Fringe Festival

Improving the Event Hosting Experience.

Hollywood Fringe Festival is a platform for the performing arts community. Hundreds of shows are produced in each festival every year. It was created and celebrated by the community of producers and artists. However, the festival experience has been confusing and stressful because of its current digital products.

My theoretical redesign of the website was my attempt to increase business revenue and user engagement when the solutions come in handy.

The Challenge

Rebuild the Experience In 2 Weeks

My goal for the project was to improve the usability of the Hollywood Fringe website, including:

1.  Make it simple and fast to use for the participants.
2.  Help the users to set up, manage and promote their events in a speedy and flexible manner.
3.  Create a platform for people to engage with the community.

My Role

This was a 2-week solo project. I worked on it from research to ideation to product design to user testing and iteration.


Scratching the Surface

Without preexisting insights, I did a Heuristic and hierarchy evaluation of the entire site to see its current features and to understand the possible challenges that the event goers and creators were facing. A lot of things of the site could be improved.

However, with the short period of time that I had, I chose to focus on the most important problematic area –  creators’ online experience, which directly affects the festival quality, business revenue and customer conversion, etc.

Early Insights

The main pain points lied in inefficiency and poor learnability.

     Crowded Information

Hard-to-find Venues

Overwhelming Instructions

Unclear Hierarchy and Labeling

The Discovery

Participants Stress Level Increases Over Time

Supposedly all creators needed to use the Hollywood Fringe website to set up their personal and project accounts. I found out, in fact, the majority of the participants were not familiar with the website at all. As a lot of the them were actually first and second time participants, who had very limited knowledge about how it all worked.

The “Fringe Process” was also too complicated and confusing for them to work through alone. The companies had to hire more people to do the show management.

People in the Fringe community helped each other out through the process but apparently, the official website wasn’t aligned to the tight and supportive community.

As a result, The Fringe experience became a chaotic one for them since they were not only expected to know the guidelines, but also pressured with time and to have good reviews on their shows.

“Performing at Fringe was great, and exhausting, and a learning process. Fringe for sure has a learning curve to it.” 


“I didn’t use the website at all. I totally  relied on my
co-producers to figure out the process of Fringe.”


Redefine the Problem

Poor Information Organization & Un-User-Friendly Design.

The current Hollywood Fringe website has created major problems for the creators. The problems includes unclear event information, unintuitive and ambiguous event set-up process and inefficient venue picking.

It offered no help in project management and promotion. The reasons above led to user frustration and waste of time and money.

Deeper Insights

Uncovering Specific Pain Points with Empathy.

Early on, it was important to validate user problems. I created customer journey map and user flow and defined specific problematic parts of the website, which includes unclear navigation, nonfunctional search, lack of guiding information, crowded information, etc.

Then, I conducted a market research to evaluate other event hosting websites’ features comparing to Hollywood Fringe’s. I found they all had simpler application process and less competition between applicants.

“How do I create a better platform for new Hollywood Fringe participants to easily learn about the process, set up and manage their events… And to provide a user experience that reflects the brand and its community?”

User persona developed based on research.
A map that records the user journey and emotion changes while trying to register a project and possibly book a venue.

THE website redesign

Hollywood Fringe Event Hosting Site

Focusing on conversion, sales and loyalty, the redesign organizes the sites’s content so festival participants can more easily to find festival guidelines, connect with other artists, set up and manage their shows.
Concept and UI design by me.

Design Phase

Delivering High-Performance Features.

Implementing the right features is crucial. The goal was to fulfills user needs and reaches more business and formulates relationship within new users.

I needed two kinds of features:

a.  Basic features, which provides basic functionalities that users expect.
b.  Performance features, which increases user's satisfaction level when implemented well.

Holding feasibility, desirability and viability as my guide line, I implemented a hybrid of an intuitive approach and a scoring model to help me filter research data and prioritize core features.
A separate home hosting site separates the creators’ hosting experience from the event goers’ shopping experience, simplifying content.
The user-friendly instructions along with the two-step project registration is a simplified the registration process. This creates a friendly and supportive online environment.
The venue booking would automatically appears when the user finishes registering. The improved listing filters the available Fringe venue according to the event dates that have been inputted. By filtering by price and reviews, user can quickly find the ideal venue.
The creator’s dash board gives the user simple access and complete control of their projects. It allows users to view, edit, publish, manage, promote project and monitor ticket sales.
The dashboard is also a one-stop shop for festival guidelines, hacks and FAQs.

How did I get to the solution

Structure First

I used the core features as guide points and created an information architecture which addressed current flaws and generates a simplified user flow.

Visual Problem Solving & Brand Alignment

My visual design goal was to create a interface that is:

•  Clean and easy to navigate
•  Reflective of the brand and community
•  Clear on how the information is laid out

I then created a UI Style Guide that represents the vibrant and energizing Hollywood Fringe Festival experience and the diverse, quirky and playful qualities of the community.
Hollywood Fringe Festival visual tool kit developed by me.


Moving Forward

The user feedback was positive –– they recognized and applauded for the intuitive flow, clear navigation and the engaging UI design.

People would like to see inside stage view on the venue listing page. Based on the testing observations, users were interested in:

•  The Community Center feature
•  Looking at venue options
•  Reading about festival Info and feature summary