Sofar Sound is a renowned company globally recognised for organising intimate concerts in unique locales, reaching music lovers across over 400 cities worldwide.
In this case study, as part of my Memorisely bootcamp journey, I spent five weeks refining the search flow on Sofar Sounds' website. The goal was to personalise search results for nearby events, and I approached this challenge by incorporating my unique creative perspective. I undertook comprehensive user research, conducted usability audits, ideated, rapidly prototyped, and tested the design. This process allowed me to apply my creative skills, leverage leading industry tools, and optimise workflows to significantly improve the overall search experience on the Sofar Sounds platform.
Product strategy Interaction design User research UI Design Branding
The search experience was restricted to a single dropdown menu, which limits user engagement and potential revenue for the business. From a user perspective, this limited functionality can lead to frustration and make it challenging to find suitable events, resulting in a subpar user experience.
The search functionality was improved with filters and keywords for personalised event discovery. An interactive city-based search with map results was added for better user control. The website's branding and visuals were enhanced to create an immersive journey.
A usability audit was conducted for Sofar Sounds to identify pain points and wow moments in the current search experience. This assessment helped determine the areas that required improvement in order to address the issues highlighted in the case study brief.
After conducting a usability review, I identified several areas that could potentially disrupt user experience. I also noted parts of the website that could be restructured for clearer product understanding. For a detailed view of business and user frustrations, check out the Figjam file here.
To gain inspiration and explore existing UX/UI standards, conducted a thorough analysis of Ticketmaster and Google Travel, two direct and indirect competitors. Ticketmaster specialises in concert bookings, while Google Travel offers comprehensive search capabilities for destinations, flights, and accommodation prices.
Looking at Ticketmaster's website, I found it a bit cluttered with a lot of links, even though the main search bar was noticeable. On the flip side, the Google Travel site had an easy-to-use and efficient search flow with good filters. I also viewed Spotify as a potential competitor due to its feature that enables new artist and concert discovery for users. You can see more details in the Figjam file here.
Sofar Sounds requires an improved user journey within the search functionality and a more intuitive, streamlined design.
How might we enhance the search feature of Sofar Sounds to provide new users with an intuitive and efficient filtering mechanism, allowing them to effortlessly find and discover relevant events?
During the ideation phase, I organised the potential features and necessary changes into categories. To strategically allocate resources, I used a priority matrix to rank these ideas based on their significance. This provided me with a better understanding of where to focus my design efforts and allowed for a well-structured development plan.
Key improvements and additions
Highlighting the search bar to immediately engage users upon landing on the homepage. Providing more insights about the uniqueness of Sofar Sounds concerts compared to other events. Including keyword tags in search and on cards to guide users who are uncertain about their choices or what to search for.
I mapped out a user flow diagram to illustrate the existing experience and then drafted an enhanced version, incorporating the ideas I had identified earlier. This helped me visualise the wireframes I'd need to craft. Plus, it enabled me to fully comprehend the user journey I was aiming for and catch any flow errors before I proceeded with wireframe creation and prototyping.
In order to enhance user experience, I revamped the hero section to make it interactive right from the homepage. Here, users can pick their city and browse through available events. For those who are undecided or whose cities aren't listed, I added tags such as "residential", "BYOB", and more to facilitate a more targeted search. Additionally, a map was incorporated in the city detail page to give users a visual overview of nearby events.
While making these improvements, I made sure not to deviate too far from the original branding. I just added interactive features to make the experience more engaging. Feedback from the final user testing confirmed that these changes indeed improved the overall user experience.