Case Study: Adding a Feature to Fandango 

Paper prototype user testing underway!

PROJECT BRIEF

In this two-week project our four-person team designed a concert and event ticketing feature to add to Fandango, a multinational company that currently sells tickets to movies and is “the go-to for people who like to go to the movies.”

Objective: to add a feature to the Fandango mobile app that notifies you of events happening in your area, and allows you to purchase tickets, then use a digital pass to attend the event.

Deliverables: a competitor analysis, personas and a storyboard, problem and solution statements, sketches and evidence of ideation process, design iterations, and wireframes; and a high-fidelity interactive prototype.

Methods and Skills: designing as a team, survey, user interviews, competitor analysis, personas, storyboarding, sketching and ideation, information architecture, wire framing, prototyping with Sketch and InVision, usability testing.

Time Frame: Two week design sprint.

Role: UX and marketing researcher, information architect. 

You can view our final digital prototype here.

Or a brief demo of the prototype here:

THE RESEARCH PROCESS

Key Challenges

Our team identified the key challenges from the outset of the project: 

  • determining the points of convergence and departure between Fandango’s current movie-going customer base and the broader market of people who attend concerts and other events

  • determining the best ways to notify people of upcoming events of interest to them

  • adapting Fandango's existing brand identity and style conventions to the concert and event ticketing experience

Competitor Analysis

To better understand the parameters of the concert and event ticketing marketplace, we conducted a competitor analysis. We looked at Livenation, Bandsintown, Songkick, Eventbrite, and Ticketmaster, and made a feature analysis to see which features consistently appeared (with features existing across all platforms highlighted in green):

Knowing what features were essential to a ticketing app made it easier for us to develop our ideas for our minimum viable product (MVP).

Brand Identity Research

Since we were working within the existing Fandango platform, we conducted some brand identity research, which proved critical in guiding our process. Fandango has a very well-defined brand, based on the principles of being simple, magnetic, definitive, and playful.

Our team further distilled these principles down into three key points:

  1. Keep it conversational: use a playful, magnetic tone in all copy and communications with users to express excitement and enthusiasm;

  2. Be the expert for the user: Fandango already prides itself on being the definitive “go-to for people who go to the movies,” so the new feature should accomplish the same for concerts and events, including making solid recommendations based on users’ preferences; and

  3. Prioritize a simple and effortless experience for the user: functionality should translate into easy and clear site navigation and in-app purchasing and digital pass access.

 

We referred back to these three points often throughout our design process and used them as our "North star" to help us make crucial design decisions.

Survey

Conducting a survey helped us gain a broad overview of how people discover events they want to attend, and learn about habits around attending events. 

Key survey take-aways: 

  • word-of-mouth is the most popular way of finding out about events

  • social media and following specific artists and venues are also common ways to find out about events 

  • people usually attend events with at least one other person

  • Ticketmaster is the most popular ticketing platform

  • majority have attended at least three concerts or events in the last year

  • 54% of respondents were occasional or frequent Fandango users

  • People have mixed reactions to making purchases on mobile devices

Age range
Age range

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# of events attended in past year
# of events attended in past year

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Fandango app usage
Fandango app usage

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Age range
Age range

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Survey made with Google Forms

User Interviews

We wanted to get more in-depth information about people’s attitudes and habits, so we used the survey to recruit users for in-depth interviews. From an affinity map of our five interviewees, we came away the following key insights:

  • Hard copy: an easy way to print out their ticket or digital pass in case their device ran out of battery or got lost before the event;

  • Recommendations: good recommendations for concerts or events to attend based on their current tastes and preferences;

  • Venmo integration: make it easier to get paid back if they bought tickets for friends by linking their Venmo account;

  • Relevant event info: easy access to artist and lineup (if applicable) information, and venue amenities such as handicap accessibility, food and drink options, and information on transit or parking.

Feature Quadrant

Based on our research up to this point, we were ready to begin honing in on the specific attributes we wanted to integrate into our new concert and events feature.

