As co-founder I’ve had many hats on this project during the years. Product Design and UX and Product Direction and Management.
I’ve been a part of setting the strategic directions of both the product and the company through the first seven years of its existence. And I’ve helped to grow the team of developers to 10 highly engaged mainly remote situated developers around Europe.
Most notably, with my roles as Product Designer and Product Director, I have designed the basic structure and guided the implementation of the platform’s global ticket and registration solution, and a range of social features build around it: Rich attendee list, networking, interactive schedule and options to engage attendees before, during and after the events.
Conferize now enables event organizer’s from all over the world to sell tickets and create digital communities for their events.
The value of attending events
A clear focus and a key step in the user journey for event attendees have been to set the scene of the event at the point of registration and buying the ticket for the event. The moment that someone decides to commit to attending the event, we want to make sure that the user gets something in return beyond just a paper slip and a receipt for the books.
By combining the user flows of registration and building your attendee profile, we could establish a concept and create a feeling of pre-event participation. Most often, for events where knowledge sharing is a key component, attendees are interested in the discussions and learnings long before they meet in the person for the events. When networking is an essential part as well there is, even more, to gain from early participation anticipating the event.
These early interactions between attendees could range from discussions with new people in the relatively intimate space of the event website to planning a personal event schedule and sharing it with peers and colleagues or planning physical meetings at the event, to engage in organizer or speaker instigated questions and debates.
This way by allowing attendees to have a meaningful digital presence and opening up the networking options long before they meet in person turned out to be a great way to build community and engagement for the event organizers and to increase the value of attending an event for the attendees.
Use any smart phone as a ticket scanner
When iPhones and Android phones became able to scan a QR directly with the built-in cameras, suddenly we could let anyone help scanning tickets at the event entrance and spend the time giving attendees a nice welcome attendees instead of fiddling with the paper work. They did not even need to install a new app.
So I came up with a really simple design for a workflow allowing us to improve the check-in experience greatly.
When scanning the first ticket (or the test ticket before the opening) organisers was prompted to sign into their account to be able to verify and complete the check in. And not only would they get a green light, we could actually load up all the relevant information about the attendee right there on the check-in screen. Should someone have a special treatment? Or maybe just a simple direction towards the first session on schedule for that particular attendee.
Combining the use of QR codes with the organizer signing in created a simple workflow that not only speeded up a time consuming exercise, but also added value to the process.
Short fiction and jobs-to-be-done
As a growing start-up with new people boarding the team frequently building a common understanding of our target groups and customers was important. Apart from using the job-to-be-done framework in multiple phases of the design and development work I build and increased the team’s understanding and empathy with our target group with a series of fictional short stories shared internally. I build personas based on field studies, user interviews, my own direct experience organizing events and user feedback (I also handled all user support, with all the benefits of getting clear and direct user feedback). Based on this research I could add to the personas additional feelings, describe their pain points, and set the scenes as the contexts of their daily lives.
These short stories would be linear narratives reflecting the inner voices and specific challenges of the personas before, during, and after events, they were organising.
Achieving this emotional connection had a great impact on our common understanding of our users across our organisation, and further informed our design, development, and marketing efforts.
Product tour, 2019
Event organizer’s view.
I designed the user flows, the general UX and the information architecture, not the final UI.