Improving the ticketing experience at MONA

MONA – 2019

The Museum of Old and New Art wants to challenge and disturb visitors – but their ticketing system was a bit too challenging.

Outcomes

  • User journeys and flows for five primary user groups
  • A set of user stories to inform the functional and interactive requirements of the new system
  • A new ticketing system successfully delivered by the team at MONA is now live.

From "excruciatingly tedious" to "really smooth"

MONA approached Paper Giant for service design support to improve their online ticketing experience. They were completely aware of the problems (having received some pretty painful customer feedback), but it was a complex challenge to solve them: the existing system had become increasingly confusing as additional elements were bolted on over time. MONA isn’t just an art gallery – or even like a festival. It has its own ferries, there are events, dining experiences, exclusive exhibitions, shows and so on. There’s nothing else like it, and so there’s no off-the-shelf ticketing system that would do the job.

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In with the new

The new system allows for complex combinations of general admission, timed tickets, winery and restaurant options all within a single intuitive interface. It also includes user-friendly perks such as letting you know when an event conflicts with one you’ve already booked. This makes it easy to plan your visit and get the most out of it without worrying about double-booking.

The new system also requests significantly less personal information from visitors; this had been another criticism of the old system.

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Close collaboration

We used existing best-practice research and conducted additional research to deeply understand their users’ requirements, and how these sat alongside the business and development requirements.

We worked collaboratively with members of the MONA digital team to design and prototype the new purchase and booking experience, including UX recommendations, IA and interface designs for their revamped online ticketing system. We worked on a really fast iteration cycle, with twice-weekly testing.

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Keeping the experience weird (but easy)

MONA has a very strong, very weird, very intense brand. Good UX is comfortable, but MONA doesn’t want its visitors to feel comfortable. We resolved this tension between the brand experience and the UX experience by making the purchasing processes as straightforward and easy as possible, and then using the microcopy as an opportunity to emphasise the MONA brand.

Wherever there’s fine print and terms of conditions, these can be read out by an embedded text-to-speech service. This is great for accessibility, but it is also – because of the voices used – deeply unsettling.

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