InConcert | Research

Assignment for "User Interface Design and Development" course, Fall 2013.

Teammates: Ryan Baker, Richard Chen, Charlie Hughes, Lisa Jervis


Design a platform that makes it easier for people to attend live music with their friends.

Based on our research, we determined InConcert’s core functionality—invitation functionality, a ticket-buying service, and a marketplace—and developed them iteratively. The result is a work in progress, design that has come a long way but that needs further refinement of its core and further development at its periphery.


Overall, our tests indicated that InConcert has strong potential, and we that built a tool that our target users find valuable, but the summative evaluation highlighted several areas for improvement. I suggested the following:

  • Localization, personalization, and timeliness matter in this space. Show only upcoming concerts in the user’s area, and make bands they like prominent.

  • Increased flexibility: Allow people to invite friends to shows from multiple locations.

  • Add reminder text for things like a ticket’s face value on the seller’s page so that users don’t have to rely on memory or go back to email find the right amount
  • Explain novel UI features—like differential ticket pricing for friends and strangers. Generally, provide help content and and more prompts.


Contextual Inquiries

Role: Conducted one inquiry, did notetaking for two inquiries

The first step of our design process was to conduct contextual inquiries, in which users performed the task of organizing friends to attend a concert. We tested two types of users—leaders and followers. The leaders are the users who primarily do the organizing; the followers are the ones who normally don’t initiate the organizing process but are involved with following up and responding to invites. We conducted a total of six contextual inquiries, each of which lasted anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour and a half.

Affinity Diagram and Work Models

Role: Participated in affinity diagram work session, created two work models 

Once our data was documented, we identified pain points by creating an affinity diagram and generating work sequence models. The sequence models provided more information about breakdowns and also clarified how to build our workflows. I worked on the following:


Based on the interpretation session, we created five different personas: Sam (the organizer), Magnus (the follower), Derek (organizer/follower), Tammy (fears commitment to events), and Calvin (often eats the cost of extra tickets).

Formative Evaluations

Role: Conducted two evaluations 

We conducted formative evaluations with members of another class group and with our prospective users using paper prototypes we had made. We used a “thinkaloud” protocol, allowing us to observe both thoughts and actions. In particular, we received a lot of qualitative data in our tasks for buying and/or selling a ticket, our invitation flow (both organizing friends and in responding to invites), and in finding shows.


Heuristic Evaluations

We showed our interactive Balsamiq prototype to four classmates, and they performed a heuristic evaluation. Many of the issues they brought up had to do with user freedom; for example, there was no way to exit from the RSVP flow. In light of their comments, we also tried to reduce the number of clicks to go through the important flows like inviting friends to a show. Another area where we wanted to improve after their comments was offering more options for navigation: for the functional prototype, we added buttons to the event details page and the ticket marketplace for each event. After their assessments, we gave more horizontal screen real estate to the main information on the page—concert listings, the dashboard, etc.—and adjusted the right sidebar to include basic information about other shows the user might like to see. For example, someone who’s seen the “MyConcerts page” should have a general idea of how to navigate the “Ticket Marketplace” page. I designed the home page:

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 8.45.01 PM.png

Summative Evaluation

Role:  Recruited interviewees who represented both frequent and infrequent concert attendees, conducted two interviews, and took notes on three.

We tested 11 users between the ages of 21 and 42. In our summative evaluation, we tested each user on a combination of four tasks designed to assess our core functionality—finding a show of interest, inviting friends to a show/responding to invitations, and selling extra tickets:

  • Saving a show, comparison of InConcert and Songkick

  • Finding a show and inviting friends

  • Responding to an invitation

  • Listing tickets for sale


Our final prototype is at Please take a look at the design process.