Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-venue centre situated on the University of Warwick campus. It is one of the largest multi-artform venues in the UK, attracting some of the UK’s biggest talent such as Jimmy Carr and Russell Brand. Since it opened in 1974, Warwick Arts Centre has been a distinctive and special place, integral to University life, an important resource for the Arts and for audiences in the region; and a significant force in national arts networks.
Grandad was appointed to integrate their website with the Spektrix booking system and bring their new brand to life within a digital space. The project began with a deep-dive into their multiple digital audiences (including people booking a particular show, visiting school groups and patrons/donors) and their specific requirements for the website.
At the same time we got our teeth into really understanding the organisation’s needs, prioritising those which were most pressing (such as increasing revenue). These requirements were grouped into: ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘could’ and ‘would’. This simple classification process helps clearly identify priorities which can then inform site structure and content priorities.
Goal-focused navigation and intuitive filtering
With this in-depth understanding of requirements, the website structure was developed. Our earlier research allowed us to prioritise primary user goals and maximise revenue potential from the website. The primary navigation was streamlined to make it goal-focused (booking tickets) and removing any unnecessary steps in a user’s site journey.
This left us with the incredibly simple primary navigation of: ‘What’s On’, ‘Visit Us’, ‘Take Part’ and ‘Join and Support’. All other pages were moved to the site footer or deeper within the website, ensuring an efficient and focused journey for site visitors.
Meanwhile, the intuitive filtering system for finding the right event allows users to search via a number of different filters, such as event type, venue, date, price, accessibility or free search. We needed to support multi-venue/multi-artform ticketing options, but keep the user journey as simple as possible. Following feedback from Warwick's audience, Grandad's solution benefits users with a refined filtering system that enables them to search by time and date to gain a targeted view of what is happening at the multi-faceted venue.
A major part of the website overhaul was integrating with their ticketing solution, Spektrix. Not only have we fully integrated with the new website, but we leveraged all the latest web components available from Spektrix, and minimised the use of i-frames which can severely disrupt user flow. Using developments in the API we were able to leverage as much automation as possible to save the user time during the booking process (in turn, improving conversion).
Full control - for everyone
With the website up and running we ensured the Warwick Arts’ team were fully trained on how to get the most out of their website using our custom built CMS, YouCreate. This meant they could quickly and easily update live content, add new shows or publish latest news.
Accessibility is something we are passionate about at Grandad. We firmly believe that all sites should be accessible to all, and this led us to develop our own software, YouAccess. This simple and innovative tool has a wide range of features making any website instantly more accessible for users of all abilities. For example, changing font size, colours and highlighting links.
We are excited to continue optimising Warwick's website to take their online presence above and beyond the ordinary. Watch this space!