Improving the ticketing experience at MONA

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

There are silhouettes of two people. They are walking through a gallery, that has two colourful illuminated panels with flowers and hand drawn sketches all over them.
  • 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.

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.

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.

A screenshot of the MONA ticketing website showing options for Entry and Eat + Drink
A screenshot of the MONA website showing the options for booking the Ferry that goes from Hobart to the museum.
A screenshot showing the cart for the booking and options to book entry and additional experiences on arrival

The booking flow on the live website that integrates museum entry, transport and experiences into one seamless journey.


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.

Subscribe to Paper Giant

Each month, our team share their thoughts on design-related topics, reflect on current social issues and share what’s happening in and out of the studio. We'll also include an invitation to our monthly meet up, Office Hours. We'd love you to join us.

Three paper airplanes flying through the air into people's inboxes.
Paper Giant

Paper Giant acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation, the Ngunnawal and Bundjalung people as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our offices are located.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country on which we meet and work throughout Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over the land has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.