Skip to main content

The best and worst of the Lollapalooza app

Although Lollapalooza has been around for 20+ years now and has expanded into other countries like Brazil, Chile and (2013) Israel, this was the first year we made it to the three-day festival in Chicago. And since it was our first time there, we wanted to make sure we could plan our day well - get around Grant Park quickly, quickly find our favorite bands, the food, beer, bathrooms.  We used the festival's official iPhone app which provided many features while keeping the experience simple. 

Overall, navigation worked well, most features exceeded expectations and the workflow of creating a schedule (albeit short) was great.  However, explanation of the Group Text feature and phone coverage (which wasn't the app's fault but still had a major impact on the user experience) must be improved.  

Here's a breakdown of the best and worst features of the app's user experience:

BEST

1. Lineup tab and ability to add artists to our schedule - I could easily see who was playing when, select the artist, get information about their music and click the star by their name to add them to the schedule.  This feature was very useful and usable.

2. Map - the interactive map showed the location of every stage, bar, restroom and Camelbak water station. It also provided a 'drop pin' feature so you could quickly share your location with friends.

3. Integration with third-party apps - Instagram photo sharing was a great way to experience the festival with others and Slacker radio within the Lolla app was a convenient and fun way to to decide which unknown bands I wanted to see.

4. Experience tab - because of the Festival FAQs accessible from the app, I really didn't have a reason to go back to the Lolla website at all (after purchasing tickets, which I couldn't do using the mobile app).  I understood what (and what not) to bring and information about food vendors, beverages and safety.

WORST

1. Group text - although the process started off fairly well (beginning with a bright, 'start a group' button), I missed the What is Group Me link at the beginning of the flow which explained the value of the feature and why, most importantly, our group would be assigned a phone number (for texting) with an '862' area code. My friends asked 'what is this text from group me?  It's a 862 area code.'  This was very confusing.  Since the number was unfamiliar and our group didn't expect the strange area code, our excitement faded and our trust in the feature was gone. We simply ended up relying on our own phones' group text feature.  The apps needs to explain the Group text feature better and make the explanation more visible. 

2. ATT's coverage -  I know. You're thinking 'there are 90,000 people in Grant Park all trying to access the same service and you're surprised you can't get coverage?.  But really, what's the point of the app if it can't work while you're at the festival?  If there were any schedule updates or emergency notifications (like on Saturday during the rain storm), I wouldn't have known about them. 

This was my first trip to Lolla and I was really impressed with the app. We were able to watch M83, Black Sabbath, the Shins, the Black Keys (all for the first time) and others on Friday and planned the whole day by using it.   It really helped us get prepared and I expect that some of the negative aspects will be addressed before next year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Is My Jam - a well-designed, responsive web application

This Is My Jam is a music app that lets users share one song at a time with others. If there’s a song that you absolutely love right now and want to the world to know about it (which I often do), you can select the song, post it to your page and tell the world ‘this is my jam!’. Not only is the app’s value unique but the user experience is good, specifically when it comes to choosing a new jam.  First of all, the app is responsive, slightly changing the layout of screens according to users’ device sizes. This is important because it delivers a consistent experience from web to mobile (without having to learn or download a separate native app) while the folks at This Is My Jam only have to maintain one web experience that adapts to users’ devices (that is, they don’t have to manage a web AND native mobile experience and all it entails).  And this isn’t just some responsive web site where the content shifts around - this is a web application, folks, and it’s not easy to do. W

Redesigning the MySpace music player

Originally a major competitor to Facebook, MySpace has evolved from a being a place for 'friendships' to an important site in digital music. Like Facebook, artists can create profile pages for fans to follow but artists can also embed songs into a music player for fans to listen to. This functionality has really opened the door for discovering new music (especially for new artists who don't have a label or a means of distribution and marketing). However, MySpace's music player (above) suffers from some usability issues including small controls and an inefficient screen layout . When advancing through a song, users have to move a very small slider control that requires unnecessary precision . An improved, larger control would be much easier to click and drag than the current small rectangle shape. Also, the two-row layout of songs in the artist's queue is inefficiently designed . A maximum of only five songs can be listed in the queue at one time and then use

Buying gear on Reverb

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to buy an inexpensive stand for my acoustic guitar. I was already familiar with Reverb , which is  an online  marketplace  to buy and sell music gear. Without knowing much at all about guitar stands, I did a search, landed on their site, and within several minutes I was able to research and purchase a new stand. From the helpful information about different stands to the last step of the checkout process, the user experience was great .  After Googling 'guitar stand Reverb', one of the first results was a super helpful article on Reverb titled, 'The 6 Best Guitar Stands for Every Budget'. It listed all with all of the comparative specs I needed right on the page (saved me from having to look at each stand's page). Knowing my budget was small, I selected the On-Stage XCG4 Classic Guitar Stand. The price was right, the design was simple, and reviews were good. There's only one I caught that could be improved - when I curiously tr