Making a popular event booking app post-Pandemic friendly: an UX case study
Recently I have been working on the course by growth school (growthschool.io) and one of the project was given as a product problem statement and a research problem statement to me on boosting the business of a popular event booking app.
I was guided to not constraint the problem-solving to a particular app but a virtual app referencing the existing one. This was my first UX project for a digital experience.
Product problem statement
The pandemic has put a halt on all live events and movie screenings. Bookevents, an event booking app has seen a complete wipe out of their bookings. As a UX designer, Bookevents has asked you to come up with a UX for pivoting their business in this situation.
So the first thing I did was asking questions with regard to the problem statement and answering as many as possible on my own. I did this to get a broad idea of the problem and give a direction to further research.
The insight which I got was that many people have shifted to online platforms for entertainment and that now has become a challenge to event booking.
Brief of processes
Research problem statement
Bookevents is preparing for the ‘new normal’ of events taking place. As a UX designer you first want to understand the behavioral shift that the pandemic has brought and its impact on attending live events & movie screenings. Plan research to identify new entertainment patterns emerging for the business.
I conducted the desk research as a first step in my research,
- As this problem is very relevant to today’s scenario many people might have conducted similar if not the same kind of researches prior to me.
- Doing desk research will ensure that I am aware of these studies and take advantage of the findings and minimize of time usage.
- Also, it will give me a brief broad view of the current situation of users and their entertainment needs and what exactly is in trend with them.
- It will also help me figure out the right questions for my users as and when I conduct user interviews.
- 54% of Indian entertainment lovers are eager to get back to cinemas within 15–90 days after the lockdown is lifted while the rest would prefer to step out after 90 days.
- 98% of Indians expect cinemas to implement strict safety and hygiene measures to ensure a safe movie-watching experience.
- 85% of consumers surveyed prefer purchasing their tickets online with the M-ticket & e-ticket option being preferred for a contactless entertainment experience.
- 50% want only freshly prepared food, 15% prefer pre-packaged food while 23% would go for either.
- The majority of the age group is 25- 34 years and male who use online apps for booking.
Just like all other products, the shelf life of the movies has reduced particularly due to piracy concerns. Nowadays all the new films release on TV channels or OTT platforms in just a few days or months of release, unlike before when viewers had to wait for years for a movie release on television Thus, customers are able to view the same in the home screen just a click of a button.
(source: researchgate )
“Despite changing global trends and the rise of OTT platforms, the Indian cinema industry remains one where theatrical releases still form the bulk of the business. The OTT medium will remain complementary in its role to the theatrical business in the foreseeable future.”
Parikshit Dar, co-founder and director of BookMyShow.
(source: quartz india)
Next I conducted a survey for two reasons;
- for getting a broad perspective on how people interact with the application.
- And for targeting right users for user interview.
On the basis of the survey conducted I shortlisted the users for an interview. I focused on the fact that they are a frequent attendee of such events, I did include both offline and online mode in usage as to know why’s behind these choices.
Also, I focused on the age group which was the overlap between the desk research and the one I found in the survey.
Then I prepared a guided questionnaire for referencing during the interviews.
It is important as if not prepared for the interview beforehand, I might end up missing the point of the problem and not get good input for research.
Also, this will make me nervous and unconfident which will reflect on the user and hamper the process all together.
It will also waste the time of the user as it will take more time to reach the right questions and answer to, this may also not be of a good quality as they should be.
- 3 out of 5 users are willing to step out and attend events live post pandemic.
- Every user do wish that the authorities take steps to ensure safety but some also call it upon themselves to take precautions for their well-being.
- 2 out of 5 users prefer offline mode of booking but are willing to go online as and when the theatres open.
- 2 out of 5 users believe that it will be a challenge to maintain the norms in public places, and so are not willing to attend after things start
- 4 out of 5 have been very inclined to OTT platforms in the lockdown period.
- 2 out of 5 users do not wish to skip seats when booking for films or events in a group.
