Shay Chu
Product Designer | Multilingual | Writer for Bootcamp, part of UX Collective

UX Writing Analysis

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's
Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

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Project

Independent Project

Role

UX Writer

Timeline

1 Day

Intro

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (hereinafter referred to as the 'Guggenheim') is a modern and contemporary art museum in New York City, and it became a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019. Domestic and international visitors go to see the Guggenheim every year.

In this case study, I shall examine its use of language, such as inclusiveness and accuracy, on its ticketing checkout page for the desktop.

This case study is based on a December 2021 Medium blog post that I had wrote, which you can read by clicking here.

Guiding Questions

  • How inclusive is the language used?

  • Is the information presented on the page accurate?

  • What can be done better?

Note

  • This project was self-initiated, and it was not commissioned or implemented by the Guggenheim Museum. As a former employee, I was not privy to the information, data, and business requirements that their employees had, so our design ideas may differ.

Guggenheim Museum's Ticketing Checkout Page on Desktop, as of 6 December 2021

UX Language Analysis

Let us look at this page one section at a time.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

Key Point № 1: Contradictory Text

At one section, it says 'All fields are required.' while the phone section says that it is 'optional'.

My Recommendations

  1. Remove the statement 'All fields are required.' at the top since the phone number section is optional.

  2. Use the heading 'PHONE NUMBER (OPTIONAL)' instead of 'PHONE (OPTIONAL)', so there is a corresponding phrasing to the heading 'EMAIL ADDRESS'. The email address section is not simply labeled as "EMAIL', so why does the phone number section simply labeled as 'PHONE'?

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

Key Point № 2: Language not Inclusive for Names

The language used for the names section is not up to the modern standards of W3C, as stated here on its website.

All not cultures follow the system of first-name, last name. For example, in Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, and Korean cultures, the family name comes before one's given name. In Burmese culture, there are no family names, so overseas Burmese tend to follow the custom of the country in which they are located,

My Recommendations

  1. Replace the heading 'FIRST NAME' with 'GIVEN NAME'.

  2. Replace the heading 'LAST NAME' with 'FAMILY NAME'.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

Key Point № 3: Inaccurate State/Province/Region Info for Countries

According to the Guggenheim's checkout page, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are states of the USA and the Northwest Territories is a Canadian province. These inaccuracies all arise from the way in which the Guggenheim labels its category 'STATE' or 'PROVINCE' depending on the country.

Compare how Amazon words its corresponding category as 'State / Province / Region', which is a lot more accurate and inclusive of different areas.

My Recommendation

  1. Replace the heading 'STATE' or 'PROVINCE' with 'STATE/PROVINCE/REGION' for all countries.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

Key Point № 4: Other Countries Included as Part of the USA

The Guggenheim's checkout page includes independent countries, such as the Marshall Islands, Palau, and others, as states of the USA. While Marshall Islands, Palau, and the USA are parties to the Compact of Free Association, the Marshall Islands and Palau are recognized as independent countries.

References

Legislature of the Marshall Islands' Website

Government of Palau's Website

USA's Department of State's Website on the Marshall Islands

USA's Department of State's Website on Palau

My Recommendation

  1. Make sure that independent countries are not included as territory of the USA.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Ticketing Checkout Page for Desktop

Key Point № 5: Language not Inclusive for Postal Code

The Guggenheim's mission, as written on its website, states that it 'engages both local and global audiences'. Since the Guggenheim caters to both local and global audiences, it can use more inclusive language for the heading 'ZIP CODE.'

The USA uses the terminology 'zip code', which is specific to it and to the Philippines, so not all international visitors may understand it, especially if their home language is not English. This is a potential point of friction for visitors who buy tickets online.

Canada, America's neighbor whose 1 of 2 official languages is English, uses the terminology 'postal code', which is more understandable to people whose home language is not English.

My Recommendation

  1. Replace the heading 'ZIP CODE' with 'POSTAL CODE'.

Summary

My Recommendations

  1. Remove the statement 'All fields are required.' at the top.

  2. Use the heading 'PHONE NUMBER (OPTIONAL)' instead of 'PHONE (OPTIONAL)'.

  3. Replace the heading 'FIRST NAME' with 'GIVEN NAME'.

  4. Replace the heading 'LAST NAME' with 'FAMILY NAME'.

  5. Replace the heading 'STATE' or 'PROVINCE' with 'STATE/PROVINCE/REGION' for all countries.

  6. Make sure that independent countries are not included as territory of the USA.

  7. Replace the heading 'ZIP CODE' with 'POSTAL CODE'.

I make certain recommendations, such as replacing the zip code heading with postal code, because the Guggenheim caters to both domestic and international visitors. If it caters exclusively to domestic visitors, then I would not make certain suggestions at all. It is important to know your audience.

Future Consideration

  1. I want to find out why does the Guggenheim use all capital letters for its headings on its checkout page. Is it a part of its design language? This is not a norm for design languages like Google's Material Design, which recommends all capital letters for only buttons or page labeling.

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