Open Social: adding a ticketing system to the event feature on a community platform — a UX/UI case study

Open Social

Background

Open Social is an open-core software-as-a-service (SaaS) community engagement platform with a vision to create a pro-privacy, anti-monopoly and open web that inspires trusted connections and collaboration. Open Social’s software is used by over 1000 organizations which include some of the biggest international NGOs such as the United Nations and Greenpeace, to create their own customizable online community platforms.

The Challenge

While the payment process is available, the next step to improve our product is to add the possibility of buying tickets for events that are hosted on OS platforms. We want organizations to be able to have the whole event flow from start to finish on the product.

Objectives:

A responsive and well-integrated ticketing system designed for two flows that allows:​

  • Event Managers — to setup the tickets;
  • Event Attendees — to purchase & access the tickets.
  • Visual Design of both flows on a selected platform (desktop, tablet or mobile)

Duration of the project: 10-day design sprint

Setup: team of 3

Tools: Figma; Maze; Google Suite; Trello; Otter, Pen & Paper

We began tackling the challenge with planning 2 weeks roadmap on Trello while keeping the design thinking process in mind.

Our Design Process

WHO ARE WE DEALING WITH?

Market analysis

Market Comparison Chart (direct competitors)

Hivebrite seems to have the most advanced ticketing system for events within the community which allows online payments, variety of ticket options, and enables the event managers to raise funds during event registration. Ideally, OS ticketing feature would be just as advanced with potentially even more customizable features relevant for each community.

Best ticketing practice feature comparison

Feature Comparison Chart (Indirect competitors)

Quantitative & Qualitative User Research

Since the challenge required designing two flows, starting from the user research we split each stage of the design process in TWO to empathize with both sides — Event manager and Event attendee. Let us begin with the former.

EVENT MANAGER

The main findings from the user research of event managers

DEFINE — WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

From here we created a HMW statement focusing on that particular pain point.

User Persona

Creating a storyboard helped us to clearly visualize what the event planning looks for the event managers when they need to use external ticketing platforms and do not have a clear overview in one place.

Storyboard Event Manager

The current User Journey Map creation was the following step to even better empathize with the event manager because now clearly seeing the touchpoints, we could identify two opportunities — providing a dashboard for event managers showing the information about attendees, payments and tickets sold as well as customizable ticket options.

Jobs Stories

EVENT ATTENDEE

The main findings from the user research of the event attendees

After creating an affinity diagram, we again voted on the problems to solve. However, this time we found two of them equally important — the process of purchasing a ticket often takes too long and that the tickets can be difficult to access. We also voted for the lack of different payment options available but later agreed that it is closely related to first problem — slow ticket purchasing process.

From here we created the HMW statement for the event attendees.

User Persona

Again, we sketched a storyboard to better imagine what Lara is going through when buying a ticket.

Storyboard of event attendee

User Journey

Job Stories

Bearing in mind that the main goal of OS is connecting communities and the lack of ticketing feature within one platform causes a number of pain points for both event managers and the attendees, we created the problem and hypothesis statements taking into consideration the both sides.

Problem Statement

Open Social was designed for connecting people within communities so that members can communicate easily, create groups, collaborate, interact and have a seamless sharing of ideas, experience and expertise.

We have observed that Open Social’s event feature is not creating an overview for event managers, and is holding back the attendee from being able to access and purchase tickets all in one place.

This leads to every community relying on different external platforms, and therefore induces less engagement within the communities, which for many is the main source of company revenue.

Hypothesis Statement

We believe that adding a ticketing feature to the event platform within OS will create a clearer overview for event managers and give event attendees the ability to access and purchase tickets all in one place.

We will know we are right when we see more engaged members within the communities, and a higher revenue generated by events for the company.

IDEATE & DEVELOP — SOLVING THE PROBLEM

EVENT MANAGER’S SIDE:

Site map showing the paths where the tickets for the events can be managed

EVENT ATTENDEE’S SIDE:

Site map showing the paths where the tickets for the events can be bought

Which features must be added?

Now that we have defined clear needs and pain points of the users, we had to prioritize which ticketing features can solve the most user problems. We created MOSCOW chart by taking into consideration the features which are commonly used in the best ticketing practices and the ones mentioned in the user interviews. Note: some of the ticket features which attendee sees when buying the ticket depend on what is set by the event manager (customizable) while others may be integrated within the OS system itself. For this reason, we put (M) for manager and (A) for attendee next to each feature to be able to differentiate them easier.

Must Haves and Should Haves of the Moscow Method guided the establishment of the Minimum Value Product Statements.

MVP Statement — Event Managers

The ticketing feature on the Events of Open Social’s product allows the event manager to:

  1. Input: ticket type, price (free/paid/donation) & quantity
  2. Customize: payment method, ticket holder information,
    community joining fee and downloadable invoice option
  3. Access an intuitive dashboard (event data) page that shows an overview of the ticket sales

This function should relieve event managers from having to use external tools for ticket creation, management and overview.

MVP Statement — Event Attendees

The ticketing feature on the Events of Open Social’s product allows the event attendee to:

  1. Select the appropriate ticket type, quantity & payment method
  2. Fill-in the required information
  3. Access the ticket in a form of QR code, downloadable PDF & receive the order confirmation

This function should allow event attendees to quickly buy and access tickets without spoiling the event experience.

User flows & Use Cases

Now that we decided which features will be included in the ticketing, we created the user flow diagrams with an intention to optimize the user’s ability to accomplish a task. Afterwards we employed use cases describing the main and alternative user flows to help us identify any potential errors and to better understand how our users will accomplish their goals.

EVENT MANAGER

Full User Flow Event Manager

EVENT ATTENDEE

Happy Path User Flow Event Attendee

PROTOTYPING

Now that we had identified clear user flows, we could finally draw some low-fidelity sketches to clarify how we will approach the actual design with incorporating the most important features we agreed upon.

Mid-fidelity prototypes

Some of the screens from mid-fi prototypes of Event Manager’s side (after the iterations)

Testing and and iterating

Below you can see the detailed feedback we received from the users during our user feedback sessions and several examples showing how we iterated on the prototypes.

EVENT ATTENDEE

Low-fidelity prototypes

Mid-fidelity prototypes

Some of the screens from mid-fi prototypes of Event Attendee's side (after the iterations)

Testing and and iterating

VISUAL DESIGN

Finally, after all the iterations on the mid-fi prototypes we were ready to design high fidelity prototypes. In order to seamlessly integrate the ticketing feature in already existing Open Social product we were following the already existing design system in terms of typography and cards.

However, the colours of OS software are customizable per installation accordingly to the style of each community to make them feel at home. For our hi-fi prototypes we decided to use the colour scheme from one of the communities. At the bottom we showcased the buttons and elements which we created for the new ticketing feature.

High-fidelity prototypes

Below you can see the final result which was created by taking into account the usability test results.

EVENT MANAGERS

The video walks you through the process of creating the tickets, publishing the event and checking the event data afterwards.

EVENT ATTENDEES

The video walks you through the process of buying the tickets for an event, and accessing them via e-mail.

Next Steps

  • Evaluate whether implementing tickets in the main event creation flow would be more intuitive for the users
  • Analyze more use cases such as community joining fee
  • Design and test the high-fidelity prototypes for all devices

Insights and learnings

Thank you for reading!

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