Heuristic Evaluation of WillCall
I ran a heuristic evaluation on Will Call, a last minute indie concert ticket buying mobile application. The rating scale follows Jakob Nielsen's notes on the severity of the violation from 0-4. 
 
 
Opening up the screen the user is greeted with a listing of the weekend's shows. First comes the shows that have already been sold out in the city nearest to your current location, San Francisco in this case. Then below the sold out shows, the shows with tickets still available are listed in chronological order according to when the show starts.
Home Screen
 
Match Between the System and the Real World
What does it mean that a concert show is “closed”? Does this mean that the show has been cancelled or does this mean that the show has been sold out? It’s difficult to initially gauge what this terminology within the application means since it is ambiguous to someone who hasn’t played around with the application before.
Level 2 Severity
It should be mentioned in a more direct fashion that a show is “sold out” by labeling the show has been “sold out”. It is very indirect for the frequent user to see that the concert a user was interested in has changed its status to be “closed”. I suppose regardless of whether the time of the concert show has passed or if the concert show has been sold out, then it would be fine to say that it was “closed”, but being more explicitly about the application's terminology for the status of a given show would help the user. Even though in both interpretations of the word “closed”, the user is unable to purchase tickets. Since Will Call labels a show “closed” when you are unable able to purchase tickets, I only see this as a cosmetic problem since it doesn’t have a burden on the functionality of the application since regardless, the user will be unable to make a ticket transaction.
 
Closed Concert Shows.
Aesthetic and Minimalist Design
The application provides all the information at a glance from the home screen that the user desires. These small indie concerts include a large number to tell the user the price of a given show. Additionally, there is large text to display which artist is playing the show, and then text subscripted below the artists’ names to signify where the venue is. Since average users of the application are going to be in their 20’s and 30’s, the small font size isn’t problematic and effectively enough as the fine prints works well for both the novice and a frequent Will Call user.
Level 0 Severity
I don’t think there a problem at all of how the layout and information is presented on the home screen. The text is sized appropriately. The images are blurred to signify that a user is unable to purchase a concert ticket towards a particular show. And not blurred to signify if the show is still available for purchase. Information of the show’s venue is presented in an appropriate manner, and it doesn’t interfere greatly for someone who is trying to find a certain artist. This is because you have to first find the artist you want before you determine where you want to see the show since the venue is included in finer print. 
Different Sized Text and Properly Spaced Out.
Airplane Mode

Visibility of System Status
When I turn off reception and Wi-Fi functionality on my iPhone, I can still make a pull down gesture and the loading wheel will spin (acting as if the application is refreshing its content), but the Will Call app fails to let me know that there is no network connection.
Level 3 Severity
Ideally, the user is going to primarily wandering around the San Francisco, purchasing concert tickets as he is heading towards a show. The user doesn’t know that there are some areas in San Francisco that fails to connect to the Internet. This would fail to fully meet the needs of the user. By failing to let the user know that there is no network connectivity, Will Call hinders the functionality of the application and in extreme cases to states of user frustration. This would prevent key activity including the credit card transactions, videos loading and etcetera. The reason why I have this as a level 3 severity instead of level 4 severity was that the application doesn’t keep trying to update itself in “refresh purgatory”, eventually it timeouts. But still, Will Call is an application that requires the internet to function. Without it, it would fail in usability.
Fails to Alert No Network Connection
On a Closed Concert screen

Consistency and Standards
Will Call knows its target user group. They are still catered to the 20-30 year olds as they present a handful of hashtags that briefly cover the style of music an artist preforms at a show. From this LCD Soundsystem show, the hashtags are used to symbolize what to expect at the show. However, there isn’t much data mining going on. And by this I mean, when I click on the hashtags, nothing happens. I am not redirected to a hashtag search of artists that all use the same hashtag. This does not follow platform conventions set forth by Twitter and Instagram.
Level 2 Severity
This inability to use the hashtags other than for the aesthetics and providing some buzzwords for the show leaves a sour aftertaste for me as the user. I can’t view which similar artists fall under the same genre of music by clicking on the “disco” hashtag. Instead, I remain on the same page I was viewing without any feedback that I pressed a word. By pressing, it didn’t pull up a search of the hashtag and the results of artists that have similarly used the hashtag in their concert listing. Instead, Will Call should support this hashtag search functionality. 
Hashtag Usage Doesn't Have the Same Functionality as Twitter and Instagram.
Recognition Rather than Recall
The videos banner is presented elegantly and I appreciate Will Call’s preference to append the second video as being not entirely on the screen. This makes me as the user want to slide his thumb across to see more videos. If I hadn’t noticed that something was trimmed from the page, I wouldn’t have imagined that there was more content to my right. This feature ultimately helps me identify an action out of Will Call and allows me to slide to the left for additional videos.
Level 0 Severity
I see nothing wrong with this, largely this cutoff indirectly tells me to scroll for more. No words are explicitly mentioned for me to slide to the left to see what’s on the right. I can easily recall this functionality months after putting aside this application since it is very intuitive. This slider doesn’t require me to reacquaint myself with application specific gestures since the second video acts as a signifier to slide for more.
Selection Slider for Videos
About Page

