Discover Los Angeles

Enhanced the Events section to help users go to events in Los Angeles

Project Overview

Discover Los Angeles is the official guide to Los Angeles and aims to grow LA’s visitor economy by providing users with information on LA’s events, attractions, and activities. I was drawn to the Events section because it is one of the few parts of the website that changes and is updated a lot. Also, as a LA resident myself, I don't have a good guide to events in LA. So for this project, I focused on LA residents and recent transplants who may not have a good resource for LA's events. This project re-imagined the website’s existing user flow for searching and finding an event to attend, while also giving the site and its navigation a facelift.

Role: UX/UI Designer
Platform: Desktop
Tools: Pen & Paper, Whiteboard, Xtensio, LucidChart, Sketch, InVision
Timeframe: 3 weeks

Challenges
  • Complicated navigational structure
  • Too many images that overwhelm and distract the user
  • Event search is not utilized as intended
Solutions
  • Improve the organizational structure of the site
  • Provide quick and clear access to Events section
  • Enhance event search by providing better filters and more distinguishable search bar
Prototype

See the prototype below or click here to open the clickable prototype in a new window


Research

Heuristic Evaluation

In order to have a better understanding of the website, I started with a Heuristic Evaluation of the website to see if there were any problems with its usability. Here, I used Jakob Nielsen’s five qualities of usability.

Quality of Usability Evaluation Possible Solution
Learnability
  • Not too many features
  • Doesn’t indicate where to start
  • Provide a clearer path for users on the Homepage or Navigation
Efficiency
  • Language is somewhat clear
  • Multiple clicks to get to what user needs
  • Provide a shorter path for users with less clicks
Memorability
  • UI elements in conventional places
  • Somewhat easy to use for returning users
  • Provide a clearer path for users on the Homepage or Navigation
Error Management
  • Has multiple ways to go back if users click the wrong thing
  • No error message or way to go back when links are broken
  • Check for broken links so that users don't leave the website
Satisfaction
  • Users are left somewhat satisfied
  • Appealing visual design with lots of pictures
  • Keep the pictures
Market Research

Next, I wanted to get a better idea of tourist websites so I used this Comparative & Competitive Analysis to evaluate comparable or competing websites.

Los Angeles California San Francisco New York City Norway
Create an account
Email subscription
Events calendar
Book a hotel
Suggested itineraries/activities
Plan your trip/itinerary
Unique content (articles)
Unique content (videos)
Personal stories from actual residents
Neighborhood descriptions
User Interviews

To dive deeper into the events section of the website, I conducted interviews of users who went through the process of searching and finding an event they would actually go to. I asked users to share their thoughts and frustrations throughout the process such as:

  • Wants a clearer path to Events section from homepage
  • There was a search bar?!?!
  • Didn’t want to make a login “for nothing” (a site the user would probably not use frequently)
  • Liked the use of photos to show the events in the listings because it “catches your attention”
  • Liked that free events had a special icon in the thumbnail so the user can easily distinguish them from paid events
  • Distracted by large photo carousel on events page-it is so big so it could be a good or bad thing
  • Wants more info in the event detail page like parking, seating options, and who else is going

Strategize

User Persona

From the interviews, I consolidated the information I gathered and created an user persona to help me keep the users in mind.

Lara Angeles
Feature Prioritization

Using what I learned so far, I listed out some features that could address the problems the interviewees had. I then evaluated the features based on what the user needs and what would be easier to implement for this iteration of the design.

Suggested Features MSCW (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won't have)
More visible/better designed search bar Must have
Make list view better Could have
Quick view of events Could have
Better event categories Must have
Prices on event thumbnails Should have
Multiple event categories for events Should have
Move submit event to somewhere else Should have
Make the photo marquee on search results smaller or move elsewhere Should have
Clearer path to events page Must have
Remove the user accounts capability and focus on email subscriptions Should have

Through this exercise, I recognized three major changes for the redesign. First, the search for the Events section needs to be improved because most of the users that I tested did not notice the search bar. Second, some users were confused with how to get to the Events section. There was no clear way to get to it so users were left feeling unsure about where to click. Last, users don't want to have to make an account for the website, especially since they could not buy tickets for events directly on the website.

Site Map

The new site map shows how I reorganized the sub-categories into categories that seemed more intuitive in order to improve the navigational structure. I also eliminated some of the sub-category pages because they were very specific with very little information.

Site Map
User Flow

The new user flow shows that the user has multiple ways to get to the Events section from the homepage.

User Flow

Design

With the new user flow and site map, I had a good idea of what elements needed to be included in the redesign to help the user with the event search process. I started with hand-drawn sketches because I knew there would be a couple of iterations before the final design.

Sketches
Wireframes
Mockups
Prototype

See the prototype below or click here to open the clickable prototype in a new window


Next Steps

With more time and resources, I would like to work on the following next:

  • Add a search filter that allows users to search for events based on their current location or an address they input
  • Expand on the unique content that the website provides so that the newsletter can be more frequently sent to subscribers
  • Implement some kind of quality checking function so that event detail pages don't have any broken links or typos in the description