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Shut Up and Take My Money: Buying Movie Tickets Online


This post was written by Yifan Zhangxu, a Fresh Tilled Soil Apprentice, in response to Challenge 1: Redesigning an Experience.

Movie Ads Dot Com sells a bunch of stuff and movie tickets. I decided to redesign the user flow of finding a ticket because their current site lacks focus in helping people find things they want to watch. One thing is that takes up the majority of the page are unnecessary advertisements that links out to other websites. There are a lot of great movies out there but the text-based links doesn’t help me navigate the site either. Once you start the process of finding a theater to watch a movie, the lack of hierarchy on each page makes it easy to accidentally buy a ticket at the wrong time.

For my redesign, I looked to Netflix and Apple Trailers as inspiration. I wanted to approach the design with much more visual emphasis on the movie posters as that’s how I recognize a movie. Yelp was my inspiration in terms of how a person might start searching for movies and theaters.

Redesign Overview and Goals

With my redesign, I started off with a big search bar on top. Using geolocation, the computer would identify where the user is currently located so they would have one less box to fill in. Another way I wanted to help users is to have the search make suggestions as as you type.


I also condensed the navigation so all the other things that the original was trying to sell goes under “Fun”. I added a carousel that shows movies that are playing nearby. Below the carousel is a “Featured Movies” section that advertisers can pay for to be featured on there. After that comes a section for movies that are opening this weekend and the final frame focuses on movies that are coming soon.

Since my goal was to make it easier to find movies without being spammed, I removed the obnoxious ads. I wanted my design to have more integrated advertisements within the content so I created a featured movies sections. Another strategy to replace the advertisements is to charge a little more for the checkout fees or have people watch a trailer commercial throughout key points on the site but then they can opt out by creating an account.

I also wanted the process of selecting the ticket to be easier, so now instead of taking you to a new page, the carousel would slide over when you click on one of the movies. After the click, the slide would show a list of movie theaters nearby that plays the movie as well as a map with corresponding tags. Then there’s a cleaner hierarchy but also a clearer buy tickets button which leads into the checkout process.

Final Thoughts
Thinking about how the user gets access to movie tickets was really interesting. The hardest thing I had to accomplish was thinking about how to satisfy business needs and user needs. I know I definitely sided more with the user but I believe that you shouldn’t think lowly of users and spam them with advertisements. I believe that by treating users with respect and by providing a good experience on a website with relevant content, the user would be more willing to return and use the website again.

Author Yifan Zhangxu

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