Delivering a captivating website to drive growth and attract new audiences to four iconic venues
Bradford Theatres brings together four iconic Bradford venues: the Alhambra Theatre, St George's Hall, The Studio in the city centre and King's Hall and Winter Garden in Ilkley.
They are an integral part of the city’s cultural fabric, and we were delighted to work with them to re-design their website to deliver an experience which really celebrates this incredible cultural institution that brings live entertainment to so many.
Bradford Theatres came to us with a clear challenge. They wanted the website to capture and portray the full live entertainment experience. This includes the incredible venues, the theatre’s restaurant and in a broader sense, the concept of going to the theatre being an entire evening of entertainment, not just the show itself. They knew that to attract the younger audience they wanted, they needed the site to successfully position the venues as a desirable ‘night-out’ experience. At the same time, they were very clear that the site needed to be accessible and meet the required WCAG AA accessibility standards.
The site also needed to integrate with Spektrix, a ticketing and CRM system, to handle ticket purchases. We worked closely with Bradford Theatres to set-up test events to ensure the integration could be properly tested prior to launch. Our experience in handling Spektrix integrations proved highly valuable in configuring this effectively.
We took our design cues from the best of cinema website design to diverge from the more traditional styles and layouts of theatre websites.
Early in the project we realised that we needed to evolve Bradford Theatres’ brand to make it fit-for-purpose in terms of attracting new audiences. We conducted this work alongside the website re-design, and it enabled us to create the immersive and engaging digital experience we were looking to achieve.
We made the venues themselves a key part of the user’s journey and an exciting digital experience. This was all part of using the website to capture that feeling of going out to enjoy live entertainment, which will drive engagement and ultimately revenue.
Designed to make a user feel as though they are literally stepping inside, the venue pages use animated transitions to evoke that feeling of moving into a space and gives each venue a premium and exciting feel.
Flexible events pages
Another key element to building that sense of excitement with the design is our approach to the events pages. Our design introduced a range of new components to allow the Bradford Theatres team to make full use of the fantastic assets at their disposal. Bradford Theatres can now select a colour to theme each production, which alters all the page elements and brings them in-line with the media assets of that show.
Because different shows have different visual assets, we also developed event page templates to be able to work with a range of visual assets and therefore be flexible for the client whilst also continuing to look excellent for the user, even if high quality assets were unavailable.
Designed to drive results
To help generate additional revenue, we purposefully integrated the restaurant offering into the journey at several key touchpoints. This includes both the homepage and the checkout process, to build that sense of the theatre being the destination for a wonderful evening, and a real treat to look forward to.
We also re-designed Bradford Theatres’ membership portal to boost uptake of their membership programme, making the design much more engaging to support its growth.