Venuebook is an online marketplace that allows you to find a venue and book an event easily. As the product designer, I collaborated with the marketplace team as well as product managers to rethink the experience of booking an event online.
The website lacked information such as price and what a new booker might need to successfully plan their event. Venuebook identified two types of bookers: corporate clients that need to book quickly and have a bigger budget vs social clients that are often unaware of the price and details of renting a space.
After talking to existing clients and analyzing the data on how people use the site (thanks to hubspot), we redesigned the home page, search page and venue profile page to include more information and to improve the experience so customers find the right venue for their event. We also created a pricing tool that bookers can use to understand the costs and logistics of event planning.
We looked at two of our main competitors Kapow and Peerspace, wrote down their strengths, weaknesses and where we saw opportunities for them to improve. This helped us understand where to position ourselves in the market.
Based on a survey we sent out and on interviews, we created categories of bookers such as admin, mid level and executives for corporate and low end, disposable income and high end income for social bookers. Doing the same for venues on our platform, we were able to notice 7 distinct types of venues; from the classic mom and pop shop to bigger sizes venues with a dedicated general manager to big restaurant groups that have their own events team.
We looked at Airbnb’s flow as we saw a lot of similarities with their marketplace. Here the task is to find a house to book. We wanted to understand the process of browsing, what made this experience pleasurable and what would make someone choose a specific place.
• The more I go down the funnel the more information I get • I need to create an account to message host or to request to book • If I don’t enter my dates I get a message suggesting to enter them to get accurate pricing • The pricing updates on the search page as I change my guest count
We contacted a few customers that weren’t able to book events on our platform and asked them questions about their experience. We found out that: • Some of them have never booked an event in NYC so the cost was more expensive than what they would’ve thought • They were expecting to hear back within a day or two • They would rather get declined than never hear back from the venue manager
We also tested our current site with existing customers to understand where they were confused or more susceptible to drop off. We learned that: • The pricing estimate tool didn’t respect the budget they entered • They would have liked to see reviews • They didn’t notice that there were other spaces within their budget
Based on those interviews, I created 2 personas that would help us create the right features.
We wrote down all the features we could think of that users should be able to do when coming on our site and prioritized them from essential to nice to have.
I held several design studio sessions including different stakeholders and the CEO to get everyone’s input on what the new product would be. We first sketched what the search would look like, then the venue profile page.
Based on our sketches I created medium fidelity mockups, tested it internally and reviewed it with the stakeholders.
Thanks to their feedback, I updated them to a high fidelity version that we are currently testing.
Some features for the site lacked necessary content to implement at initial launch. The design needed to be flexible for these features to be added at a later time without a major redesign or added tech debt. This required me to have a carefully thought-out approach which allowed the design to scale easily as updates will become available.
During this project, I gained more experience in running workshops and design studios. This also gave me better insight on when and how often I should involve stakeholders.