Online ticketing system

In January of this year I was finally able to launch a project I’ve dreamed about since I started, five years ago: a redesign of the ticketing system. The simple reason this project took so long was that we lacked the internal resources to pull it off. When I got permission to hire the Orchestra’s very first web developer one year ago, this was the very first priority I had in mind.

My developer, a freelance designer, and I brainstormed what would be the best possible user experience for selecting seats for an orchestra concert and purchasing them, and then whittled down our list to what was actually possible within our existing ticketing system.

I art directed mockups and oversaw the project that brought us to a completely new and much more tablet-optimized ticketing experience (full mobile optimization is still forthcoming), launching just 7 months after our developer first started. For the full experience, visit minnesotaorchestra.org and click on any “BUY” button for a concert.

Here are some before and after shots.

Choose your seats, before:Choose your seats, before picture

Choose your seats, after:

Choose your seats, after

Order Summary, before:

Order summary, beforeOrder summary, after:

Order summaryThis project involved LOTS of thinking about user interfaces and how best to optimize them, given an elderly ticketing system that still outputs a table for its main HTML page structure. We know a lot of our users are trying to buy tickets on their iPads; we were keen to make that easier.

It also involved some work with internal stakeholders: for example, we reduced the amount of fine print and/or moved it to places where it made more sense.

We were not able to do everything we wanted to do, and had to make so many compromises that at times the project felt doomed. But in the end, we made dramatic improvements and opened the door for more improvements in the future, as well as laying the groundwork for minimum requirements if/when the Orchestra upgrades its ticketing system.

Coming (hopefully) soon: mobile ticketing!

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