I created the personas in this instance using Sketch.
I created the personas in this instance using Sketch.
First things first - Planning
Before starting any project it is always best practice to have a UX strategy and design the roadmap ahead of you. Great for keeping teams on the same page, it also helps if you are working as a solo one-man UX team as I was on this project. There was an awful lot to do in a short time so planning was essential.
It doesn't have to be set in stone but having this basic roadmap gave me something to revisit and check that the project was on course. It's a simple way of focussing your efforts on what you should be doing and stop you getting sidetracked.
Mapped out in sprints, breaking down the project into chunks, made it easier to stay on track and got decisions made quickly.
From my initial meetings with the CEO and CTO of Divento it was clear they felt their website had become dated and analytics showed it was not encouraging their users to return once they had purchased tickets.
The stakeholders' willingness to identify the failings of their site was a great help and sped up the whole UX process. The aim of a project like this relies on being able to accept faults with the product, something UX processes help discover and redefine.
Identifying small fails = big wins.
Black header and multicoloured logo was unpopular ("90's looking")
Tested users found taxonomy was confusing
Too many steps shown and misleading as not an itinerary planner as those tested thought it was. Planner idea was liked a lot
Big images were liked, especially the more unique ones that gave a "feel" of the place. Carousel was not liked
Instead users were taken to search results page that had no real order to the results and that users found confusing
Side navigation bars were ignored by users completely, and were said to make the page even more confusing. Also found to have broken links and advertising b2b in public area of site
With the idea of an itinerary planning feature testing well, showing it was a good way to increase user engagement, the next step was to look at some direct and indirect competitors.
Some key take-aways were:
Divento had a subscription base of 25,000 so a survey was sent out within a newsletter. Initially we had a very low response which highlighted the number of people not reading the newsletter. This was a bonus bit of UX information (every failure is a success in UX remember!!) and Divento were able to improve the look and content of their newsletters accordingly. We also offered vouchers as an incentive to users to complete the survey.
The survey was sent out again and had over 200 responses. It helped identify user's behavior and what people were looking for on a city break.
You can see the survey here >
No. of travellers
No. of days in city
No. of activities
I interviewed willing participants from the survey and multiple other users and stakeholders regularly throughout the process. This provided invaluable information and directed the types of features the itinerary planner would have, and how to best structure the information architecture of the new site. I also used the opportunity to test some design elements I had started to make.
"I don't want to feel like a tourist and be herded around on tours... but I don't like having to research on loads of sites either"
"Walking around a foreign city, hungry, can be stressful. You just want to know where something half decent is nearby"
"I like planning my trips, but still think I'm missing out on local, hidden gems... the stuff you can't always find online"
Here are some of the results compiled from the survey and interviews
Places people want to visit/find out about
Features wanted on a city trip planner
Amenities people searched for (by age group)
User behavior and needs (by age group)
Once the data from the research started to show patterns I was able to translate it into some personas. These were continually added to as the process went on and more data was collected.
This helped me show the stakeholders the new vision for the ways their users could interact with the company and how their user base could grow. It helped me remember the different needs and pain points of the old and new users, driving design decisions and preventing dreaded scope creep.
Task Analysis & User Journeys
During the interviews, on top of the quantitative data, I had a great opportunity to gather more qualitative data; what the users pain points were and what made them happy when they were on city breaks etc.
This showed how and where I could improve on their previous experiences and the things they identified from using competitor's sites and itinerary planners both good and bad.
Planning a hoiday
Planning a holiday on Visit-a-city
User engagement on old Divento site
Proposed user engagement on new Divento site/planner
The main pain points that kept coming up when analysing holiday planning were that very repetitive and uninspiring activity suggestions (bus tours etc) were often recommended, and that users would be redirected to an external site to book tickets with none of their information saved so would have to enter it all over again.
When I researched user engagement on the old Divento siteI found that most users would only visit once to buy some tickets. There were occasions some users would revisit to buy another ticket whilst one their trip, but overall return visits were extremely rare. I wanted to encourage prolonged use of Divento, by users on their trip, by incorporating useful features.
