INCLUSIVE DESIGN
FOR SPORT FANS

To allow fans to buy tickets for the games they love



ROLE:

Product design strategy, UX research, Lead Product designer



Ticketmaster Pro is a branded e-commerce platform for sport clients across Europe. It provides an online season, ticketing and membership management platform for client’s fans. The flexibility of the platform means it can be used to support the ticketing needs of multiple sport clients sports such as Football, Cricket, Rugby, and Ice hockey. High profile sport clients include Manchester United, Arsenal, Rugby Football Union and Surrey Cricket Club.








While conducting client interviews, the design team came across on issue everyone was talking about, but was not on the Product roadmap:

"How can we support our disabled fans buying tickets online?"

Currently, fans with certain impairments will need to call up the clubs to buy tickets or renew their memberships based on their disability. They cannot do this online. Bringing this information to the Ticketmaster Sport business, the design team was able to add a project to the roadmap to address the issue of supporting disabled fans.

"It is not a persons disability that impairs them, but the environment which they are in"

Nimbus disability, 2018

A survey conducted by Attitude is Everything of 300 disabled fans found:



82%

experienced problems booking access

79%

put off by buying gig tickets due to problems booking access

73%

had felt discriminated against when trying to book access


Provide an online solution for disabled fans to purchase tickets online


In order for us to understand the issue at hand, we identified areas to focus on at the beginning of the project:

1. User insights
talk to disabled fans to understand their issues

2. Client interviews
discuss more in detail their business needs

3. Expert insights
work with experts in the field of disabilities to guide our process



We worked with a group of 15 users across 4 clubs with differing impairment types to understand the current issues they were facing online. We would continue to engage with them throughout the project to help test and validate our designs

6 wheelchair users
4 visually impaired users
3 companions
2 ambulant users





Along with the Client interviews that we conducted, our findings produced 4 key areas that we had to deliver on:



1
Enable disabled fans to submit their eligibility of disability online

2
Enable online purchasing for disabled fans

3
Ensure accessible best practice is applied across the site.

4
Allow disabled fans the same experience as non-disabled fans.



We were in contact with both Attidude is Everythings and RNIB to help aid us in our quest to adhere to best practises for accessibility online. They helped provide guidance throughout the project.




Provide an online soultion for disabled fans to purchase tickets online



We felt it was wrong to single out disabled fans in our initia mission statement. During interviews they would often say “we dont want to be treated different to other fans”. While we are solving an issue that affects disabled fans, we are aiming to remove any type of barriers for all users in our designs.

We want Ticketmaster Pro to be accessible to every fan. As such we chose to reword our mission statement:



To allow fans to buy tickets for the games they love



With our user insights data, we mapped out all the user journey flows and created personas for each user type. During this stage we also conducted a competitor analysis in the current landscape of sport ticketing.





We conducting 3 rounds of usability testing over a period of 9 months with our 15 users. After each round we gained valuable feedback to our designs that would help us iterate to the optimal solution. Product Engineers would also input technical knowledge throughout the design process along with us adhering to the WCAG web standards (more on that later on below)







Currently, in order for fans to prove their disability, they had to email the clubs their documentation. This was a lengthy process of back and forth communication between a fan and club via phone calls and emails. To solve this issue, we created a new journey on the site where a fan can submit their information and documentation on their eligibility for disability ticketing. This was a new section on the site where a user would fill out a form and upload documentation. Approval would then be sent via email.


Throughout the testing some key feedback included:


1
Focus on the users requirements rather than their medical needs

2
Reduce the feeling of scrutiny through clear and open language.







To improve the online purchase flow, we gave a logged in user the ability to choose their own seats along with recommendations on where sit. We introduced filtering to help guide users to seats that best cater to their requirements.


Throughout the testing some key feedback included:


1
Focus on how seats attributes can enable fans, rather than impairment types

2
Reduce the feeling of scrutiny through clear and open language.

3
Ability to easily select the best seats for fans access requirements.





A major part of the project was for us to look into accessibility online. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a set of best practise guidelines ans success criteria for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.



Through our research and discussions with the experts Attitude is Everything and RNIB, we focussed on what we could achieve to launch the project. Support for screen readers and updating the code would be done in the backend. For the front end we went with the recommendation of Colour contrast under the Perceivable principle.






Selection of keynote slides presented to stakeholders



Ticketmaster Pro is a branded e-commerce platform, meaning clients can change the default theme that we supply to add their brand. Therefore, it would be impossible for us to tell clients to change their brand colours to adhere to colour contrast ratios.

Our approach as a design team was to lead by example. We would audit our current theme and make the colour and text adjusts needed to our theme. We would then educate the clubs the reason behind this and recommend the key UI elements that fans with visual impairments would have difficulty seeing, be in a suitable colour contrast ratio.

We used the online tool WebAIM Color Contrast Checker, and the sketch plugin Stark to check contrast along with various forms of color-blindness. Another helpful tool was the Color Oracle colour blindness simulator.

Example of colour blindness simulation






Example of before and after on the Purchase flow ISM with new colour contrast colours






Selection of final UI components for purchase flow






Updating the colour palette on our Pattern Library





After getting approval from our group of user testers on the changes to the colours and font sizes, we went into the final back-end development. The new eligibility flow and Purchase experience has been set to launch in the first half of 2020. In the meantime, the product design team will be documenting and presenting to key clients best practises for online accessibility that they can leverage with their respected brands.