PDF Ticket2019-10-29T00:08:33+00:00

PDF Ticket

UniversityTickets’ print-at-home tickets are designed for efficient validation scanning, using redundancy and easy readability, to provide a superior on-campus event experience for attendees.


Solved readability and usability issues with print-at-home PDF tickets to decrease time required to scan tickets and seat guests—while maintaining features like custom-branding and custom content and accounting for edge cases.


User Research
Redesign of print material

1. Improve functionality of the tickets
2. Create a more modern design that fit in better with the web app
3. Add more client branding



At an event using UniversityTickets’ devices and tickets, I conducted contextual observation of clients scanning tickets and customers handling their tickets.

Attendees were folding tickets in quarters or in thirds. This was causing creases to be placed in the barcodes due to where they were placed. These creases made it difficult for the scanners to read the barcodes.

Sometimes attendees would even hold out a ticket for scanning and cover the barcode with their thumb without noticing they were doing so.

A few tickets were misprinted in such a way that the bottom quarter of the ticket didn’t print or the ink on the right half was smudged so much as to make the barcode un-scannable.

Sometimes I stepped in to assist with scanning a few tickets and noticed that when I wanted to great a customer by name that it was difficult to quickly locate that information at a glance.


I identified two primary issues to fix in the redesign:

(1) barcodes couldn’t be read by scanners

(2) key information was difficult to quickly locate on the tickets visually

Original (not designed by Leo) – Fold lines shown in red

Scanning Issue


Using OmniGraffle I created a first draft which better structured the key information of seat location, ticket type, ticket number, and customer name so that it was easy to find.

I also added additional copies of the barcode, avoiding common fold lines, placing them so that if 50% of the ticket (top, bottom, left, or right) was misprinted or missing, there would still be a copy of the barcode on the ticket. These additional copies also meant that if one of them was being accidentally covered by an attendee, there would be another barcode that could be scanned.

Also included were a map and five informational boxes. Feedback from the team indicated that the map should be removed to make room for more client added content and only the info of two of the boxes were needed.

In testing sample content with the ticket I found that there wasn’t enough room for some longer seating location names as well as not enough room for some ticket option and ticket type names.

In the final draft I moved the barcodes further away from the fold lines, switched the seating info to vertically stack to give more room for text, and removed the map and non-essential info boxes to make more room for custom content.


I provided specifications for the heights of each section of the ticket as well as graphical assets to the developer.

First Concept

Final Concept – Fold lines shown in red

Final Concept

This new E-Ticket is now being used by over 200 colleges and universities across the US and Canada, including MIT.

The number of tickets scanned has increased 15% as a result of the improvements made to reduce scan errors and improve scanning efficiency.

Tickets Scanned:

Old – 54%
New – 69%

I would like to add alternate layout options that clients can choose from, to offer more flexibility. A quarter-folded layout that looks like a mini book is something I’d like to explore.

I would also like to research the different E-Ticket needs of our four main client types: theater, student activities, athletics, and graduations. Perhaps offering an E-Ticket layout tailored to the needs of each would be better than a single layout balancing the needs of all four.

Information Hierarchy Fixed

Scanning Issues Fixed

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