Presella

Presella is an online startup that eliminates risk from events by preselling tickets and guaranteeing a certain number of attendees before proceeding with the actual event. Events only happen if they presell their target number or tickets. I came up with the idea when applying to a startup accelerator program in 2012. We were selected among the top 8 ideas and won series A funding and were accelerated for 6 months. Here’s how it all happened…

The Problem or Challenge – Part 1:

Come up with an online business idea that’s new, interesting, needed, and scalable.

How I Came Up With The Startup Idea:

During the initial period of the startup accelerator program competition, I listened to all the other teams and individuals pitch their ideas. I wasn’t really convinced in any of their ideas. I had some ideas of my own back then, but I wasn’t really convinced in any of them either. I decided to wait and give myself more time to think.

Crowdfunding was becoming a trend and was on the rise at the time. It was a big thing, but everyone was doing it so I didn’t want to come up with “just another crowdfunding website”, I wanted something slightly different.

I was at a good friend’s party event. He was really good DJ, and I had organized an event with him in the past. Not many people showed up to his event, even though many people had said that they were “attending” on the Facebook event page. I used to sometimes face the same issue back in the day when I had a rock band and we organized our own events. I was thinking that it was a pity, because these events were actually pretty good musically, but the attendance was sometimes weaker than what we had hoped for. That’s when the idea struck me. What if there was a way to secure attendance to an event! We can do that by something similar to the crowdfunding concept, and let’s market it as “preselling” or “preticketing”. The startup was born.

The Problem or Challenge – Part 2:

Ensure that this web app is intuitive, user friendly and awesome.
The challenge is also that we have 2 main types of users, event organizers, and event goers, so how can we easily explain the startup to each of these user types? And how can we tailor the website to each of their needs?

My Role:

My role was to design and create the website prototype, come up with all possible user journeys and optimize their UX. I also had to make sure it was easy for people to understand what the startup was, and make sure that the website looked good and was easy to use.

My Process:

  • I did some research about other event and crowdfunding sites.
  • Created, distributed, and gathered some concept and market validation surveys.
  • I designed the initial website wireframes.
  • Printed wireframes of similar competitor websites.
  • Tested them with users and did some rapid prototyping.
  • Took notes on where these users clicked and where they looked and what they liked and disliked.
  • Came up with the ultimate layout based on their feedback.
  • Tested it with a focus group of event organizers who were possibly going to become power users.
  • Adjusted based on their feedback.
  • Designed the UI based on our results.

My Solution & Results:

My original plan was to emphasize explaining what the startup does, so I made the explainer video the largest thing on the homepage. I placed a clear call to action next to it for user acquisition. Most of our communication was oriented to event creators. I made sure the event creation process was divided into several parts because it was a complex process. Here are the initial wireframes for the website:

After some testing, feedback, and some business-related decisions, we ended up slightly changing these wireframes.
Check out the end result and UI of the beta version website here.