Search is goal directed

Buying tickets to an event online can be a very painful experience.

I recently bought tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai and Mamma Mia. I was frustrated because while I wanted the very best seats available for both performances, the tools forced me to search for tickets by date.

The ticketing sites assumed that the most important ticket selection criteria is date. This is probably true of a large percentage of their target market. I live close to the theatre district and do not have to travel to see these shows, so the date of the performance is a less important selection criteria. By identifying the goals of customers, companies can better understand purpose of their customers. What are the goals for customers of an online ticketing service?

  • Get the best seats for a specific date
  • Get the best seats for any date
  • Get the best seats for a fixed price
  • Get the best seats for a date range

This presents a key set of criteria that can be used in the search for tickets including: date; price; seat location; date range; number of seats together and others. I should be able to start my search using any one of these criteria. For example, I want 4 tickets for the first 4 rows of the center balcony, this is not possible using the current interface. Now I have to guess if those seats will be available on a Saturday in November.