Help and Documentation
The Will Call about page doesn’t provide any documentation. It’s more about why Will Call exists and briefly pitches the application. The about page runs through the employees who work on the application. Luckily there is a way for users to go email support for Will Call and there is even a direct phone number for these types of complaints.
Level 0 Severity
The system that Will Call has is not broken. I don’t find a usability problem with this at all. If I really did need help or submit a complaint, I would send of an email message describing the bug because the application itself doesn’t allow for user text input, so there is never a need to check the documentation for example for specific types of input the application can handle. The Will Call application accepts button presses and sliding functionality, and that is difficult for the user to frequently screw up. 
About Page
Help Support Page
Redeem Code Page
 
Visibility of System Status
Here, the user can redeem cash for Will Call to be used later to purchase concert tickets. If a user inputs an invalid code, the system will immediately process the code word and determine whether the code was correct or not after the user has selected the check button on the top right.
Level 0 Severity
This immediate feedback works great since the checking only occurs once the user has pressed the green check mark. The input the user types is going to be in caps lock by default, so the user will never have to need to worry about checking if a code is a lower cased character or an upper cased character. The Will Call team has simplified its needs from the user and the user can then be less frustrated and frantically comparing the code to what he has typed for case consistency. There is no usability problem in this since the feedback is presented first in red text. The red text alarms the user and the user then becomes aware something bad has happened. In this case, the user inputted an invalid code. But this is not everything. Will Call explicitly mentions in layman’s terms that “Sorry, that does not appear to be a valid code”, so there is a sense of clarity in the application’s feedback in both regards.
Inputting the Redeem Code.
Match Between the System and the Real World
The system fails to speak the users’ language. I don’t know where I go to redeem a code. Can I have a hint as to if I attend show X then I will receive a redeem code for a later show Y? There is a barrier between the system and the user. In the end, I feel like the code redemption functionality is under utilized.
Level 2 Severity
Will Call should utilize the redeem codes more by providing a hint on where users can find one, or what activity can trigger the codes. I have no idea how to get a redeem code in the first place and I feel like this activity in the application is a lost cause.
Invalid Redeem Code.
After Selecting New York as your city, when based in San Francisco
 
Error Prevention
This is the biggest potential issue I have with the application. Will Call willingly allows you to view the listing of concerts on its New York City page. It allows you to proceed all the way into making a credit card transaction. But this could be very problematic if a San Franciscan user accidentally selects a New York location and then sees a familiar artist that they wouldn’t mind paying to see live, only to later discover after the credit card transaction that they purchased a show in an entire different part of the country.
Level 4 Severity
The Will Call application should have a check point that asks the user: “Are you sure you want to view the New York concert listings? Your current location is >10 hours driving/walking/transiting to New York City”. Even when a user goes to an artist’s page themselves, Will Call acknowledges the distance between the two locations (the user's location and the concert venue) is greater than ten hours apart. But the Will Call application doesn’t prevent the user from purchasing the ticket for a "night-of" show. This is especially critical since there’s no going back once a transaction has been processed. There is no emergency escape button once a user has gone 4-5 levels deep into making the purchase. So I find this to be a highly problematic for the user and needs to be prevented from the start when a user selects a different city from his or her current position.
Accessing New York Listings for Shows.
Distance to New York Shows.
Heuristic Evaluation of WillCall
7
505
2
Published:

Heuristic Evaluation of WillCall

Received: 20 points out of 20 points. Blurb: Conducted a heuristic evaluation on Will Call's usability, explored ways the application violates an Read More
7
505
2
Published: