UX Designer, Story Teller, and Phantasmagorical Creature of the Night
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Oakland Symphony

Interacting with Oakland Symphony

This is a two week case study that I did with Anna Wu on Oakland Symphony.

We hypothesized that by redesigning the Information Architecture, improving the interaction design and framing the experiences offered through mobile as something people can share together, Oakland Symphony will attract a broader audience.

 
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Who is Oakland Symphony?

Oakland Symphony, a well respected and renowned symphony in Oakland, who understands that their audience is aging. The Symphony currently has two locations and a lite online presence.

 

Project overview

Duration:

2 weeks

Our team:

Anna Wu

My role:

The team worked together as UX designers throughout the entire process including the research, research synthesis, problem definition, solution statement, and designs.

I lead the visual design of the project and made key design decisions on the low fidelity and high fidelity prototypes, but worked together with my team for consistent feedback and group design decisions. I led the design all of the interactions and display of the interactions in origami studio.

Tools:

  • Google Sheets

  • Sketch

Methods:

  • Business analysis

  • Competitive analysis

  • UI comparative analysis

  • Information architecture

  • User interviews

  • Design studio

  • Wireframing

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • Usability testing

  • Interaction design

 

The problem

“Millennials aren’t interested in going to the symphony”

We found that the problem facing Oakland symphony was that a younger generation was not attending the events that they were hosting. The impact of this has been, and ever aging demographic of people attending the symphony.

 
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Our solution

Giving young people an experience they can share

We created a mobile website design that frames the Oakland Symphony as an experience to be shared in accordance with our research; in which we found that millennials consider their time very valuable, want a social experience, and don’t want to be be surprised by any hidden costs or experiences at the venue. Our design encourages people to attend with friends and family and showcases the experience of the symphony in context, allowing younger attendees to easily find events that work for their social events, and lets users know what kind of experience they will be having before they get in to the venue.

 
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Information architecture

You can’t experience something you can’t find

Going from over 60 navigation options to under 20

Redesigning navigation to match user’s mental models. Oakland Symphony’s navigation needed to match users mental models of where things are located. Through 16 user interviews and card sorting iterations we found that users could not find what they were looking for when they reached the current Oakland Symphony site and found what information needed to be prioritized over others. This research yielded definitive results indicating the revised navigation we decided to pursue.

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Strategically designing for our audience on mobile

We wanted to design an experience that would be easy for our target users, millennials, to access on their phones, so making sure was easy to find and access was crucial to the success of our project. In response to our usability tests, we made sure that our redesign was easy to access, framed every event as an experience with the addition of experience based features, previewed the experience before attendance, and keeps all integral information in view.

 
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Easy to access

Users want to find what events quickly and know what they are getting into. By having featured events along with their respective call to action buttons easily accessible on the home page, Oakland Symphony can frame the events they are hosting as events millennials will find appealing.

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Thinking beyond heuristics

Framing an event as an experience to be shared - Millennials want to experience events with friends and family. Custom experience-based filters and more filter options help frame each event as an experience to be shared.

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Knowing what kind of experience you can look forward to

Millennials want to know what they are spending their money on, so clearly showing what kind experience you will have at an event eliminates any kind of surprise and lets users know what kind of experience they can have before committing to buying tickets.

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Keeping the integral information and call to action in view

Keeping the call to action button sticky on event description pages so that the crucial information is always available because time is valuable to our users.

 

Interaction Design

made using Origami Studio


Conclusion

Redesigned the Information Architecture and Interaction Design of Oakland symphony’s mobile site in an effort to attract a broader audience to the symphony

Working on a case study for Oakland Symphony, my team and I conducted 16 rounds of testing to reduce the number of primary navigation options in the Information Architecture from over 60 to under 20. We also focused on improving the Interaction Design to optimize for mobile experiences, as 97% of our target users are mobile only or multi platform based users. Our goal was to broaden the audience attracted to the symphony to include millennials. In our research, we found that millennials consider their time very valuable, want a social experience, and don’t want to be be surprised by any hidden costs or experiences at the venue so our design focused on making everything easy to find in the primary navigation and use on mobile devices. This experience taught me best practices for designing Information Architecture models and optimizing interactive experiences for mobile Interactions.