The original taxonomy and global navigation of the Divento site tested as being very confusing.
A new IA for all attractions, things to do, and amenities was devised, based on the data collected as well as on what the business needs were.
Simple icons and colours were tested and selected and were found to help the user identify between the different categories as well as where they were on the site.
The new design sought to simplify it whilst still enabling the use of their unique content, such as their interviews with famous museum directors from around Europe. Testing helped settle on the clearest taxonomy for the new IA.
Old global navigation
New global navigation
My proposal was to introduce the itinerary planner, but also a number of other features, specifically ones that were easy and cost effective to implement. They would give users good reason to continually use Divento whilst on their trip. This would also give Divento the chance to sell more tickets, send (meaningful/useful) push notifications, and more opportunity to advertise the listed b2b partners they were looking to expand upon.
A content roadmap was given to Divento that outlined what content to prioritise and how they should be written and presented. We had managed to find a way to get content writers all across europe that would be subsidised whilst they got experience writing for Divento, keeping the cost down for what was a very large content gathering project.
Rearrange all existing content:
Expand upon older content:
Make new content:
NB: This is just a basic representation of the plan as under NDA
More than just a website!
With the itinerary planner, an app, an e-commerce ticket business, the ticketing solutions Divento provide to other business (hardware and software), marketing and sales materials and even stickers to go in shop windows, this project touched on every part of the business. I enjoy thinking about the bigger picture in this way, striving for seamlessness in the omnichannel user experience. It really shows how applicable UX is to almost all areas of a business.
Desktop Itinerary Planner
Research showed users liked to do their planning at home, so the desktop/tablet version allowed more in-depth control and more explorable content.
Users can browse, plan an itinerary, and buy tickets without an account. Onboarding was left till last so as not to interfere with the user experience.
Once an account is made the user can seamlessly move to mobile, where all their itineraries and tickets are saved.
City break how you like to
Different users preferred to receive their information in different ways, so the mobile itinerary comes in a number of different formats.
Engage and promote
Some simple features encourage user engagement and allow Divento to promote activities as well as nearby businesses to users on the move.
Trust and discovery
Businesses advertising on Divento are all verified and have reviews written by Divento's Authors. Window stickers allow users to spot these while out and about.
Add more on the go
Easily search by category and find more things to do, on the go, at the click of a button.
More content, less hassle
Attractions like museums can have ticket booking and audio guides all in one place on Divento. Again making the experience more seamless for the user, and more manageable for the venues.
As well as making sure itineraries are not impossible to fit in, if users add an activity Divento will tell them when's best to do it and rearrange itineraries accordingly.
Skip the queues
With scannable barcodes stored on their phone, users can skip the queues and don't have to print off tickets.
Ticketing Solutions - Hardware
Venues and attractions can use Divento's ticketing system. Cost effective and more efficient. Scanners are provided, not only speeding up admission but cutting down on ticket fraud.
Ticketing Solutions - Software
Divento's b2b partners all have a back-end ticket office that they can manage ticket sales, offer discounts, and has an API that can be easily integrated into reseller sites.
Continue to engage. Add content
On returning home users are further encouraged to engage and supply content by uploading images and recommend new places, write reviews and rate what they did on their trip.
Spread the word
Through sharing their reviews and ratings on social media, users get the pleasure of telling their friends about their trip, whilst at the same time building a community and letting people know about Divento.
Design, Test & Iterate
I organised, wrote the scripts, and facilitated all usability tests. These included AB testing, 5 second exposure tests and task orientated testing. I made sure testing was performed throughout the project; from the earliest paper prototypes through to the high fidelity clickable ones.
I also carried out some tests remotely to see how people interacted with the site at home, not under 'test' conditions.
With so many elements to design and keep inline with one another, an iterative design method was the only way to go. Below are a few examples of the results.
Some of the main changes made due to test results were: the three main USPs were grouped into three columns rather than spread down the page as lost if the user did not scroll down, the header and footer went through a number of iterations to create space and make navigation clearer, more calls to action were added to the page, and a back to top button was also added.
