Criterion Ticketing: A New Ticketing Application That Puts User Experience First
Simplifying the purchase path through inclusive design.
Roundabout Theatre Company, one of the tentpole organizations of Broadway, owns three venues that they regularly rent to Broadway productions – the iconic Studio 54, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and the American Airlines Theatre. To simplify the live entertainment industry’s historically complicated ticketing process, they set out to build an online solution to directly sell individual tickets for their Broadway tenants’ shows. This fresh alternative in Broadway’s primary ticketing market used clean, inclusive design to improve the user experience, reducing frustrations and barriers for fans. Criterion Ticketing is a fresh alternative in Broadway’s primary ticketing market that uses clean, inclusive design to improve the user experience, reducing frustrations and barriers for fans.
After an extensive period of discovery and definition, Situation proposed a web application that would be the primary digital box office for tenants of Roundabout rental venues.
The scope of this project included the design and development of a product to sell individual tickets that prioritized the user experience. To create and execute a robust web application, we used a modern, serverless solution to ensure scalability and perform reliably during heavy traffic periods.
Criterion puts the users first, prioritizing factors that other ticketing platforms might not. Our “Pick Seats For Me” feature was created for users that prefer to have the application automatically reserve seats based on their search criteria, including searching for accessible seats. This feature is especially important for users with a physical disability and may have difficulty using a traditional seat map to select tickets.
To create and execute a robust web application, we used a modern, serverless solution to ensure scalability and perform reliably during heavy traffic periods. Criterion’s best-in-class user interface is fully responsive on any screen size, so users making purchases on their mobile devices don’t have to sacrifice a quality experience. By not requiring users to create or have an account in order to check out, we took fans through the purchase process in as few clicks as possible. In addition, Criterion’s Design System tool offers more unique branding opportunities, making it easy for productions to choose a color palette that matches their brand while passing web accessibility color contrast standards. With a “minimalist” mindset, the carefully designed user interface greatly simplified the ticket buying experience for users.
With a solid architecture defined, Situation worked using an agile project management method. By putting designs and early versions of working software in front of users early and often, we were able to gather feedback and efficiently refine the user experience.
Criterion Ticketing officially launched on July 13, 2022, selling tickets for & Juliet at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and has expanded to sell tickets to shows in two additional theatres — Pictures From Home (Studio 54), Fat Ham (American Airlines Theatre), and Days of Wine and Roses (Studio 54, beginning in January 2024). The successful launch of Criterion Ticketing Phase 1 allowed Situation to quickly pivot to a series of product enhancements for Phase 2, including a dedicated Group Sales portal, full user account management, and a series of progressive enhancements to further refine the user experience for Broadway ticket buyers.
In the first year, Criterion Ticketing saw:
in gross revenue processed