Lessons from deTour 2018

What we learned in helping to run “Trial and Error”

By Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

On Monday 12 November, PMQ launched it’s deTour 2018, which is an annual creative festival that highlights local and international creative talent. Juven is an official event partner this year, and we help to distribute tickets for the various workshops, lectures and events that are planned. The title of this year’s deTour is “Trial and Error” which is quite appropriate for the topic of today’s blog posts.

Juven aspires to be the best open event platforms out there. As a startup, we try to move fast, and sometimes we end up breaking things. We make mistakes. We’ll be the first to admit that. When the deTour 2018 was launched at 8pm that night, our platform was inundated with users and some of them regrettably had experiences that were far from perfect. Here’s what went wrong, and what we learned from the feedback we received:

The website took incredibly long to load. This was because many of the events had uploaded images that were many megabytes in size. Times that by a thousand users downloading them and we had ourselves a serious bandwidth situation. We had been working on an image optimizer for a long time, and we finally got it deployed two days after the launch, as per our internal schedule (plus a bit of hurrying after realizing the urgency). The lesson here was that we should have anticipated the need sooner for this particular function regarding dynamic image optimizer.

Some users found that they could not navigate easily back to the deTour catalog page. They would click into an event, click on the Juven logo and directed to our business site. This was a jarring experience as they would have anticipated returning to the catalog page, resulting in frantic searching as the events have very limited spaces.

Worst yet, in their search for the catalog page, some users found themselves registering as an organization admin and creating their own organization.

Our solution:

A. In future, redirect our logo on the catalog pages and linked events to return to the catalog page instead of our home page.

B. We will review our guest login flow so that they no one will accidentally click into the organization management features upon registration.

Some users, after selecting the event to which they wish to participate, could not complete the purchase of tickets even though they finished the necessary steps. This was because of the extremely limited quantity of availability for certain workshops.

Our solution here is:

A. We will create a temporary reservation for the user, just like with airlines (for say, 10 minutes), while users log in and complete the registration and transaction for whatever ticket they are purchasing. (We estimate that this feature will be completed by 16th December)

B. We will improve the back-end technical infrastructure to have elastic server architecture, thereby reducing delays cause by server load due to number of users.

Another improvement that we launched for all events is the ability for administrators to set a ticket limit per event session, not just across the entire event.

We want to thank all our wonderful users for their feedback, which has proved invaluable in improving ourselves. We also apologize for any inconvenience and unpleasantness that you might have experienced.

The life of a startup is very much about trial and error. Here at Juven, we want to fail fast. That’s because that way we learn fast, get back on our feet, and do things better.

Juven builds integrated organization software that empowers charities, companies, associations and clubs of all sorts to build, engage and grow community. We believe that organizations should have access to beautiful, intuitive and reliable tools to create greater impact.