My Broken Experience with Ticketmaster.com

My on-going “broken experience” with ticketmaster.com dates back to October 2012.
As many of you may have been familiar, Brooklyn landed themselves a basketball team called the New Jersey Nets. Having grown up in Connecticut, I never had a local NBA team to Cheer for. but now having been in Brooklyn for 5 years, this was my chance to have a home team 5 min. down the street.
As the season approached and the hype grew, everyone in Brooklyn had anticipated the day tickets would go on sale. And if you didn’t know, Ticketmaster.com is the official online retailer for the Brooklyn Nets. This is the only place to buy tickets at actual retail price.
If any of you are familiar with buying event tickets, you are probably aware of how the user experience goes. And as in life, it’s all about LOCATION!!! Getting the best seat for the best price. This is where Ticketmaster fails. Their website lacks the UI and UX for a satisfying ticket buying experience. Navigating your way to find an event is fine until its time to pick out your seats. Here’s where they go wrong:
1. There is field to the right of the page dedicated to the price range of tickets. Also included is the price for taxes and fee’s, however none of them link to seats in your desired price range.
2. The main search field for tickets have limited options. There are 6 search fields to chose from, none which specify Section, Row, Seat, or Quantity available. Here is the description and problem for each field:
Full Ticket Price: allows the user to search by ticket prices. Problem: no indication of Section, Row or Seat# or Quantity available.
Limited View Seating: Problem:I don’t even know what that is and I’m not sure you would want to pay for an event with limited viewing.
American Express Seating: benefit’s Amex card holders. Problem: I don’t have an Amex.
American Express Preferred Seating: same as above, but with higher priority. Problem: I still don’t have an Amex.
Section: Options are: Best Available, Lower Bowl, Mid Bowl, or Upper Bowl. Problem: User can not chose a specific section of the arena.
Location: indicates where you are in relation to the court ie: Corner Seating, Behind the basket, Sideline etc. Problem:  Still does not specify Section or Row.
3. Arena Map: lacks interactivity. The arena map displays the specific sections, but is useless without given details to where the seats actually are.
4. Once you are ready to roll the dice, you are then prompted to type what is shown on the screen in order to get past the spam bot. You’re required to do this every single time, and is quite annoying when it’s your 3rd time around and you’re trying to decipher whether the letters are “n’s” or “h’s”
One you get through these steps you are either rewarded with seats or, in most cases, the “Sorry, no exact matches were found” alert.
In which case you are wondering to yourself, “well, what is available?” It baffles me that a widely used site such as Ticketmaster has yet to adapt any interactivity to their site.  Sites such as Stubhub.com or SeatGeek.com use these interactive maps which indicate seats available in specific sections. Not only are these user-friendly, but they also deliver valuable information such as section, row, price and quantity to the user.
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Posted in UI, Usability, UX

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