Large-scale events offer so much to see and do that interesting activities can easily be drowned out by the sea of exhibitor booths and sponsored speakers. This often leads to frustration, as many attendees want to make meaningful choices to make the most of their time at the event.
As event organizers dictate the navigation structure within the Eventbase app, content gets scattered, often buried below several levels of hierarchy or contained to lists with no categorization. Attendees then have to scroll endlessly or spend time trying to learn the navigation structure and subjective categorization. So how might we make discovery intentional and showcase content in a meaningful way?
We plan on maximizing value by adding contextual categories, centralizing content with improved information architecture, and creating a division-less search.
We expect that our efforts will decrease the number of clicks to find content, increase the number of items evaluated, and decrease the number of empty time slots for attendees.
Working with a Senior designer, I co-designed the entire experience, from ideation to information architecture to mockups. I also played a vital role in translating design ideas into Material design for Android development.
We added contextual categories to make discovery personalized and meaningful.
Although attendees may have different interests, most ask similar questions when planning their day:
- What’s happening right now?
- What’s happening nearby?
- What are other people doing?
- Which events are almost full?
- What content is similar to things I've already enjoyed?
Organizers can build topic-driven categories through the use of feature tiles. While this does provide some direction, it fails to provide contextual relevancy, such as an attendee's favourited content, current location, or overall popularity.
As a counterpart to topic-driven feature tiles, we created and prioritized new dynamic categories that take situational awareness into account.
Many attendees don’t plan ahead or need to fill up time during their day. The Live and Starting Soon categories enable attendees to quickly find sessions without needing to scroll through the event schedule.
In the digital age, many attendees have a fear of missing out (FOMO). The Popular and Almost Full categories allow attendees to see what other people are doing and what sessions only have a few spaces left.
When venues are scattered across the city, the Near Me category uses attendees' locations to see what’s happening close by.
As sponsors pay good money to put on events, the Featured category provides them a space to highlight key sessions.
Favouriting sessions collect them in a single category, allowing attendees to revisit the ones they’ve enjoyed most.
As some entity lists could contain upwards of 20,000 items, discovery is an overwhelming task of endless scrolling. Using the same context-driven approach for sessions, we created categories within each entity group to provide attendees with more discovery options than scrolling alphabetical lists.
Through the use of categories, we’re confident that the amount of content evaluated will increase, and the qualitative experience of discovering content will improve.
We centralized the content discovery with improved information architecture so attendees could navigate and plan their agendas more efficiently.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of event attendees use Eventbase apps to plan their event agendas. This task can be troublesome as the app has many entry points for content from the side menu, to entity lists, feature tiles, and the schedule. To find and revisit content, attendees must keep a mental map in their heads of all the navigation steps, many having unclear titles chosen by event organizers.
To address this, we centralized content discovery to a single place, allowing attendees to quickly access any type of content without memorizing a complex navigation structure.
Since sessions are the most searched type of content, we placed session categories at the top level of hierarchy to allow quick access. We began with contextual categories as many are time sensitive (i.e. Live, Starting Soon), and followed with topic-driven categories afterward. Although the other entities are less searched, we placed them at the top so attendees don’t need to scroll through the session categories to find content.
Entity list IA
We took a similar approach to entity lists, providing attendees quick links to favourites and the full list at the top and providing contextual categories underneath.
We expect that the number of clicks to access content will decrease and that more attendees find content through categories instead of general lists.
We created a division-less search so attendees can find content regardless of category.
Attendees use the search functionality for both direct and indirect discovery by seeking content related to their keyword matches. Eventbase’s search uses tabs to divide content by entity group (ie. speaker, exhibitor, session, etc.). This forces attendees to have previous knowledge of the group they’re searching for and limits the indirect discovery of related content from other groups.
For general searches we displayed all entity groups in a single list, limiting each to three results so attendees can evaluate the top results from each group. If there are more than three results within a group, attendees can select the “See All” button, directing the user into a focused search of that group.
For filtered searches within a specified group, we provided a link back to the general search with a count of matching results from other groups to help attendees find content, even if they’re in the wrong place.
To improve indirect discovery, we included trending searches before attendees start typing in their queries. We also included a search history and the ability to save search queries, so attendees could return to historical content.
We anticipate that our efforts will decrease the number of unsuccessful searches as well as decrease the time for attendees to find and act on content.
As we wrapped up designs to be ready for development, the company’s focus rapidly shifted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Resources were cut and the Discover experience was put on hold so we could focus on making our products adaptable for virtual and hybrid events. As the Discover screen was a portion of an entire app redesign, it’s unclear when these improvements will be available to event attendees.