Sponsored by Benaroya Hall and The Seattle Symphony, Listen boldly is a mobile app that features an upcoming performance calendar and videos of past shows at Beneroya Hall. Most importantly, it gives music lovers the ability to purchase tickets directly from their mobile device.


Client: Seattle Symphony

Product: Listen Boldly app

Time Frame: 14 days

Platform: Mobile application

Deliverables: Research results of user interviews, online surveys, and usability test

Team: E.J. Grijalva, Owen Camber - Interaction Design, Information Architecture, Paige Jensen - Project Manager/Visual Design

Role: User Researcher 

Summary of role

As a user researcher, I was responsible for leading my team through both the discovery and defining phases. By conducting the following research I was able to develop a problem statement, hypothesis statements, and proto-personas. By doing so I was able to define the project scope.



Our group challenge was to explore the existing product and find areas that we could improve. We would focus on issues with usability, navigation, and visual design. The research I completed would lead to the redesign of how users selected their seats while going through the ticket purchasing process.

The Problem

There are many items found within the app that distract users from it's main functions. Many of the tools are difficult to use. The current state of the Listen Boldly does not meet the standards of Apple's design guide.


We explored the existing problems through various research activities with recruited participants. This allowed us to improve the design flaws that we found and discover new issues that we overlooked. We used these findings to create a design that would improve the navigation and usability of Listen Boldly. We would also apply the necessary visual design to meet Apple's Design guideline.

Competitive analysis


I dove into the websites of Ticket Web, Stub Hub, and Ticket Master to put together a competitive analysis. The competitors operate on a much larger scale, selling tickets internationally. Through this analysis I was able to find which functions were commonly featured. I was able to determine that Listen Boldly is able to offer more features because they focus on only one venue.

Identifying the target User

To do this I searched the web to find user reviews of showings at The Seattle Symphony. I found that most of the reviews were from Yelp and posted by users who were between the ages of 29 to 38 years old. Through a quick online survey with my own personal contacts to learn more about the average Beneroya Hall attendee. I found the results from the survey and the findings from Yelp were interesting. I noticed that the age range of yelp did not represent some participants in the survey. This helped me justify the creation of two personas.

yelp review findings

Additional FIndings while identifying Target user

While identifying the target user I was able to find that the app had a low rating in the App Store. This is due to user reviews stating that the current design does not follow Apple's HIG (Human Interaction Guideline). I also noticed that the visual display of Listen Boldly in the App Store differs from what is currently offered. I was more than excited to share this with Paige (visual designer)


App Store Display

actual display

Problem/Hypothesis statement

Beneroya Hall attendees need a way to quickly purchase and access tickets through the Listen Boldly app. Currently it is a lengthy and complicated process that causes users to turn to third party companies.

By simplifying the ticket handling process, our users will be able to quickly and easily access tickets through Listen Boldly. We will know this to be true when reports show an increase of tickets bought through the app and positive feed back from users.


I created two personas to showcase both types of Benaroya Hall Attendees. Our Primary focus was to represent the tech-savvy group who are more likely to use the app. while the secondary Persona was used to show the overall age range of attendees. I would create a context scenario with our primary persona in mind. This scenario would help me build a usability test. The context scenario would later inspire the illustration of a story board.

Primary Persona

Secondary Persona

Contextual Inquiry

I wanted to take a new approach to my research process. I was able to uncover important information by conducting interviews before and after usability test. By doing so, our users expressed which applications they have had success with. They were also able to point out areas of difficulty that we had over looked as well as confirm the ones we were aware of. After all test were completed I put all my findings into an affinity map. This allowed us to focus on specific areas of the app that we could improve.

Affinity Map

  • User's were confused by most of the content found within the menu
  • Had difficulties navigating backwards through the app
  • Associated negative feelings with their experience
  • Did not like the current seat selection system 


usability testing

Through paper prototype testing I was able to find that 

  • The task were pretty straightforward and users had no problem understanding them. 
  • User’s had a difficult time navigating through the app and relied heavily on the event calendar.
  • Users did not like that the calendar did not look like a calendar.
  • Issue with the seat selection process, user's wanted an airline styled seat selection.
  • The name of the app is also an issue, The logo was designed for The Seattle Symphony while the name of the app is Listen Boldly
  • User’s would still prefer to use a third party or order from their computers to purchase their tickets.
  • Having a title on each page would also help users navigate their way through the app e.g. “Home” on home screen, “My tickets” on the my tickets screen.

Owen was able to implement changes to his design that were inspired by the results of the paper prototype testing. We conducted a clickable test with the redesign and received satisfactory results.

Results / implemented seat selection



In retrospect I found that I did not have enough time to conduct as many interviews as I would have liked to. Two weeks was not enough time to collect quality data. Our findings were enough to get us rolling through the project but having more data to study would have helped us refine our design and resolve the existing issues.