One of the more intriguing parts of designing the reserved seating process for UpStage was the user testing. It’s rare for nonprofit performing arts organizations to spend much time designing their online ticket experience around the new ticket buyer and that only leaves money on the table and untapped potential.
When designing UpStage’s process, we made sure to rectify that oversight by creating one of the three primary user test groups comprised entirely of individuals that have never purchased a ticket to an arts and culture event. The results were fascinating, here are some of the highlights:
- Traditional top-down or isometric seating map user interfaces left new ticket buyers feeling confused because they felt the process assumed they already had information about the venue.
- A detailed seat filter that provided the ability to display available seats based on quantity, price range, location, and several specific seat preferences helped, but conversion rates were only ~10% higher than the seat map only interface.
- The option that produced the highest conversion relied on putting the Zeigarnik Effect, which is when people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks, into motion by way of creating a multi-step narrative driven process that allowed ticket buyers to discover seats and select with the highest degree of confidence.
I published an article at ArtsHakcer that not only walks through that entire process, but it demonstrates how the Zeigarnik Effect helped produce a process that produced higher conversion rates among new ticket buyers.