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Team

Solo

Timeframe

60 hours

Role

Lead (Solo) Designer

Tools

Figma, Wix, Wix Analytics, Google Analytics, Photoshop

Increasing AvergeOrganic Traffic by 525%

Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts (BTPA) has been dedicated to showcasing African-American art and theatre since 1977. Located in a building with a rich history dating back to the early 1900s, the theatre has transitioned through various incarnations—from a vaudeville and silent film house, to a traditional cinema, and now to its current role as a vibrant performing arts venue. The theatre has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the HBCU, Lincoln University, which has enriched its programming and expanded its educational outreach.

Despite these successes, BTPA recognized the need to further grow its membership and revenue, attract new talent, and expand its reach within the community. To achieve this a comprehensive redesign of their website became essential, aiming to better serve their audience and enhance their overall digital presence. 

Project Goals
  • Revitalize the Online Presence: Redesign the BTPA website to enhance its usability and aesthetic appeal, aimed at significantly increasing site traffic and improving user engagement, thereby boosting overall visibility online.

  • Drive Membership and Revenue Growth: Utilize the redesigned website to promote and simplify the processes for membership registration and ticket purchases, with the goal of increasing both membership sign-ups and ticket sales for upcoming shows and events.

  • Expand Community and Artist Engagement: Create a more inviting and informative online platform that encourages more individuals from the community and arts sector to participate in auditions, workshops, and other theatre-related activities, fostering a larger and more active theatre ensemble.

Timeline & Schedule

01_Planning

  • Conduct a high level of existing site.

  • Define the site’s structure and what pages are needed.

  • Receive feedback from program participants.

  • Gather all necessary content like text, photos, and logos.

02_Design

  • Review precedent websites.

  • Propose brand values, color scheme, fonts, and branding.

03_Content Integration

  • Add and format the text for all pages.

  • Upload and arrange photos and other media.

04_User Testing

  • User test site on 5 participants, summarize, and synthesize key findings

05_Feedback Coordination and Updates

  • Share the site with stakeholders for feedback.

  • Make necessary revisions based on the feedback.

Problems with the Prior Site

The previous version of the BTPA website suffered from a dated design, cluttered navigation, and poor mobile responsiveness, which likely hindered user engagement and accessibility. It lacked effective calls to action and its content layout did not align with the site's target users ranging from prospective members, donors, program participants, and those wanting to attend the theatre productions. The site also needed SEO optimization and an associated Google business profile to maximize visibility. 

Overview of Prior Site

Visual Appeal: haphazard layout with a poorly organized hierarchy that impedes usability and visibility of key calls to action (CTAs)

User Interface and Navigation: navigation was cluttered and did not provide a clear path for users to find important information such as upcoming shows, ticket purchases, or workshop details easily; lacks alignment to target users' needs

Mobile Responsiveness: site had large amounts of cut off text and image when viewed on mobile

SEO: incomplete SEO with no presence on Google Maps or link to the website from the Google business profile

Branding: very inconsistent use of text styles, and no clear design patterns or color schemes

Core Updates with Revamped Site

The revamped BTPA website features a coherently branded landing page that enhances usability and directs visitors smoothly to key actions like ticket purchases and program registrations. Navigation is intuitive, ensuring that information critical to members, donors, and theatre-goers is easily accessible. 

Overview of Revamped Site

Visual Appeal: a structured and aesthetically pleasing layout that enhances the overall user experience; includes a well-defined hierarchy that improves the visibility and effectiveness of calls to action (CTAs) to easily guide users towards key interactions

User Interface and Navigation: a streamlined and intuitive navigation system, providing clear and direct pathways to essential information such as ticket purchasing, membership benefits and sign up, details about workshops; alignment with specific needs and expectations of prospective members, donors, and theatre-goers

Mobile Responsiveness: improvements in mobile responsiveness ensure that all text and images are fully visible and appropriately scaled on devices of varying sizes

SEO: optimized the website metadata, linked the site to the Google Business Profile, which significantly improved BTPA site's visibility in search results and increased organic traffic

Branding: consistent use of text styles and a cohesive color scheme that aligns with Bushfire Theatre’s branding

Process Work

The design style is inspired by the brand values transformative, inspiring, and sleek.

 

Utilizing the Sofia Pro font family, the guide details typography sizes for desktop and mobile, ensuring clarity and visual appeal across devices.

 

The color palette consists of a vibrant pink as the primary color, complemented by black and white tones, and various shades of gray serving as neutrals. This palette is consistently applied throughout the site's interface elements, including buttons and text fields, to maintain aesthetic coherence and enhance usability. Per the client's request, the revamped site uses a dark color scheme which I lightened slightly to ensure usability and also use strategically to accommodate client provided production images which range greatly in quality.

