UX Research

NYC

Guest Management Platform, UX Audit

Overview of a UX audit for a hospitality and event management platform.

decorative image for Guest Audit

Project Overview

The short-term goal for this project was to conduct a UX evaluation and recommend solutions for the client’s platform. The long-term goal was to apply the findings, over several months, in an update to the design.

The product was an internal event management platform providing guest and travel experiences for large, semi-exclusive, and private corporate events.

Key background
My Role:
UX Research (and Design) Freelance
Duration:
6-10 weeks
Location:
Lower Manhattan, New York City
Agency:
DOOR3
Tools:
Google Slides

DOOR3 projects are a mix of complex, enterprise applications and consumer-facing apps / sites for small/medium businesses. Past clients include Museum of Natural History, Fresh Direct, etc.

My Activity

The following sections review each phase of the research and a few of my learnings.

Phase 1: Personas

To complete personas, I conducted interviews with stakeholders to understand roles, goals, and tasks. I also read job descriptions for some of clients they worked with, such as an event manager or director of development.

3 Key Findings

I learned three key pieces of information that affected the user experience:

  • Roles and permissions controlled user functionality and access
  • The core user group was internal, and rarely used by their customers
  • The platform required extensive training
Replications of internal personas

Internal Actors represent direct users.

Replications of external personas

External Actors represent secondary users.

Note: Images are replicated originals.

Phase 2: Competitive Review

I identified at least 20 competitors and related industries, to gain knowledge of industry conventions and identify potentially useful features.

How I located competitors:

  • Reviewed Capterra and Software Suggest
  • Considered popular sites, like Eventbrite
  • Included names mentioned in the interviews

For the client presentation, I separated competitors into 3 tiers of competition: direct, secondary, tertiary.

Screencaptures of competitors Planning Pod and Eventbrite

Competitors Planning Pod and Eventbrite

4 Categories of Findings

I organized competitive findings into 4 categories, based on functionality or features. The following are the categories and examples:

General competitive features
• Integrations with third-party apps and services, (e.g., MailChimp, GoldStar, Zapier, etc.)
• Branded user profiles
Platform-specific features
• Ability to create or share a favorites list or vision board
• Easy access to help or reference guide
Design and information architecture
• High-contrast between foreground and background colors
• Strong global and sub-task navigation
Event-specific capabilities
• Real-time RFID, event tracking
• Ability to preview and export name badges

Phase 3: Heuristic Evaluation

The heuristic evaluation was framed around Jakob Nielsen’s “Principles for Interaction Design”. I also referenced Bruce Tognazzini's “First Principles of Interaction Design”.

75 Issues Identified

While many issues were not showstoppers, the total number was a concern. I noted many of the following types of issues:

  • Inconsistent use of UI elements, navigation, or labels
  • Accessiblity issues, like low-contrast
  • Cryptic error messages
I also flagged the workflow, in general, for lacking simplicity and clarity.

For the presentation:

  • Focused on the most critical issues
  • Included a suggested fix for all 75 issues
  • Added an appendix with additional UX references on typography, accessiblity, and navigation

Screen shot of Nielsen-Norman Group website

10 web usability heuristics from Jakob Nielsen