galaxy theater

The product: Movie theater app to reduce the time in choosing movie time/seats by including a 'compare seats' feature 

The problem:  Users are frustrated with going back and forth between selecting a movie time and finding seats.

The goal: Find a way to reduce this time and make it easier for users to select a movie time and seat.

Understanding the User

User Research Summary

I conducted interviews with moviegoers to understand their experience with movie theater apps, the pros & cons, and to identify any common behaviors and processes when using a movie theater check-in app. After conducting this interview, interviewees spent most of their time during the movie ticket buying phase in looking for the right movie time that fits their schedule and needs. Some people have preferences in seating and some need to find the right amount of seats for their group. Other than streamlining the ticket buying process, users would also like to order food ahead of time.

Pain Points

Finding the perfect movie time / seating 

Users are frustrated when looking for a movie time with their preferred seat areas. When comparing seats with other times, users would have to go back a few pages and then select another movie time to compare. 

Unaware of deals

Users would take their time looking at the food/drink menu at the theater and wouldn’t know what are the deals/combos

Knowing more details of each movie time

Users would like more details on the type of seats, # of people that will be in the theater, and estimates on parking situation

Theater location

Users would like to know the location of the theater their movie is in ahead of time

User Personas

User Journey Map

The goal was to list out the steps when getting movie tickets through an app. User is frustrated when going back and forth to find ideal seats for her group. There is definitely a roller coaster of emotions through the process.

Starting The Design

Paper Wireframes

Here are 5 different versions of what the home page would look like. While drafting these wireframes, I kept the ‘Member Info’ at the top and listed movies at the bottom.

Digital Wireframes

Kept the ‘Rewards Overview’ at the top. This way, users are able to find their rewards, deals/combos easily.

The movie selection is shown at the home screen so that users didn’t have to click around to find movies that are showing.

On the right, it's the first version of the ‘compare seats’ feature. The button appears after selecting a movie time and selected seats. 

The prototype goes through the ticket buying process and has the ‘compare seats’ feature implemented

Refining the Design

Usability Study: Recap

We are creating this app to help people find and compare showtimes. We need to find out if people are able to easily check between selected showtimes. We conducted a moderated usability study with various people and have made adjustments to the app based on their opinions.


Research Questions

How long does it take for users to compare seats between movie times?

How long does it take for users to select the theater setting they prefer?

What can we learn from the steps users take from choosing seats?


5 participants 

2 males, 3 females. Individuals between 16-40 years old


15 minutes per participant

United States, remote

Moderated Usability study

Users were asked to perform takes in a low-fidelity prototype

Usability Study: Findings & Themes

For the Usability study on the LoFi wireframes, I conducted moderated user testing on five people. I gave them prompts to follow and asked follow-up questions after they complete the prompt. Users were asked to think out loud. The HiFi wireframe study was a mix of moderated and unmoderated due to scheduling. Users were still asked to think out loud and follow the prompts.

Round 1 Findings

 (Low Fidelity)


3 out of 5 participants don't see the use of comparing seats. This means that the process of comparing seats was not clear to the users

2 out of 5 participants think the compare seats button is small. This means that the compare seats button was easily missed

4 out of 5 participants went back and forth between pages. This means that users weren’t sure if they were getting to the right page

Round 2 Themes (High Fidelity)

All participants knew how to select a movie.

“My only thought is would be cool to have captions in some way since posters can be too much for others.” (P5)

Most People knew to swipe in order to compare two movie times.

“I wish there were arrows or indicators to show that we can swipe to compare.” (P2)

There is some confusion when using the 'compare seats' feature.

Participants wanted more customizability on the quick add items

“It would be nice to know the flavor and size of Icee that I’m adding to my cart” (P4)

Participants wished it was easier to move back and forth between dates

Sticker Sheet

Accessibility Considerations

Added captions to movie cards. Although participants were able to select the movie stated in the prompt, one participant suggested to add in captions for those that associate with the movie posters 

Adjusted the colors during the seat selection phase. One participant had trouble seeing if a seat was selected since the color blended with the background color 

Incorporated a bottom header so that the the frequently used icons were in reach. 



The app makes users think about their movie going experience and how existing apps can be better

What I learned:

I learned that usability testing definitely helps improve the design of the project. I went through two testings and my current iteration improved so much from the first iteration. Feedback is helps so much. 

Next steps: