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MW18 Presentation: Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take On Complex Challenges

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Douglas Hegley, Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA, Andrew Serong, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Australia, Andrew David, Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA, Meaghan Tongen, Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA

Museums and cultural heritage organizations wrestle with ticketing systems, finding it hard to access the data, apply complex discounting, and maintain brand experience. In 2017, two organizations took on innovative approaches to solve some of these problems.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) developed a new ticketing site internally, a Web product called Museum Nice and Simple Ticketing (MNST). Its key concept: a cart-less and login-less experience. Also in 2017, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) launched a new ticketing and transaction platform called Hive which uses an open source Web-standard approach to run transactions and work seamlessly with customers' membership records in Salesforce. Both institutions recognize the complexity and stress of developing these systems. And yet, both ACMI and Mia took this route.

The session will explore key details of each project, including the following: - Why a ticketing project? What problem(s) were we trying to solve? - How each platform was built; - Similarities/differences between the organizations and projects; - Integration—the word that scares all technologists. This session is designed to be meaningful and useful for a number of different MW attendees, from senior decision-makers to software developers and the staff who spend their days working directly in ticketing and transaction systems.

Attendees will learn real-world information about the technology, code base, APIs and UI/UX of each system. Attendees can expect an open discussion and active debate about the “best way to do this”—after all, not every organization can or should take the same approach. Attendees will take away practical knowledge about business systems, software development, and transaction processing that can be applied to their own organizations and professional careers.

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MW18 Presentation: Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take On Complex Challenges

  1. 1. MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Vancouver, Canada April 18-21, 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges Douglas Hegley, Minneapolis Institute of Art Andrew Serong, Australian Centre for the Moving Image Andrew David, Minneapolis Institute of Art Misty Havens, Minneapolis Institute of Art Kjell Olsen, Minneapolis Institute of Art
  2. 2. MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges Introduction Image source: http://www.favbrowser.com/bad-web-browser-ui-design-choices/ Museum online ticketing ● Inelegant user interface ● Expensive customizations ● Limited access to the data ● Poor brand integrity ● Significant annual cost ● Difficult to integrate ● Complex pricing models ○ OK, that last one is our fault
  3. 3. User Experience Image source: https://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/09/29/6-examples-of-awful-ux-design/ ● Long, detailed forms ● Choices not clear ● Why do they need to know that? ● Scroll scroll scroll … Are we gathering useful information, or are we throwing up barriers? MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  4. 4. Can We Re-imagine this? Image source: https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/es/museo-ghibli Couldn’t it just be … better? What if it was - gasp - fun? (or at least simpler & easier) MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  5. 5. Buy third-party ticketing software Build ticketing system in-house Experience Two previous systems in past 10 years = not exactly successful Proof of concept = successful (if simple) ticketing system Initial Costs Relatively expensive: hardware, licensing, consulting for installation Relatively low hard costs, but significant staff time Feature set Robust, but with customizations (uh oh!) Built iteratively, starting with Minimum Viable Product Transparency Poor - mysterious connectors; depend on vendor for fixes 100% Control Limited to the capabilities & constraints of the system Museum has full control Support Contracted support services Falls on us (challenge: off-hours support) Risks Promises may go unfulfilled, or not completed in a timely fashion “That will be in the next release” Iterations may disappoint - people want it all and they want it right away Slides will be posted: https://www.slideshare.net/dhegley Why: Mia MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  6. 6. Why: ACMI ACMI is Australia’s only national museum of film, tv, video games, digital culture and art ● Both a museum and a cinema ● Tessitura as Ticketing / CRM ● No perfect match with existing online ticketing platforms such as TNEW ● Follow through user journey for someone who knows what they want to see, and just wants to get their tickets MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  7. 7. Overview: MNST ● Loosely coupled to main website ● Reduce number of checkout steps from 7 down to 3 ● No ‘cart’ ● No user login (we’re not Facebook) ● Established mobile-first UI patterns ● Introduce short, iterative development cycles (no big yearly upgrades) ● Depend on existing underlying ticketing system, Tessitura via APIs. ● Minimal in scope (can be built by a solo developer) MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  8. 8. Overview: Hive ● No user login required ● Fast checkout process, including multiple discount types ● Integration with Salesforce ● API with a plugin architecture, flexible options for different payment processors / CMS ● Fast development cycles ● Mobile & desktop friendly ● Built on Open Source MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  9. 9. What: ACMI MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  10. 10. What: Mia React FrontEnd MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  11. 11. How: ACMI MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  12. 12. How: Mia Redis: Data Storage PHP set of classes and functionality Hive CMS Series of markdown files converted to JSON and deployed to React App Hive API Buy Tickets Buy Tickets Hive Frontend React App Cart & Rules Engine Price adjustments based on Product and Customer data Series of Javascript classes System Architecture MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  13. 13. The Future: ACMI ● No formal roadmap: features are developed as we need them, in short iteration cycles. However: ● In 2019, we will need to refactor some of the codebase for Tessitura v14, shifting to Tessitura’s REST API ● Multiple event purchases, packages and passes ● Share with the community! Get in touch: @acmilabs @andrewserong https://labs.acmi.net.au MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  14. 14. The Future: Mia ● CMS - new, fully featured, making it easier to create / update products for sale ● More UI updates. ○ Event type edge cases ○ Timed ticketing with granular timeslots (how to avoid frustrating users) ● Eventually: more flexible theme design ● Feedback and contributions from other developers / museums Get in touch: webdev@artsmia.org https://github.com/artsmia/ MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges
  15. 15. Thank You Questions? MW18: Museums and the Web 2018 Ticketing 2017: Two New Projects Take on Complex Challenges

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