If you’re in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a must-see. Despite COVID-19’s impact on many businesses, the zoo has been able to continue offering free admission to all visitors. They use Eventbrite for their ticketing system to track time slots, which helps comply with capacity and social distancing protocols.
Seeing that the weather was going to be nice this weekend, I went to book some tickets… And this is when I encountered a topic for this week’s analysis: ticket reservations.
“Don’t make me think” is Steve Krug’s first law of usability.
Here’s a quick observation on 1 thing Eventbrite does well, and 1 thing Eventbrite could improve upon.
Upon searching Eventbrite for the Lincoln Park Zoo, I’m brought to a page to book tickets. The event title informs me that the zoo is still free with daily timed reservations. Cool. Let’s “Select a Date”.
It seems that the zoo isn’t open every day of the week but rather just the weekends for the time being. I see that there should be tickets for both Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM because the “Tickets” buttons are both orange. I want to go sometime on Saturday.
Oh, bummer. It looks like the presale has ended and all time slots are sold out. I’m unable to select any of the times or input the number of tickets I want. I guess I’ll go on Sunday?
Clicking the left-pointing arrow, to go back to dates available for booking.
UX recommendation: surface up information to help users stay informed—and avoid unnecessary hunting and pecking.
Evidently, greyed-out call-to-action boxes are used by Eventbrite because the “Checkout” box on the previous screen was not clickable. I wished that the “Tickets” button was greyed out and read “Sold out” because then, I wouldn’t have wasted time clicking into it with expectations of being able to purchase tickets for Saturday.
Looking at Sunday, I am able to grab 2 tickets for the 3:30-4:00 PM timeslot. I click “Checkout” to continue booking. The ticket selection was a quick dropdown of options between 1-10. While I think it might have been easier for a user to type how many tickets they wanted, providing options up to 10 indicates that there is a maximum limit. Therefore, I think it works!
When I checked out, I was logged into my account which collected and inputted my name and email into the required fields for checkout. I love this! It simplifies my process so that I don’t have to fill in information that Eventbrite should already have stored for me. The next steps simply required me to indicate which gate I’d enter through, and acknowledge their COVID-19 policies.
Bonus UX detail: because tickets are free, there are no silly extra fields that require payment information. I’ve seen some sites still require credit card info for free events, which is confusing and more work for users.
After completing the order, I received an email with a copy of my QR codes for the tickets. The tickets are also available in my Eventbrite account so when I go to the zoo, I have multiple ways to access them. And that’s it!
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