Donmar Warehouse.

A new website for one of London's most prestigious theatres.

Sector

Entertainment

Project type

Website

Donmar Warehouse is one of London’s most prestigious theatres. It has won numerous awards within its industry with plays featuring top West End stars and directed by equally big names. It’s one the hottest tickets in town.

Looking forward, not back.

Initially, the brief was to create an archive of all Donmar’s past plays. But it became clear that their online experience needed to be less of a history book, and more a living, practical website that looked ahead to current and future productions. So we turned our attention to the main website, and to making it great.

Donmar were keen to engage more with the public to widen their audience – especially with younger people. We wanted to improve ways of interacting with the site, through social media and through mobile. Donmar Warehouse was about to get a digital makeover.

Stunning snapshots.

A key goal throughout the project was to showcase impressive photography on the site. We made it an integral part of the page designs and included galleries of beautiful shots for each of the shows. Showing visitors exactly what to expect within the theatre on their devices.

Knowing that the changes made could transform things, we brought in an external tester to give the new Sitecore site a workout. Throwing everything at it in load tests to ensure that the new rich-media pages would hold up under the volumes of traffic we’d be generating.

Front row seats for a wider audience.

Some weeks after launch, we added an extra feature to the site to help people get their sought-after seats. Introducing Barclays Front Row. Every Monday morning, front row tickets are released for a play two weeks ahead at a special price of £10 a ticket. And it’s proved extremely popular.

Every week tickets sell out within minutes of going on sale, with a ticker counting down to the start of the sale each week building up huge anticipation. Our site, with the Barclays Front Row section, has made Donmar more accessible to a younger audience - and the public in general. Social traffic has increased by 186% as a result.

Results on the move.

The site is cloud-hosted on Microsoft Azure and is both fast and stable. For Barclays Front Row, we scaled up the hosting architecture so it could cope with changes from two to a thousand concurrent users in the space of just a few minutes.

Our responsive design means the site now offers an enhanced experience on mobiles and tablets as well as on desktop. Mobile visits have increased 62%, which is a clear sign of this improvement. Further, a 30% increase in mobile usage along with a 40% reduction in mobile bounce rate shows that people are staying around for longer. Bringing Donmar Warehouse plays and shows to more and more people in London, and beyond.

Website traffic

+38%

Social media referral traffic

+186%

Bounce rate

-40%

Products and services used

    Skills

    User experience

    Wireframing

    Design

    Creative direction

    Visual design

    Development

    Interaction development

    Sitecore