WarmLab website design

WarmLab is an entertainment business that promotes Minimal-House music by organising music parties and events. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions, the business needed to press pause. But now they are ready to relaunch and a website is a vital part of their business plan.

We spoke to the owner and main stakeholder of WarmLab. He explained that his business objectives are not only to promote music and events, but also to support the music artists. He wants to grow his business through a website that profiles the events alongside the artists, with ticket sales directly to the user (not sending them to a secondary website). He also hopes to grow a community of people who share a love for minimal-house music through an online membership.

Business research

Before starting the design process our team did some preliminary business and user research. We conducted a SWOT analysis and determined that WarmLab’s strength is their niche music event offering, an obvious weakness is that they don’t have a website, an opportunity is that people are excited to go out and party post lock down, and a threat is that WarmLab is one of many music event promoters.

With this information we did a competitor analysis to profile WarmLab and define their brand in context of their direct competitors. This was followed by a feature comparison to determine what WarmLab’s website would need based on other online offerings and what additional features they could have which would make them stand out.

What stood out was that most competitors use a secondary website to sell their event tickets, none of the competitor websites integrated social media, and only one competitor offered a membership program.

This information enabled us to create a brand positioning map to pinpoint their current position relative to other relevant brands, and highlight where a potential gap in the market exists. WarmLab is currently Local-Exclusive but they would like to grow to become International-Exclusive.

Empathising with the User

We conducted user research by doing interviews with people that aligned with the WarmLab target market. We wanted to find out what users liked and disliked about online ticket purchase and how they carried out this process. We were curious about their knowledge of the genre of music that WarmLab promotes and what would prompt them to buy tickets to these events. Lastly we asked the users about what information or features they would expect to see on an event promotion website.

A few interesting quotes from our interviews:
“I would like to be able to buy and access tickets from the official website.”
“I expect to see artist, performance info, price and times.”
“I don’t like it when I am forced to log in straight away.”
“I want to know how many people are attending the event.”
“I want to see the name of the event big and bold so that I know for sure what I am buying tickets for.”

We gathered and organised all of the user information from these interviews using an Affinity diagram and from this we created a user Empathy Map. The Empathy Map really helped us to think about the specifics of the user experience. We mapped out what the user thinks and feels as well as their pains and gains which informed our User Persona.

Our User Persona is “Micro Minimal Mihail”. He is a 29 year old, living in East London. He loves to go to electro music events that have a good vibe, where he can feel unique at the same time as being part of a community. But he is new to London and hasn’t connected with many people due to the pandemic.

He wants to know when events playing his favourite music are happening and where. He would like to be the first to know about early bird ticket specials.
He wants to be able to access information about his favourite artists and find new music. He would like to be part of a music community of friends. With this information we developed a User journey Map.

The User Journey Map detailed Mihail’s experience of coming home from work on a Friday evening, wanting to go out but not knowing what events are happening. This results in an online search for events which is frustrating until he finds an event website to help him, but then gets redirected to a different website to buy a ticket.

Defining the problem

By identifying the low point in the user journey we were able to determine specific UX opportunities for our product and define our problem statement.

We also thought about our product in terms of a series of “How Might We” statements to help refine our potential solution.
How might we…
… simplify the online purchase of music event tickets?
… help the user to know more about Minimal house events?
… help our user to be a part of a Minimal community?

Next we brainstormed as a team to determine our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by deciding what features our product must have in order to satisfy the business and user needs. These features included event information (date, time, line up, people attending and venue), music artist bios, ticket purchase functionality, and a secure banking back-end

Coming up with ideas

Our ideation kicked off with creating a site map which determined the structure of the website and content hierarchy.

WarmLab site map

We chose to first focus on the UX of the ticket purchase process and set a user task of “Buying 4 tickets to the Resurface event on 31 July and using Apple pay to purchase the tickets.” From the site map we were able to determine a happy path which we expressed as a user flow, including every step in the process.

User flow showing steps in happy path

To refine the details we developed epics and user stories. One of our epics was “buying a ticket for an event” and we brainstormed user stories for this to make sure we had thought of all the details such as promotions, price, quantity, unit cost versus total cost, payment methods and security.

Design and prototyping

With the ideation phase complete we created low fidelity wireframes for our “happy path”. Each member of our team made sketches of their ideas and then we consolidated them into wireframes that pulled together all the best ideas and features.

Low fidelity sketches showing happy path

We also created low-fi wireframes of the artist bio page and gallery page.

Low fidelity sketches showing artist information page and gallery page

These low fidelity wireframes were used for concept testing to get user input on our design thinking before digitising the design in Figma.

Mid Fidelity Wireframes

Testing and refining the UX

Using the mid fidelity wireframes in conjunction with the feedback received, we created a prototype for usability testing.

We got lots of feedback from our testing, both qualitative and quantitative. In the image below green represents positive feedback, red is negative and blue shows suggestions.

Useablity feedback received

As a team we filtered the feedback and chose what to address immediately and what would become part of the next project phase. We prioritised changes that effected usability and made any adjustments that would improve the user experience.

Below is a demo of our mid fidelity prototype after the updates had been implemented.

Mid fidelity prototype

Learnings and next steps

A valuable lesson learnt in this project was that making a process simple for the user really helps to aid the efficiency and completion of a task. This includes removing unnecessary steps by combining processes where possible. The ticket purchase flow was collapsed from 3 steps into 2 steps and the event information that users are looking for when they come to the WarmLab website was put on the home page instead of being accessed as a menu item.

As a next step in this project we want to all get stakeholder input before starting work on the high fidelity prototype. At the same time we will address the rest of the feedback from our usability testing such as a search function, links to artist profiles and how to buy tickets to multiple events. We also want to work on the functionality of the membership feature which will grow the WarmLab community.

And then to build the site so that WarmLab can do what they do best!

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Karen Anne Lilje

Karen Anne Lilje

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Designer illustrator, fascinated by user experience and how everyday decisions are influenced by the way that the world around us has been designed.