Discover how focusing on the user experience enabled The Grand Theatre to increase ticket sales, visits and email subscriptions.
About The Grand Theatre Blackpool
Blackpool Grand is one of Britain's premier heritage theatres. The Grade II* Listed Matcham theatre is in the top 8% of all listed buildings in England.
Reopened in 1981 after volunteers saved it from demolition, the theatre presents a full range of every performing artform.
Background to the development
When our new Chief Executive, Ruth Eastwood, started at The Grand she prompted a review of our marketing materials. She asked us what we wanted to do with the next brochure. We said we wanted it to be clean with more white space so it was easier for people to read. We changed the design and the reaction was fantastic.
We wanted to apply the same clean, accessible and user-friendly principles to the website. By putting our audiences' needs first, we hoped to improve the user experience and increase engagement and ticket sales as a result.
Looking for inspiration
We began by looking at theatre industry websites. We looked at 80 - 100 theatres. We found there was often too much information and the visuals suffered as a result.
We wanted to strip it right back and use strong visuals to represent the visual nature of our industry.
Selecting a company
We contacted companies we were interested in working with and invited them to tender. We asked them to look at our new brochure and respond to it. We wanted to find a company that understood what we were trying to achieve.
We invited three companies to pitch with homepage and showpage designs and selected Soap Media.
Soap Media tip: 'Take time out of the office to focus and generate ideas.'
We spent a day in a treehouse creating personas and thinking about who uses the website. It was an important process to define the audience for the site and to focus on their needs.
The key question that we discussed informed the entire project:
When your audience come to your website, what do they want to see?
Download the case study to read more:
The Grand web development increases visits and donations (PDF)