- Many prefer the added discounts and promo codes for the booking, or they compare these prices to offline options and then make a decision.
Here are quotes from users;
“In this pandemic situation, the challenge is that the safety measures may not be followed diligently and that may again start spread”
user 1 (31–35, working professional, male, pune)
“Yeah I will for sure like to attend events again as soon as possible as I miss the physical experience of those”
user 2 (21–25, student, male, pune)
“While booking on the app I would always prefer any discount or cashback to me or I call my friends and see if they have any or some cards have few offers so the I go for it”
user 3 (15–20, student, male, nagpur)
“In regard to the whole pandemic, I would really prefer to use the online mode of booking more over my usual way of going offline.”
user 4 (21–25, student, male, kerala)
“For the live events I would much prefer it to be live as in I can attend it physically. I know many events are taking place on zoom and YouTube but I miss the feels.”
user 5 (26–30, student, male, kolkata)
I then prepared two empathy maps as I grouped the users into two. One of them are the users who are willing to step out the YOLOers and the other one are the user not willing to step out the Covid Cautions.
It will specifically make me aware of the ways in which the user currently seek entertainment and their approach to the product.
It will also highlight the challenges they face and their own preferences regarding these platforms.
I then created two personas for these user groups in order to narrow down the users base and help me empathize more with the users and their problems.
It helped me in the ideation process to keep the user in mind easily.
I focused on the pain points of the users which were highlighted in the previous step to add in the persona.
Challenges and frustrations
Here I wrote the most recurring problems that I gathered from my secondary and primary research, and after analysing them.
- Time taken to compare among the various available nearby events/theatres is much more and a little frustrating.
- Finding nearby places to hang out with their group.
- Does not want to skip seats with the people they are booking the seats with as they already know and trust them.
- They do not trust the authorities for taking appropriate safety measures in respect of the pandemic.
- They find the prices to be high sometimes compared to the offline prices.
- Does not prefer to buy snacks from the premise as finds it to be expensive.
How might we
In this step I wrote down the above-mentioned pain points while converting them into questions staring with ‘how might we’ in order to trigger some ideas for the problems.
These are the points I wrote down as problems of how might we,
- How might we reduce the time consumed in the comparing of the theatres ?
2. How might we give suggestion on the nearby hangout places?
3. How might we give them convenient sitting arrangement accordingly?
4. How might we build trust among the users about the required guidelines being followed?
5. How might we offer even lower prices to our users?
6. How might we make the users order for snacks on the app itself?
How might we give them convenient sitting arrangement accordingly?
In this solution I have given the option of filtering out the cinemas and events which provide the option of not skipping seats as a feature called “no skip” when booking in a group of two or more.
This option is in consideration with the user group of YOLOers where this specific concern was raised.
I sketched out a few ways of implementing this solution on the interface of the app, and iterated and scratched out some to finally choose the most suitable one.
As the majority users have android OS and use bookmyshow, I did the sketching and wireframing for the same.
The landing page
The number of seat booking page
The checkout page
I have made some wireframes of the approved sketches from above. Keeping the fact in mind that his feature can be mistakenly applied or the user may forget that is applied which will result in highly frustrating experience, I have added elements in order to prevent the same from occurring at minimum.
★ As soon as the user opens the landing page of the app, they will be introduced to the new feature of “no skip”.
★ As a button at the top of the screen which will be white/grey without activation making it easy to understand.
★ After clicking on the button the app will now only show the events and theatres where they are providing this arrangement of seating.
★ Also, the button will go red symbolizing the activation of the feature which is easier to understand than just reading this message.
★ At the bottom of the screen the box with the written message will appear so that the user does not miss this point.
★ While at the stage where the user will be giving the information of number of seats to be booked, if it exceeds one then only the dialogue box will appear for validation of the “no skip”.
★ Here at the checking out stage, the user will be again reminded and asked to confirm the choice of not skipping the seat before the final payment.