By Humans, for Humans: The Shift Toward Human-Centered UI/UX Design

SeatGeek shared how it prioritizes the human experience to create a more immersive digital experience.

Written by Mia Goulart
Published on Jan. 31, 2024
By Humans, for Humans: The Shift Toward Human-Centered UI/UX Design
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Wired holiday lights. Economy airplane seats. Umbrellas. 

From tangled wires to uncomfortable seats and umbrellas that flip inside out, these examples of poor design still plague the modern user. 

The human perspective is essential for successful design, but that perspective is evolving — rapidly. Many things that once proved effective now lack the same purpose.

Enter human-centered design, a method for companies to regularly reassess products, ensure a more efficient design process that addresses users’ needs and concerns, and drive company sales. 

Wouldn’t you be more likely to use an umbrella if guaranteed to stay dry?

The same sentiment is shared by the mobile-focused ticket platform, SeatGeek. Recently, Built In spoke with Lead UX Researcher Heidi Austin to learn about how the company prioritizes human-centric design to guarantee customer satisfaction. 



Heidi Austin
Lead UX Researcher • SeatGeek

 SeatGeek is the leading mobile-focused ticket platform that enables fans to buy and sell tickets for sports, concert and theater events.


How is your company integrating human-centric design principles into your UI/UX design process? 

At SeatGeek, we believe in starting with fans. We have a user research team that works cross-functionally with designers, product managers, engineers and data analysts to bring the ideas and behaviors of people using our products to the center of ticketing pain points often felt by fans throughout the industry.

Put into practice, this means those on our product team are active participants in the research process. During the ideation phase, a researcher will typically talk about the risk versus clarity matrix, through which we ask, “What’s the risk to the business if we get this wrong?” and “What level of clarity do we have about the user problem?” By answering those questions, we can determine what type and amount of user research we need for a project, which inherently puts users first.


Can you share any innovative methods or technologies your company is utilizing to enhance the user experience and make it more human-centric? 

Over the past two years, our product team has grown closer to our roster of partners and the employees who use our product.  

While we have and always will value fan insights, we’ve also come to realize that many others hold insights needed to take our products to the next level, including box office workers, season ticket holder representatives, booking directors, marketers, business intelligence directors and more. 

The people in these roles interact with fans daily. By working closely with them, we can garner feedback on both the front and back-end user experience, meaning we’re creating valuable products and tools for fans and partners alike. 

We also regularly meet with our partners to ensure our teams receive this critical feedback consistently.


What are the benefits of adopting a human-centric design approach in UI/UX? How does it impact user satisfaction, engagement and overall product success?

When research, design and the rest of the product team work together, those using the product will find joy in their experience. 


“When research, design and the product team work together, it enables users to find joy in their experience.”


We continue working on innovative features that enhance a fan’s day-of-event experience by completing discovery research about what people are doing and feeling as they prepare to attend a live event. 

By launching a beta of these features, we can see how fans adapt to using them. As they do so, we can collect regular feedback, allowing us to understand how to improve the event-day experience. With this fan-first approach, we can learn and iterate based on user feedback.



Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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