The way I see it is festivals, parties, celebrations, bars, venues, etc. Are all based around communities of people.

Festivals create a sense of community in-which we’ve all contributed(via purchasing our ticket – think of it as tax if you will) to facilitating a safe and inviting environment where we can let loose, enjoy music with friends and like-minded humans.

In today’s current pandemic climate where half the world is only allowed outside within a certain timeframe, has allowed me to look at festivals in a new albeit predictable light.

In a community today, e-commerce/ordering systems have become our go-to method of fast, safe, efficient delivery of products – why not adapt it to the festival environment?

In order to make festivals safer, more efficient and above all else – reduce points of contact. Enter Festi – The Festival Management App.

Ever gone to a festival and waited in-line? – whether it be the line at the ticket check(where every second person is trying to get their ticket and ID out to be checked), the bar(where every second person is standing at the counter still deciding what to drink), the toilet(where every second person is just waiting for their friend to finish using the toilet), lines at festivals are about one of the most common and consistent things.

With the pandemic these types of scenarios where large amounts of people gather within a small vicinity of the bar or toilet should be something(along with COVID-19) we leave in the past. 

If your festival is well marketed and attended chances are there’s going to be lines everywhere. Having been involved in festivals(both managing logistics at a high-level to on-the-ground low-level, as well as being a patron) for the majority of my adult-life, I’ve come across this normality time and time again.How do we resolve this problem in an age where health and safety is of utmost importance, where gathering in large crowds in small vicinities is seen as taboo?

With technology and data fast becoming our greatest sources of inspiration for solving real-world problems, I’ve decided to look to these mediums to find the solution to the ever-eluding question of:

How do we as festival organisers reduce the number of lines/waiting times at festivals using data and technology, giving our consumers more time, keeping them safe and enhancing their festival experience?

If you’re a festival goer or organiser, you’ll love this idea!

Project Summary

This is an individual project I’ve put together for my UX/UI portfolio, with the aim of practicing and implementing the UX process to develop myself as a UX professional.

To develop my initial idea I used the design thinking methodology as well as help from some amazing humans(I call my friends) that work within the festival and tech space in-order to develop my final solution.

Briefing: Develop a digital product that uses data to reduce lines at festivals and keep humans safe.

Project Duration: 14 Days.

My time organisation for this project: 

DAY: 1 – 3: Interviews, heuristic analysis of app competitors.

DAY: 3 – 6: Affinity diagram, prioritisation matrix, empathy map, user persona.

DAY: 6 – 8: User-flows, testing, sketches, iterations.

DAY: 8 – 10: Lo-fi mockups, logo design, wireframes, testing, iterations.

DAY: 10 -12: Hi-fi mockups, testing, iterations, figma prototype, testing iterations.

DAY: 12 -14: Final prototype, testing, iterations, conclusion.

Initial Idea

Develop a festival management app that allows organisers to manage lines/user data/transactions/security from one dashboard and allows festival goer’s to make purchases(for drinks, food, ticket upgrades, merch, etc.) via the app, issuing a QR code as well as an optimal time to pick-up their orders in-order to reduce lines and contact-points.

Competitor

Howler – Howler is a festival management company that allows festival organisers to sell tickets, take payments via a credit system they issue user with a physical bank card for use at festivals, as well as supply the festival organiser with a recon data sheet post event.

Cons: Howler uses physical credit-card system – where goer’s have to stand in-line(basically a bank line) to load money onto their Howler cards in-order to make festival purchases(creates an additional line at the festival – yes another line whoo-hoo!). Along with this from an Organisers perspective Howler doesn’t give the festival organiser full access to the data being generated from the festival(which is not ideal) they instead send the organiser a recon data sheet 3 days post festival.

With this idea in mind I started doing user-research by interviewing friends based on questions related to lines and waiting times at festivals and how the process could be made seamless using data and technology. Conducting 6 interviews I received some amazing feedback and opinions about different situations at festivals and how the initial idea solved these pain-points.

