A few weeks back I sung the praises of MLB.com's Gameday app. It is a wonderfully designed application that gives me everything I need. No major complaints. When I decided that I wanted to buy tickets for a Mets game through their website, I ran into problems. I should note that these problems had nothing to do with the look and the feel of the site, but with the general usability of the functionality.* In the spirit of 37 Signals' Design Not Found, I will dissect the problem.

I open up the window to purchase tickets and select the $14 Loge Reserved Back Rows and click submit. The name is horrible, but that's not the problem. I receive an error stating that I must select at least one ticket (fig. 1). I notice that there was a box to enter in the number of tickets and it is set to zero (fig. 2). It would make much more sense to set this to one and then allow people to change that number. Based on the next step I could understand starting with zero, but after I receive the error it should automatically be set to one (or even two, since this is most likely the most popular amount).

MLB Ticketing: Initial Error Message
fig. 1

MLB Ticketing: Number of Seats
fig. 2

I enter in "2" and reselect the $14 option. At this point I am offered two different pairs of tickets. I like having options, but not these. The price level I selected was sold out (fig. 3), so they gave me two seats in either the $48 or $36 section (fig. 4). This seems to make absolutely no sense to me. It is one thing if these are the only remaining seats, but I tried again with the $9 price level and found two seats. If your price range is sold out, they should offer one level up and one level down because I'm not ready to spend an additional $34, especially since I'm a Cubs fan.

MLB Ticketing: Sold Out Error Message
fig. 3

MLB Ticketing: Tickets Available
fig. 4

I haven't finished the entire process yet, but I will tell you what was good. Everything was easy to find as the layout was excellent. I especially liked the seating chart (fig. 5) as well as the two ticket options. For my $9 seats I was offered one pair of tickets near the first base line and one on the other side. This is an awesome feature. I also includedthe entire window so you can get the big picture (fig. 6).

MLB Ticketing: Seating Chart
fig. 5

MLB Ticketing: Full Window
fig. 6

These two problems won't stop me from buying tickets online all together, but I will not hesitate to pick up my phone and call if I keep getting offered the best possible tickets when I ask for the second cheapest.

*I totally sound like Jesse Jackson there.