P3 Retrospective SG-Movies

The brief for Project 3 is to redesign a mobile app. Our team choose the app SG-Movies. SG-Movies is a portal that combines all information of the Cinemas organisations in Singapore, thereby allowing users to search and book movies through the app, regardless of the cinema they are going.

Market Research

We began the project by conducting research on Singapore’s cinema market to identify the market potential. Next, from market research and analysis of our competitors such as ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Showtimes!’, we set the business goals of our app, which will lead our direction and focus for the redesign app.

User Research

15 user interviews were conducted on moviegoers of age between 17 to 40, to understand their booking experience and behaviour. With the findings from these interviewees, we did an affinity mapping to list down their characteristics and work out the personas.

From the user interviews, we found that most people go for movie as part of their social activity. They will usually choice blockbusters movies and/or movies recommended by their friends. Only a handfuls of people are selective of the movie and do not mind watching movie alone if they could not find like-minded friends to watch movie of a specific genre together. While not all users will purchase ticket online or through mobile app, most users will check out movie availability at their specified locations before heading down to the counter to purchase their ticket.

Affinity Mapping

From the affinity mapping, we derived 3 personas:

  1. Sophia Ng, an impressionable young adult who value her friends. She watches movie socially and amongst her group of friends, they will vote on the movie to watch based on online reviews. Being a polytechnic student, she has time, but no money. Hence, when it comes to movie booking, she will look out for student deals and her pain point is not being able to purchase movie ticket online with student discount.
  2. Sharon Lim, a single ambitious career woman. She is selective about the films she watches, and therefore will only trust curated reviews to make her movie choices. She is concerned with the quality of movie experience and will prefer watching movie in theatre with better facilities. If there’s any movie genre that she could not find like-minded friends to watch together, she will go alone. Being a career woman, she has money but no time, and hence do not mind paying additional online booking fee for a fuss-free movie booking. Her pain point is checking cinema seats availability on her mobile app as she is always on the go.
  3. Michael Tan, a dependable working family man. Despite having a family, he will not forget to catch up with his old friends. He like watching blockbuster movies that feature his favourite actors. Being a working adult, he has money but no time. Like him, his peers each have their own life. Hence, his pain point is coordinating location and time for movie with his friends.

With further discussion, we decided to focus on Michael Tan’s Persona as the characteristics of most movie-goer fall under this category. Therefore, by focusing on Michael, we will be able to reach a wider user base. Michael is also a social user and could be an influencer who can recommend his friends to use the app. Being a persona with money but no time, there is potential for higher conversion rate.

To identify the most crucial pain points and set our priority for the redesign app, with the chosen Persona, we proceed to work out the customer journey mapping.

Customer Journey Mapping

Below are the pain points derived from customer journey mapping:

  1. Finding a convenient location
  2. Finding good seats

Testing & Analysis

Apart from user interview, our group conducted user testing on the existing app to gather the following key findings:

  • Search function for cinemas & movies does not work as it should
  • UI design is not well thought out
  • Users find the process of looking for good seats very troublesome

However, users do not mind being redirected to the cinema site for ticket booking despite experiencing lag in the booking system.

We also conduct heuristics evaluation on the existing app to identify the following issues:

Design Goals

From the evaluation of our research findings, we set the following goals for our app:

  1. To help users find convenient time and location
  2. To help users find good seats

These will help users decide on a specific movie showing, thereby facilitating their ticket booking process. To achieve the above goals we will be introducing the 2 following new features :

  • Previewing seats before booking
  • Shortlist function — to help you compare multiple movie showings before confirming and booking the tickets

Design Sketches

Landing Page (Now Showing) Navigation
Search Navigation
Search results displaying locality and seats availability
Shortlist Page with movie comparison

User Flow

Redesigned User Flow

There are two ways to go about for users to browse for movies before they proceed to shortlist, compare and finally book their movies.

Prototype

The interactive prototype may be viewed here:

Key Findings :

With our prototype, we conducted user testing with 6 persons to validate the functions. The following are the key findings identified from the user testing.

The first feedback is that the font sizes on some pages are small and hard to read. We have iterated on that by increasing the font size and spacing.

Next, 2 out of 6 users feedback that they would like to have more flexibility in the selection of location and time. They want like to select multiple locations in the search function, for instance Bugis and Orchard. With regards to time, our current time selection is limited to per hour timeframe. Users would like to filter by specific timeframe eg. 08:45 PM to 09:05PM, which will help to narrow down the range of their search results. We are looking into that in our iteration for the next sprint.

Lastly, users would like to have a common platform for sharing of shortlisted movie with friends. We will cover that in our plans of introducing the polling function in our future steps.

Competitive Analysis

With the redesigned app, SG-Movies can be differentiate with its competitors with the following new features:

  1. Location based search function allows users to locate cinema based on user’s specified location
  2. GPS enabled locator allows users to find cinemas near them
  3. Shortlist function allows users to save the movies for consideration
  4. Preview/compare seats function allows users compare the seats availability of their shortlisted movies for discussion with their friends before they proceed to book their movie tickets.

Future Iterations

1.Polling Function

With account registration, users can share their shortlisted movies with their friends, to vote for movies. This will help users of Michael and Sophia’s persona who watches movie socially, coordinate movie choices with their friends. Moreover, we can also allow them to share movies on their Facebook/Twitter account and leverage on social media to increase exposure of SG-Movies app.

2.Movie Recommendations

The app can trace users’ past behaviour to make movie recommendations. This will help users making impromptu plans to catch movie make quick decisions on their movie choices.

3. Reviews & Ratings

Curated reviews and ratings by movie critics can be brought into the app to help users of Sharon’s persona, who is particular about movie selections make good movie choices.

4. Referral System

With more features means greater motivation and more reasons for people to use SG-Movies app. To reward our users, we will offer discount coupon and free movie tickets when they have attained a specified number of referrals.

5. Booking & Payment System

When a wide user base has been established, we will work with cinema organisations, especially those without their own cinema app to bring the booking and payment system into SG-Movies app. This will bring a smoother ticket booking experience for our users and greatly increase the conversion rate and revenue for the business.

6. Student ID Verification

When a secured booking system has been incorporated, we will finally bring in Student ID’s Verification into our app, so that users of Sophia’s persona can purchase their movie ticket online with student discount.

My Reflections

I find that the greatest challenge of this project is aligning user’s goal with business goal. Besides developing a useful, usable and aesthetically pleasing app, we will also need to take into consideration, how the app can be monetised.

We have discussed as a group on methods to monetised the app during our research process, and have agreed that bringing in the booking system should come in after we have increased and retained a significant number of user base, and answering to their pain points and making the app more relevant to them could do this.

However, in the process what we have overlooked on how the process can be expedited to generate more revenue at the earlier phase. Hence, by re-looking into our future iteration plans, we could have work them out in details. Rather than having 6 bi-weekly sprints, the timeframe could be shorten by pushing 2 new features into a single sprint. We may also work with cinema organisations at an earlier sprint by advertising for them to generate revenue before bringing in the booking system into SG-Movies app.

In conclusion, Project 3 has been a good process for me as I’ve learnt beyond developing a useful app, to look at business strategy and plan ahead in a structural manner to develop a full-fledge mobile app.

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