Why do people despise lines? The main points gathered is that, it takes time, where they might miss a performance by an artist as well as increases risk(at present) of large groups assembling in small spaces. – Cue: N.E.R.D – Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom)

Additional features presented and gathered include –

Cameron Bing(Digital Product Manager): “Instead of allowing users to make purchases directly from the app for each product(drink, food, ticket, etc.) it would be better to allow user’s to purchase credits at the beginning of the festival as this would decrease the amount of transactions being issued by each bank within a geographic area as in South Africa the stability of one’s internet connection is not always reliable especially at festivals which might be held in remote locations – resulting in a slow payment process.”

Ben Chiddy(Data Analyst): “Using notifications to inform users when the optimal time to use the bathroom would be a good feature to reduce lines using data”

Ashley Court(Data Analyst): “Developing a dashboard for festival organisers to keep their data in-sync would be beneficial to the organiser”

Maartje Janssen(Creative Content Co-ordinator): “Adding a feature where I can split payments with my friends at festivals would be beneficial”

Steven Burdett(Festival Organiser & Bar Manager): “Have festival goers add their COVID-19 vaccination certificates on the app, or add the functionality of purchasing a 15-minute rapid COVID test before entering the festival. One of the main problems for Bar Managers is managing bar staff theft/over-pouring/giving away free drinks/stock and recon sheets not balancing – therefore we have developed a contract for bar staff to sign to assure if there are any discrepancies we are covered and it comes out of the staff’s pay. It would be beneficial to add a digital contract bar staff can agree to/sign in-order to avoid these discrepancies via the app”

Cody Meyer(Festival Organiser & Deejay): “In the current event climate, organisers are looking for new ways to market their events to a small database as large scale festivals currently cannot take place – we are using “secret locations” as a marketing medium where the public purchase tickets to the event, only to be notified on the day where the event will be taking place. This would be a good feature to add where users/ticket holders get sent notifications via the app of where the event is taking place on the day.”

Continuing my research I decided to delve into the organisers in-order to understand how the idea would benefit them. The main points gathered were: Organisers want one centralised dashboard where they can view everyone attending the festival, how much each goer has spent, what they’ve ordered(data used for alcohol sponsors as this is where organisers get budget/funding from), viewing which artist/stage is performing best during a specific period, reducing lines and waiting times giving festival goers a better experience(better experience means returning goer as well as more word-of-mouth marketing – if we enjoy something we share it with our friends).

Features to add include: A on-boarding experience for festival stalls(food, merch, etc.) as well as the bar’s products. Adding advertising to the app for festival sponsors in-order to up-sell their products. Having an option where users are able to purchase tickets for upcoming events via the app at the festival for a discounted price.

Along with the above upon further research into the User Experience I noticed that it would be impossible to see the bartender who has your drink ready for collection.

I ran this scenario past Steven Burdett(Festival Organiser and Bar Manager) who has years of festival management experience and he suggested developing a bar counter-system where users get notified which counter their drinks are available at.

The system works by dividing each bartender into sections eg. counter’s 1-5, where counters 1-3 do all types of orders – hot liquor and chase, shots, beers, ciders, etc. Counter 4 just does beer and cider orders and counter 5 just does shots. Thereby streamlining the process of order collection as well as allowing the users(through pattern recognition) to learn which counter serves which type of order respectively.

Prioritisation Matrix

In order to best manage the product timeline I’ve decided to list all the mentioned desired features from both the organiser and goer interviews and develop a prioritization matrix.

Affinity Diagram

For the affinity diagram I’ve decided to break it up into two diagrams in-order to gain a better user-persona. One for the festival goer and one for the festival organiser/staff respectively.

Affinity Diagram Summary

Empathy Map

I continued by summarizing and breaking down the problem, this way I could create the perfect persona’s for both the goer’s and organizers( the user that reflects the main pain points helps me better focus on the problems they require solved) from an empathy map.

