When it comes to Ticketmaster, the entire experience is sculpted around the fan. Given their high visibility and long history of dominating the ticket space, it’s no surprise how important season ticket holders are for TM.
Account Manager is used by hundreds of TM’s professional sports and theaters clients whose most important clients are, in fact, those season ticket holders. Of course, users with one-off ticket purchases would have access to this platform as well, but it’s intended for the power users. Those with an entire seasons worth of tickets, parking passes, and the friends and family to fill their seats.
It goes without saying that Account Manager’s visual design was dated, but more importantly – there were some glaring flaws inside of the experience (the type of mistakes that would make a client go with another company, or prevent a fan from making a donation for example).
When I was assigned this project, I was excited for the obvious challenge of simplifying one of the company’s most robust products.
Let’s talk about Account Manager from it’s primary user’s perspective. We’ll call him David the Executive. David is the CEO of a company that has a partnership with MetLife Stadium. Lucky for him, he’s a third generation New York Jets fan; his entire family bleeds green.
David uses Account Manager nearly every week when the NFL is in season. He needs it to manage his hundreds of seats in the VIP booth at MetLife. Sometimes he goes with colleagues, sometimes with his son, and other times he goes solo. If he can’t go at all, he’ll donate the seats to charity.
Status is important to David. He’s worked his entire career to enjoy the finer things. He’s basically afraid of flying coach, allergic to parking far away from the entrance, and prefers a glass of Scotch when he’s watching the game.
So, how do we make David’s life easier?
First of all, I met people like David and interviewed them. I deduced a couple of things:
- The ticket management area is simply ridiculous. It takes too many steps to do anything and the flow is unintuitive; it took David a while to get the hang of it.
- The donation flow is extremely cumbersome; David wouldn’t want to waste his time doing it this way.
- The homepage doesn’t offer quick routes to accomplish important tasks; David needs more information about HIS account on the homepage.
Vimeo Password: “agw17″
There were a lot of other findings, but it was obvious that the redesign was going to have to address a lot – it wouldn’t just be a pretty makeover (but that was definitely one of the notes!).
It would need to be as simple as it is powerful. In depth enough to offer useful marketing data to our clients, but smart enough to fill in that data automatically when it already knows it. And it would be quite the task to centralize all of that data efficiently without affecting performance.
That’s a good UX problem, but there’s a twist! While doing research and design, TM partnered with another company who already created the very product that we’re revamping! This would mean halting production, analyzing their Account Manager, and contrasting their strengths with our own. The end goal would be to enhance this new company’s Account Manager with our Ticketmaster technology and standards, creating a brand new experience in a fraction of the time it would have taken us to build it alone.
This sounds great on paper, but it would definitely prove to be a difficult path. Since joining TM, there have been a number of initiatives to bring some cohesion to our fan experience. Account Manager’s clients have also come to expect a level of customization. Certain components, styles, and language have been standardized to support this.
- Account Manager is a responsive web project, so it was my job to match TM’s mobile experience and intelligently scale it up to a desktop experience based on the ticketmaster.com. Alas, these two companies didn’t work together to produce these products, so it would be tough to build a compromise retroactively.
- Clients need the flexibility to use their team colors as the primary color, but this would potentially impede on TM’s color standards concerning messaging, status and feedback. Some important elements of Account Manager could be be difficult to understand in the worst case scenario.
- While, I’m Ticketmaster’s only Account Manager designer, I’d have to partner with all of the organizations involved to bring this to life.
Enter: The New Account Manager
Here’s the experience I came up with.
When David arrives at Account Manager homepage, he’ll already be signed in from his last session. The page will provide a screenshot of his account’s most pertinent details: such as upcoming events, unpaid invoices, and customizable links at the bottom, which the New York Jets can set to their liking.
He’s going to the game tonight and he wants to bring his son and girlfriend along. He’ll be driving directly to the stadium from his office in Manhattan, but they’ll be leaving from New Jersey. They’ll be arriving first, so he needs to send them tickets first.
David clicks tonight’s event card and observes his tickets. He clicks “Send/Donate” tickets and is shown a modal where he’ll specify his transfer details.
He selects two seats and clicks the checkbox to allow him to attach a parking pass to the transfer as well.
Nice! David is provided a claim link that he can copy and paste into his text message conversation with his girlfriend. He sends the link and gets on the highway.
When he arrives at the venue, he uses his mobile device to show his parking pass to the tenant and gets into his VIP parking space right next to the door.
As he walks up to the front entrance, just 5 minutes before kickoff, he swipes his screen to show the security his barcode for entry and puts his phone into his pocket. He made it!
If he wants, this entire experience is available to him on the mobile web as well.