I took on the redesign of Eventbrite as part of my design curriculum at Springboard. I wanted to evaluate a site that I used often and enjoyed. I'm also interested in product management so I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice balancing user goals with business outcomes.
Primary Challenge: Enhance the user journey for users wanting to host an event
Secondary Challenge: Revise the site's navigation and information architecture
Format: Desktop to iPhone 6
I wanted to understand the priorities of hosts and attendees when they visit sites like Eventbrite so I conducted five interviews. I selected interviewees that had experience planning or attending events. I kept the criteria purposely broad because my design goal was to create a design that could service a broad spectrum of users.
I sourced participants from my immediate network of friends and conducted the interviews over the phone. All of the participants were at their homes during the interviews. You can learn more about the participants and read the interview script here.
Three out of five of my interviewees had experience planning events as a part of their job. I gleaned a lot of information- in terms of their priorities, their pain points, and their values- from these three participants. They inspired Claudia. They all valued being detail oriented, having good communication throughout the planning process and having to get a lot of buy-in from their team or supervisors.
The other two participants didn't have much experience with planning events. They were more or less averted by the idea of having to take on that much responsibility. They valued ease and convenience. One was much more laid back in their expectations of how an event should be shared and promoted while the other had a lot of experience with registering online for events and had a strong mental model of what the experience should look like. They also gave me some valuable insight on the importance of a good mobile experience for attendees who tend to be on-the-go.
Pain Point #1 Low Discoverability
Wayfinding for Potential Hosts
There isn’t an obvious path for the user to navigate to a page to tell them how to get started with hosting an event. On the homepage there’s a large and obvious “Create Event” but this button navigates to a modal that forces the user to login or sign up before they can continue. Once logged in, you're navigated to a form to create an event with no information on important details like fees, promotion or how to manage your event.
The actual link to "How It Works" page is a small, inconspicuous "Learn More" link. The only other way to access this page on desktop is via the footer navigation. However, the footer navigation is condensed in mobile and the "How It Works" link disappears.
To make it easier to access the "How It Works" page, I added the "Create Event" button to the global navigation. I also changed the user flow so that you aren't blocked by the modal before you can find out whether or not you want to continue on to the actual event creation form. The user won't be prompted to log in until they opt "Get Started."
Pain Point #2 Dead End Navigation
Managing Information Architecture
In addition to the mobile footer navigation being limited, the overall organization of the desktop footer was confusing. Some of the titles were ambiguous. What was "Endurance?" How was "Event Planning" different than "Event Organizing Resources?"
In addition, there were issues with the user flow. Some of the pages created a never-ending log in loop. Apparently, several of the landing pages were just site filler and didn't have very much unique content. They even had the same hero header. When you logged in it simply re-directed to the homepage.
I performed a card sort with three subjects, ages 33 - 60. Their professions were student, UX Designer, and Administrative Assistant. I made cards for each of the footer pages and instructed them to group the cards together in ways that made sense to them. I provided clarification on the contents of the pages when asked and let them know that these were pages from Eventbrite.
My findings were fairly uniform. My subjects consistently grouped pages into three overall categories: selling tickets, buying tickets and about the business. There was some degree of variation but no significant outliers. It re-enforced my decision to design for a more balanced and separate experience for the two different users.
*Quick note: I started this project back in January 2016 and, since the publishing of this case study, I've noticed a few distinct changes over at Eventbrite. It seems like they started thinking along the same lines. Notice that they re-ordered pages to follow my "Things you need to host an event" and "Things you need to help plan your event." Their addition of the "Find Events" by location grouping again provides more balance between the two user bases.
Pain Point #3 Information Architecture
Making the How It Works Work
I focused the majority of my redesign on the "How It Works" page. It has its own sub-navigation to the "Pricing" and "Features" pages. All of the pages have different styles. Additionally, other important information for hosts- like event management capabilities and promotions were either buried in the text heavy "Features" page or on one of the pages that could only be found in the footer.
It seemed that Eventbrite was missing out on an opportunity to showcase their products more prominently. They have their app and an event management app- Eventbrite Neon. They have quite a few value adds that can differentiate themselves from their competition. Why not bring them to the user's attention?
The original layout required too much memory retention. So much of the information was spread out across the site. I thought it would be of value to bring it all to one place and make it more discoverable for the user and easier to navigate.
In the first iteration, I focused on balancing the experience on the home page. I cut back the number of popular events to 6 and added a carousel to browse those events and save real estate. I also added a teaser of Eventbrite Neon to better showcase their services.
On the "How It Works" page, I expanded the category options and preserved the carousel navigation. Once navigated to a category, you could also explore the contents by right or left swiping.
back to the notebook
I shared this design with my learning community and program mentors and got some feedback on the mockup. Particularly
- it was too dark
- the carousel navigation pattern was confusing.
My mentor suggested I brainstorm some different navigation patterns for the design.
I settled on an expand and collapse accordion menu. I felt it was the best pattern to allow the user to easily explore the contents of the different categories.
testing and feedback
I shared the prototype with mentors, friends and design colleagues. I gave them the task of learning how to create an event. Most of the feedback was written and verbal. One user performed a concurrent think aloud and recorded the experience.
The major feedback was the typography. The "Features" section still felt too text heavy. I was hoping that by distributing more of the information across the different categories, it would resolve the issue but it was still a pain point. Some minor feedback was to improve the color contrast of some of the category blocks.
ADDING PLAY TO THE VISUAL DESIGN
I focused on revising the visual design and injecting more color. I also revised the font size and the typography. I wanted the visual experience to reflect Eventbrite's playfulness so I opened up the color palette and drew from the page's hero header.
What I Learned
This case study was my first UX Design project involving a full process. In retrospect and with more time, I would have honed in on a smaller chunk of the product for re-design. Optimizing the user-flow alone was enough of an undertaking. Here are some things I would have focused on instead:
- I would have done more testing and recruited more users for my card sort.
- I think it would have also been helpful to increase the sample size and do an observational study to see how users negotiated the original and revised navigation. A few rounds of A/B testing would have between the different user flows would have given me more confidence.
- I stand by my choice to broaden Eventbrite's brand palette but I would have chosen colors with more contrast for accessibility's sake.
This was an interesting project and showed me how easily content can become jumbled when a brand scales quickly. It was also a great empathy building exercise as I tried to balance my design decisions with not only the business stakeholders but two distinct users in mind throughout.