Iterations

I conducted user testing to refine the latest version of the landing page, focusing on enhancing visual appeal, improving readability, and organizing content more effectively. Here are the key updates by category:

Header

  • Shifted from a "Mission" section to an overview of the "Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts" to orient users to the theater and its programs more effectively, particularly as 4/5 users tested found the phrasing and placement of the mission text at top to be confusing. Nonetheless, 4/5 users also felt it still made sense to have some explanatory text and orientation before diving straight into shows and tickets given the theatre's broad programs and mission. This explanatory text also offers an opportunity to showcase donate and membership CTAs at the top of the fold, something the client strongly requested.

  • Transitioned from listing shows with bright pink boxes and detailed descriptions to a more streamlined "Come See Our Upcoming Shows" section that's more welcoming and has stronger visual hierarchy of elements as 3/5 users found the information could be expressed more clearly.

Main Section - Shows and Tickets

  • Transitioned from listing shows with bright pink boxes and detailed descriptions to a more streamlined "Come See Our Upcoming Shows" section. This new design features images, show titles, dates, and short descriptions, making information more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

Visual Elements and Content Layout

  • Improved visual presentation by enhancing contrast of CTAs and readability in response to 3/5 users finding the color scheme to impede usability of core tasks.

  • Organized text more logically, using consistent font sizes and styles to create a cleaner and more professional look.

  • Avoided use of pure black colors to increase accesibility.

Membership Section

  • Enhanced the membership section by adding detailed benefits such as free tickets, backstage access, and exclusive events as 2/5 users found the membership benefits to be too wordy and 

  • Shifted to a more persuasive tone, providing clear and compelling reasons to join.

01_
02_
03_Refined

Second Half of Landing Page

  • Created a more visually pleasing and user friendly 'z' pattern by swapping the cells/content for the podcast section.

  • Provided more context for the "Walk of Fame" text and redesigned the gallery to function as a slideshow as 5/5 users experienced friction and lack of clarity in this section.

  • Updated footer with secondary CTA for "Join Us Today" to create a stronger hierarchy for ease of use.

01_
02_
03_Refined

Membership Page

  • Changed "Submit Payment" text to "Go to Payment" as the payment isn't actually submitted until subsequent screens, something 1/5 users correctly noted is confusing.

  • Updated footer with secondary CTA for "Join Us Today" to create a stronger hierarchy for ease of use.

Before
After

Mobile Landing Page

  • Reduced the height of the navigation bar to better utilize screen real estate and added a menu label for increased accessibility.

  • Added a secondary CTA to increase ease of use.

  • Adjusted color scheme to make the design more user friendly in response to 3/5 users finding the color scheme to impede usability of core tasks.

Before
After
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Results

525%

Increase in average monthly organic traffic

30%

Reduction in bounce rate from 85% to 60%

30%

Estimated increase in average play attendance

Next Steps

To build on the current successes of the Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts website while addressing the less successful aspects of ticket purchasing, I plan to focus on enhancing the ticketing interface to improve usability and conversion rates.

I've also learned the value of documenting both analytics and the previous site design, which I initially struggled with. This documentation has been crucial for understanding changes in user behavior over time and assessing the impact of new design elements. By continuing to collect and analyze this data, I can make informed decisions that further refine the user experience. 

Additionally, I will continue employing ongoing analytics to track user behavior and identify any pain points or bottlenecks in the ticket purchasing journey.

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Testimonials

Scott Jackson | Testimonials

Scott consistently demonstrated diligence and a proactive approach to his work, consistently exceeding expectations. His innate curiosity drove him to consistently over-deliver on projects. A self-starter who actively sought and welcomed feedback, Scott maximised every mentoring session to its fullest potential. It's clear to see the significant growth he has achieved throughout our sessions together. Any company would be fortunate to have such a dedicated and continuously improving team member like Scott.

Filipe Fernandes, Design Engineer/Mentor for Designers

Scott was amazing to work with. He was incredibly helpful and made himself available for our many questions. I hope we have the opportunity to work together again.

Al & Susan, Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts

Scott gracefully jumped in to our whirlwind project and built us a UX demo on a startlingly fast timeline. His process forced us to answer questions we hadn't yet considered, and got us thinking about the user experience of our product in a way we just hadn't before. I would strongly recommend bringing Scott in if you've got a project that could benefit from a fresh set of eyes.

Peter Kunhardt, CEO

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