places nearby so that they can go to those places once their show is done. Its becomes easier for them to plan
  • Filter option: a filter option is placed in the top-right corner of the screen ,which makes the users remove the unnecessary content which they aren’t looking for.This saves a lot of time (hence solving the issue of wasting a lot of time by just swiping down the app)

A hamburger menu: which would consist of all the important sections throughout the app.

Here is the link to the detailed low-fidelity wireframe

Note: This being a research project, the aim was not to create visually appealing, final UI screens. Therefore I have kept the solutions low-fidelity so that I can keep iterating upon them. Another key reason was, not to get too attached to the final UI screens as that would make me rigid to accept feedback with an open mind.

Feedback Hungry :

Getting Feedback from Peers/Users is the most important stage of any product. I went ahead with getting some feedback so that I could iterate upon my solutions and make them even better !!😊😊

Would like to add up some points here, which I would have possibly missed during the wire-framing.Although thanks to my amazing peers who were so insightful in giving feedback that it made me think along those lines.

  • Yes, the app would ask people their permission if they are up for a conversations with people to give other users feedback/reviews regarding the place .The conversation would happen over the platform itself.
  • By stating that the users would be constantly reminded of the safety issues , they would be reminded of the app screens. No kind of pop notifications would be bugging the user.
  • The safety checks of the nearby places to visit will also be provided.

I’m so excited to have begun my UX/UI journey .This was my first attempt on writing a case study for my project. The journey till here has been overwhelming. Looking ahead on improving a lot from my learnings ,any constructive criticism would be heartily appreciated.

Let’s learn and grow together.👩‍🦰📖📚
Unlearn and learn.

What's up next ?

During my journey I have realized that Visuals are a much later stage, the research is where the real answers lie.A lot of steps are often under the iceberg,in this particular case study I have made an attempt to highlight the thinking which goes before arriving on the final UI Visuals. Currently, I’m working on the UI of the final screens. Stay tuned to have a look at it. ❤ 😍

Connect with me on LinkedIn to have a Design conversation.👩👩— https://www.linkedin.com/in/payal-darda-38610b1a5/

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