User Personas

User-Flows

From the user-flow I gather once the user logs in/registers they are prompted to Purchase Credits, once this is done they are presented with the main screen Ticket Menu – each additional product category will be placed as icons at the bottom of the screen for easy access.

The user will need to either purchase a ticket, or have a purchased ticket already – click on the purchased ticket to obtain their barcode/receipt and show it to the Ticket Scanner at the event, once the ticket is scanned the product menu’s get updated as they are linked to the festival.

Once the user purchases drinks or food – the user will be presented with an Invoice Screen which they may review their order – once confirmed they will be prompted to complete the purchase using their credits and enter their pass-code where they may also tip their bartender or vendor. Once the purchase is made a QR code is presented for the user to take the bar/vendor once they are notified that their order is complete. Returning to the drinks or food menu, they will see the last order they made with the option to re-order the same thing as a repeat purchase.

The ticket scanner/bartender/vendor app will be purely web based(progressive web app) the service worker logs in using the link provided to them. The ticket scanner goes straight to the dashboard where they are only able to see how many tickets have been sold/patrons expected and a Scan Barcode button, once they scan the barcode of the ticket holder a tick appears indicating the ticket is valid and the patron may enter. The vendor may add their stock & prices, the bartender skips this screen. A dashboard is presented indicating for the vendor how much stock is available as well as data of what was sold and what is being prepared. For the bartender they are presented with in-coming orders only, an order is accepted by a bartender, they view and prepare the order – once complete the worker clicks done and the user is notified that their order is ready for collection. Once the user arrives they present their barcode, the service worker scans it and the order is complete once the worker hands over the ordered goods. At the end of the shift the worker clicks Cash-Up and all their
completed orders are cashed up and the organiser/management is notified.

The organiser flow begins with the login screen once they have signed up via the website, once logged in they are presented with their dashboard.


The dashboard allows them to add an event, the left side has options listed – Events, Tickets, Bars, Vendors, Artists – Only the Events tab is highlighted, the organiser is prompted to add an event, they input the details of the event(Name, Date, Venue, if the venue is recurring, dates of recurring event, Graphics of event, Ticket Prices(General, VIP, etc.) and the pax thereof, once this is done they proceed to the next tab(Tickets) they are prompted to share ticket selling links of the inputted tickets(General, VIP, etc.) as well as Staff tickets and Artist + 1s(these are greyed out until staff and artists are added via the Bars, Vendors and Artists tabs). Once the ticket links are distributed for the public the organiser is prompted to add the ticket scanners(staff to scan tickets at the entrance).

Once this is complete they proceed to the next tab to add Bars. The organiser inputs the name of the bar as well as the manager and bar staff(all email addresses to be inputed – not names as the user will input their name when they login to their section of the system).

Once this is complete the same process goes for the Vendors tab. The final tab is to add Artists, Stages and Map – the artists name, time they are playing, stage they are playing on, profile pic and socials are inputted.

The organiser finally inputs the map graphic for the festival layout. Once this is complete the system registers the event – the event graphic then appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the web app and their event dashboard appears. From here they have an overview of the tickets sold and pax expected as well as pax that have entered the festival, the revenue they have generated so far in credits purchased, bar revenue as well as vendor revenue.

Detailed data is viewed in the designated tabs on the left or by tapping the relevant data set from the dashboard.

Sketches

Lo-fi Mockups

Festi User Mockup
Festi User Lo-Fi Prototype
Festi Staff Lo-Fi Mockup
Festi Staff Lo-Fi Prototype
Festi Admin Lo-Fi Mockup
Festi Admin Lo-Fi Prototype

Logo

The named Festi derives from the word Festival ofcourse for the “Fest” along with the “i” indicating information. The colours were chosen using colour theory – blue for it’s trustworthiness as the app would be taking care of managing festival data along with allowing users to make ecommerce purchases from the app. The green for its ascosciation with nature and improvement as the app looks to digitise the way we interact with festival data as well as transactions – making them seamless and contactless.

Festi Goer Hi-Fi Mockup