We listed possible features, then ranked them from "most essential" to “nice-to-have”  for an MVP.

We asked a developer to assign each feature a score: 1 = easiest, to 4 = most difficult, costly.

With a clearer idea of what we needed to design, we were able to move into the next phase of the process.

Our feature quadrant helped us focus and prioritize during our ideation and prototype development phase.

IDEATION AND PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT

Persona and Storyboard

We used the technique of developing a persona, scenario, and storyboard to help us keep the essential elements of the project in mind throughout our ideation and prototype development process. 

This is Elle...

Elle's problem statement: “As a frequent concert-goer, I need a way to follow my favorite artists and local venues, purchase tickets, and coordinate attending events with my friends, all in one place, so I can go to more concerts.”

We then crafted a solution statement that addresses Elle's goals and needs:

Fandago will develop an event ticketing feature that allows users to find, purchase, share, and attend local events so they can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the things they love!

Our scenario envisions Elle riding the T home from work when she gets a text from her friend visiting next weekend. Elle wants to find a fun concert they can go to.

Having a representational person to solve problems for helped us concretize the process of developing our prototype.

Paper Prototype

The design studio process - brainstorming together, sketching individually, sharing our designs as a group, then iterating based on the strongest ideas - is how we developed our initial paper prototype.

We used the existing Fandango app for guidance in terms of conventions and design elements, but added a number of new things as well. Some of the key elements we designed for included:

  • Spotify integration and interest selection options on which to base recommendations

  • Map integration and venue amenity listings to make it easy for users to plan their outing

  • Artist information pages to allow users to easily explore new artists

  • Social media sharing and Venmo integration to make coordinating events with friends easy

  • A digital pass that would look like a real ticket when printed out, in case users wanted to get an autograph or keep it as a souvenir.

User Testing and Iteration

We tested our paper prototype on five users, and came away with some major insights.

1. We had assumed that there would be enough divergence between movie-going and concert/event-attending audiences to warrant having users make a clear choice between one or the other upon opening the app, but this was not the case; users simply wanted to see content, and then navigate to what they wanted to see.

2. Despite their desire to have Fandango make good recommendations for concerts or events of interest, users found forced interest selection to be annoying and they did not want to go through the process of detailing their interests at all if they were searching for something specific.

3. While people liked the option of being able to search for venues on a map, the way we had set it up within the app was difficult for users to discover and the flow of using it was not clear to them.

4. Fandango’s existing convention for seat selection did not work as well for concert ticketing as it did for movies, and users found it time-consuming and awkward.

Iteration

We incorporated these and other critiques into the next phase of digital wireframing. For instance, one of the most dramatic changes we made was to revert back to Fandango’s convention of a “spotlight page” to highlight featured and recommended content on the landing page, as opposed to asking users to choose between movies or events.

Other Key Iterations:

  • map and list search options integrated on same page with tabs

  • "favorited" artists and venues accessible on account page

  • onboarding process streamlined by offering linked account options

Another big addition was to build out the seat selection function for reserved seat events. We tailored this section to meet the specific needs of concert/event (as opposed to movie) goers, simplifying Fandango’s existing radio button seat selector to an incrementor on the same seat selection page, and allowing users to search only for (two or more) seats together in arena seating with a yes/no slide button.

You can view our final digital prototype here.

NEXT STEPS AND FUTURE ITERATIONS

There were a lot of ideas that we would have liked to build and test, but that were out of scope for this project, including:

  • A waitlist function for sold-out events

  • Incorporation of the existing Fandango VIP Rewards program into the concerts/events feature, offering perks such as discounted merchandise and access to pre-sale tickets.

  • A digital “shoebox” function that could serve as a place to store special or souvenir tickets, and that could be viewed and shared as a carousel or an enhanced animated story.

  • A way to organize season tickets or tickets for recurring events

FINAL THOUGHTS

I truly enjoyed working with my group on this project, and although there are of course ways that we could have improved our process or outcome, I am proud of how much we accomplished in two weeks and I am happy to say that we had a lot of fun, too!