'Start Itinerary' iterations
The itinerary planner has it's own onboarding and was originally quoted as having 5 steps on the old Divento site. I tried to simplify it by reducing the number steps down to three and by presenting the 'number of days', 'date' and 'how busy would you like the trip?' entries in a logical and optional way. Testing helped position these and streamline it. It also gave the idea of using icons to select categories of interest, letting the user easily generate tailored results for their trip in a few clicks. A plan they could then customise as much or as little as they want.
'Itinerary Planner' iterations
The itinerary planner itself also benefited greatly from the user tests. They led to new ideas including; Icon tiles at top of page to allow continued adding and removing of 'things of interest', the addition of 'lunch' and 'dinner' CTAs so users can browse places to eat nearby based on their itinerary. It also led to the introduction of the 'Overview' page for desktop and tablets, as before we only had a 'Day-by-day' view. The overview allowed for greater control for the user organising their trip.
My main deliverable at the end of the project was a Developer's pack.
Consisting of Annotated high fidelity wireframes of all the desktop and mobile pages, Screen flows, a Nav Schema and Design library.
These gave all the specifications so the developers had all they needed to carry out the design. Working Agile and staying in touch with them throughout meant I knew the designs were possible and the developers were happy with the design decisions being made.
High fidelity Prototypes
DESIGN & TEST
b2b landing page
One of the other parts to this project was to design a b2b landing page that would explain what Divento offer to, and collect details of, potential clients for the sales team to contact.
I tested these by walking into stores Divento had identified and carrying out a bit of guerilla testing on business owners and staff.
Open Landing Page
As already discussed I also created some point of sale stickers. These were designed through collaborating with the stakeholders. The priority was to make them simple and eye catching.
I also designed a native app that the sales teams could use to approach business owners and explain what Divento do and how it can help their businesses. I wrote a script for the sales team for the app which included a walkthrough of the desktop and mobile site. The app was made to also allow for the sales person to improvise and present the product the way they wanted to.
Open Sales App
Branding with UX
Some quick A/B tests with users and close collaboration with the stakeholders drove the design process and helped to settle on a point of sale sticker design. Showing how UX can help in visual design decisions and move away from the 'lone designer' method of old.
Another area of the business I touched upon was the branding. The original logo, with it's bright multicoloured lettering, tested as being seen as dated - "it looks like a crap google" was one user's comment.
The redesign went for a cleaner and clearer logo with the colours modernised and carried over from the old one. People liked this and those colours where then used to identify categories and sections of the itinerary etc. All tested as having made navigation of the site easier.
Open Sales App
With all that data gathered it was necessary to translate some of it into visuals. I make sure not to do this for everything to save time, but sometimes it helps to present to stakeholders, keeping them in the picture and involved in the whole process. I also like to have it up on the wall to keep key data at the forefront of my design decisions.
The owners of Divento were very pleased with the results of my work and were definitely convinced by how effective UX processes can be. Not just at discovering and redefining a business' model, but also in helping with planning ahead and being able to adapt quickly. Not being slowed down by finding faults in your product, but instead being propelled forward to better things.
Position: UX / Service Designer
Duration: 8 months
Divento sell tickets and provide ticketing systems to the best arts and cultural events in Europe's most popular and beautiful cities.
An end-to-end UX and Service Design project, to rebrand and reinvent the entire business model and it's platforms. The CEO wanted to discover new revenue streams, increase user engagement, and rejuvenate the look and feel of the brand.
As solo UXer I would research and discover ways to increase and improve the user experience and the way in which the user and b2b clients interact with Divento overall. I would redesign and test all digital products across web and mobile, integrate a new itinerary planning feature, formulate a roadmap for a new b2b strategy, and design sales tools and marketing materials.
SOME KEY PROCESSES USED:
Try the prototypes here...
DIVENTO CASE STUDY
Sales team app
Fiona + Robert
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David + Nicole
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The Taylor Family
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