Case Studies : UK Tickets

UK Tickets Website

Strategy, design and development for a next generation ticket selling website focussing on theatre, music and entertainment events. A key objective of the project was to architect a content-rich website which maximises the organic search traffic to reduce the reliance on paid search traffic.

The case study demonstrates Double Eye’s ability to take a project from idea to live service. It shows how we can design a strategy around a principal idea then develop the services and systems required to implement the strategy.

Specifically it demonstrates our competencies in web strategy, user experience design, technical design, software development and implementation using the LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql and PHP) platform.

The Context

West End Theatre Bookings, a leading theatre ticket agent wanted to launch a new ticketing service in the UK. The service was to provide tickets to all major entertainment events via the web and should offer users something new and unique, not currently available from other ticket selling websites. The brief was simple, ‘If we wanted to create the best event ticketing website available today, what would it look like?’.

Double-eye were initially asked to create a strategy and roadmap for the site, and were subsequently chosen for design, develop and implementation.

The Objectives

The brief for the project was simple: Design the best ticketing site in the UK, which gives uses something new and unique, not available from other ticket selling websites and capitalises on the organic search traffic available. In addition to the brief, the strategy had to be realised within a set budget and delivered on the client’s existing technology platform.

The Process

We initiated the strategy with research into the leading ticketing sites. The outputs of the research enabled us to formulate a strategy based around 4 key points:

  1. Create an information rich site which provides users with all the information needed to choose tickets, make a booking and enjoy the show. To reduce the editorial overhead on the client’s team, the site would utilise information already available on the web.
  2. Allow users to provide feedback and make recommendations for other users, therefore creating an editorially unbiased recommendations system and a community feel to the site. Users would be incentivised to provide feedback through a discount on future bookings.
  3. Provide information about places of interest near the event, eg places to eat, hotels, attractions, etc. Allow users to submit places of interest to the site and comment on any experiences they had at a featured place.
  4. Provide tools allowing users to find the tickets they want at the prices they want and make the booking process an exemplar user experience.

To demonstrate how the objectives would be realised we created user journeys showing ideas for suggested features and functions. We then worked closely with the client team to refine ideas to fit expectations and budgets. This was achieved through a series of workshops, the outcome of which was an agreed feature list, project plan and budget for developing the service.

We used our standard development methodology to design the service. We created interactive wireframes to develop the user experience and tested these against sample users to ensure ease of use. Once complete we authored functional specifications for the technical team.

Screen designs were created to determine the look and feel of the site. These were reviewed with the client team and refined until approved. HTML templates where then created for all service pages.

Technical development was straight forward as the platform used by the client had been implemented by our team on a previous project. We created a technical design which would allow the new site to utilise the platform efficiently, and developed the server side code using PHP and the Zend Framework.

Following development the site was thoroughly tested before launch. To ensure a speedy launch, the site was deployed in 8 releases over a 2 month schedule, each one adding new features and functions to the site.

The Outcome

The site was launched in July 2008 and delivered an improvement in the conversion rates and user engagement almost immediately.

Key Points

  • Web Strategy development
  • User experience design
  • Graphic Design
  • Technical Design & Development using LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)
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