Developing “New” LLT Solutions Based on Existing Client Problems

February 16, 2020

LLT Group

We were recently asked about building a “select your own seat” (SYOS) tool, and how we would tackle it from a ground-up approach for a client. As an agency we do not have one specific tool we currently have developed or recommend for integration of the SYOS tool. However; we have tackled similar feature set needs that lead us to the following recommendation path. 

Our recommendation is taking some time to explore the two options below. This path would first start with in-depth conversations with the client about needs, features, functions and overall expectations. The decision would be reached by working in lockstep with the client to flush out a cost / analysis matrix intertwined with business preferences. The two solutions we see existing are: 

Utilizing Third Party Services 

We would address the need by asking a number of questions. A couple starter questions can be found below.

Has this already been looked into? Is this a viable option? What is the hard costs of an implementation like this? How does implementing a third party software affect the technical debt going forward of the organization? Does utilizing a software change the internal touchpoints that SCFTA employees have with the system?

Building SYOS as a Software

We would tackle this first as a prototyping and small sprint cycle task. Our goal would be to take a single week to build out as much of the SYOS tool as possible and then continual review and re-iterate on top of that. The goal is to truly understand the build complexity and decisions that might come from building the tool in-house without expending large amounts of time and scope just to realize it’s inherent issues. 

To compliment this discussion we filmed a brief segment talking about this as a development project possibility. The video and transcription is below.

Tony: So, one of the big things about the SCFTA redesign and redevelopment is a select your own seat tool.  A huge part of their site, a huge part they’re trying to improve upon to really drive users to purchase tickets, and do so easily, to get into a queue, and see how much they could spend on the tickets and then take them to a cart.  One of their questions, of course, revolves around that. So, describe a select your own seat tool, a solution or tool that we might recommend.  

Jake: Yeah, you know, I think as with any feature, there are a lot of different options and routes that you can take.  I usually like to see if there’s any third party services that do this right off the bat because maybe they can speed up the development process and have somebody else worry and rely about some of those things, rather than the business.  But I always like to maybe spend a couple days, too, beforehand, exploring and seeing how simple would it be for us to do that, and what would it take for us to implement, say, a select your seat algorithm or UI and work with the design and say this is kind of what they’re looking to accomplish, what would you need to do in order to kind of build this out, and then working with the development team and saying, okay, here’s maybe a seat chart, how would we go about coloring each individual seat that might be taken or not taken, and being able to click on that seat and being able to have a reference to what position that seat is in, how much that seat might cost.  So there’s a multitude of different answers there, I think the best answer is taking some time to explore these two different options, third party, or building it ourselves. Like I said, the third party has advantages because someone else is managing it, but then you are paying for that. So taking that maybe three to five days worth of effort to figure out, is this something that we can do internally, is well worth it in my mind.  

Tony: Okay, yeah, definitely, and I think management of that is huge, depending on how they want to scale, if they’re adding in team members underneath that to support it in the future, or like you said, if you’re wanting to offload that into another service. 

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