OUR CLIENT & BRIEF
Research, design and integration of a new community feature for the State Theatre website.
Problem: Theatre is a niche art form with few dedicated sharing platforms.
Solution: To facilitate an open sense of community that
welcomes new visitors.
Managing client expectations
Survey Development & Analysis
Prioritization of Features|
Testing Guide | Usability Testing | User Interviews | Online Survey| Data Analysis and Synthesis | Persona Creation | Journey and Experience Mapping | Feature Prioritisation | Paper Prototyping| Digital Prototyping | Presentation
DISCOVERY & RESEARCH
1.1 Existing Presence and Competition
In order to satisfy our client and customer needs, we needed to identify what our customers currently had access to from our business as well as what competitors were providing. From our initial observations, it was clear that the State Theatre had a well-established mobile the responsive website that allowed for easy browsing of shows and dates, so the next step was to identify how our users felt about the existing experience.
In order to get a rich understanding of the key touch points surrounding the process of going to the theatre we conducted a handful of interviews with regular theatre goers.
We found that the most prominent areas we needed to explore amongst a wider audience were:
At the Theatre
After the Show
With an understanding of the important areas we could investigate further we concluded that in order to understand our user base we needed to gather a large consensus of opinions in a short time span and the best way to do that would be through a survey. So with the aid of my team, I constructed a survey that covered the touch points we had identified in the interviews. I structured the survey in such a way that would allow for anyone to provide answers while redirecting people to specific sections provided they had some relevant knowledge on the subject.
In this way, we were able to get as much relevant information from our users regardless of their level of exposure to the theatre, which would allow us to identify as many potential pain points or gain points as possible.
By analyzing our survey results we discovered some correlations that influenced our final designs as well a wealth of information to create and develop our main persona types.
The frequency of Theatre Visits:
The data shows a substantial amount of regular theatre frequenters as well as a sizable portion of users that could be attracted to go to the theatre more often.
Preferred Booking Platforms
Online booking was the leading platform
How users hear about shows
These questions highlighted a trend in the way our users preferred to communicate, which was primarily through active conversations followed by social media.
One other important finding was that very few respondents mentioned they had a hard time using the existing booking platforms These highlighted points were the most influential in determining what solution to provide, while
the rest of the survey provided us with enough information to create our personas.
The analysis of the survey results yielded 3 prominent persona types:
Sonia, the non-theatre goer
Steven, the workaholic
Kelly, the avid theatre goer
2.2 User Journey Map
We reached out to one of our survey correspondents that best fitted the ‘Avid Theatre Goer’ persona and interviewed her to develop a user journey map that identified what areas positively or negatively impacted her theatre going experience.
With these personas in place, we could establish what was most important to each of them onan individual level as well as how they could interact with each other.
3.1 Feature Prioritization
To determine what the most important solution we could provide was we looked at the research data and the various touch points, positive or negative, and arranged them by their importance in relation to what users currently had access to and what users wanted access to.
This is when we determined that the most important feature we could add to the State Theatre’s existing website would be a community hub for users to share their passion for the theatre.
3.2 Minimum Viable Product
At its core, our solution needed to allow for communication and some way of sharing or inviting people to join in.
3.3 Initial Wireframes
Our initial paper prototypes were conceived through a design studio where my team members and I quickly mocked up a number of wireframes which applied the features we had determined in our MSCW.
3.4 Usability Testing & Iterations
The first round of testing with a regular theatre-goer identified that the structure of the pages was very “excel” like and that the vocabulary used was very clinical. The aim was to create a welcoming experience for newcomers as well as a familiar experience for veterans so we iterated our designs to address these issues before moving on to the next level of fidelity.
With the next prototype at a higher level of fidelity, I was able to construct a sequence of tasks for a usability test on a non-theatre goer to asses the structure of the new layout as well as its interconnectivity.
Since the nature of our new design was interconnectivity, I made sure that the tasks allowed for flexibility throughout the usability test by avoiding specific leading tasks, allowing them to naturally explore while prompting them back to the right track if they deviated too far.
While guiding our test subject I made sure to keep them actively commenting on what was going through their mind as they explored the prototype as well as what they expected before clicking on something and how that compared to what would actually happened when they did click on it.
3.5 Final Prototype
The final prototype offers a range of conversation venues that easily link to one an other and allow for sharing with existing social media platforms. The beauty of the solution is that by satisfying our more veteran users needs to communicate their passion for the theatre we can effectively attract new users though the buzz generated by spreading the conversations through social media.
4.1 Future Improvements
The State Theatre currently outsources the booking process to Ticketmaster, a non-responsive the third-party site with some fairly convoluted form fields. Bringing the booking process in-house would allow for a more tailored booking experience in which users could explore in depth options specific to the venue such as views from specific areas in the venue, notifications and potentially loyalty rewards.