Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The 25 Simple Steps To Buying Theatre Tickets Online

Is there any worse online booking experience than buying Theatre Tickets? It fails the GCSE French usability test. Namely, is the actual experience as easy as it would be in a basic French textbook?

MOI: Bonjour. Avez-vous deux billets por Mercredi?
THEM: Oui. Neuf francs, s'il vous plait.
MOI: Voila. Au revoir.

Here is how it goes.
  2. [a long time later] Congratulations, you've finally found a page about the play you want to see.
  3. [you've had shorter relationships later] You've found the “Book Tickets” button.
  4. You select the night you'd like to see the play.
  5. [You may now find yourself on someone else's website entirely. Lucky you]
  6. Select the type of ticket you want. No, not that type, stupid.

  7. You may not want to select a seat, but don't worry, we've turned our theatre into a flythrough of the Death Star. You must now steer through the stalls in order to find your two seats.
  8. Keep an eye on the colour code. LIGHT GREY means available. SLIGHTLY LIGHTER GREY means unavailable.
  9. Done?
  10. Oh, those seats weren't available after all. TRY AGAIN.
  11. Okay. Would you like to pay?
  12. Fine. We'd need you to register. No, I know you only come here every ten years, but we need you to register.
  13. Uh-Oh, looks like we made you register last time you came to see a play here in 2001. We need you to remember the password.
  14. Don't worry, we've emailed it to you.
  15. Email turned up? Good. Sadly, we'll need you to choose a new password before you go any further. To confuse you next time you come here.
  16. Hello again. You're now registered.
  17. There we go. Now, I'm afraid you'll need to repeat steps 4-11. See you in a bit.
  18. Would you like to receive our email newsletter? It doesn't matter what you click, you'll receive it anyway.
  19. Nearly there. Would you like to contribute to our Dry Rot Preservation Fund? We've thoughtfully added that on top of the ticket price. If you don't want to pay, please play Checkbox Battleships. Meanie.
  20. Oh. And here's a booking fee. Of course there is. We've got to pay for that CG modelled Death Star somehow.
  21. You've not read our terms and conditions, but we're going to make you say that you have. Liar.
  22. And we're done. Now over to your bank and their 3D Security Thing.
  23. Here's your booking code. Copy that down. And bring along your card.
  24. For someone on the night to shrug, ask for your surname and hand you your tickets.
  25. Alternatively, why not spend the evening in with a Take Me Out marathon? It's less painful.

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