|By Terri Paddock|
Boss Blog: ETA for New-Look Whatsonstage.com = March 2012
Date: 26 September 2011
In May, I asked readers the question “Are You Part of Whatsonstage.com’s Future?” and invited you to get involved in all manner of areas of the business. I was greatly heartened by the response – and am still following up on various opportunities that arose from that rallying call.
Now I’m asking a slightly different question: “What do you want the future Whatsonstage.com to look like?”. After the 2012 Awards campaign, we’ll be officially celebrating our 15th birthday, and we’re using that opportunity to give ourselves and you a major birthday present – a brand new website, which is due to go live in March 2012.
The aim with the new-look Whatsonstage.com is that it best represents the aim of our business, which is to be synonymous with theatregoing in the UK – and therefore to best meet the needs and desires of the full spectrum of audience members, from the casual night-outer to the most knowledgeable “power” consumer of the art. Though theatre is always going to be a niche interest, you don’t need me to tell you, that’s still a pretty broad niche – and we will endeavour to make the user experience top-notch for you, wherever you fall on the theatregoing spectrum.
We’ve appointed a consultant Chief Technology Officer to lead this major redevelopment project. And, internally, we held a project kick-off meeting earlier this month – everyone on the Whatsonstage.com team is now raring to go, with to-do lists coming out their ears.
And, we’d love for you to get involved too – as much or as little as you’d like to. First and foremost, just tell us what you want! The umbrella query is, as I’ve already said, “What do you want the future Whatsonstage.com to look like?”. But, drilling down, we’d also love to you think about:
- What are the top three reasons you currently visit the website?
- Which pages on the website do you have bookmarked?
- Are there specific features you’d like to see incorporated in future?
- How often do you currently visit the site? What, if anything, would entice you to visit more often and/or stay longer?
- Which other culture websites do you regularly use? Which other websites do you like the look-and-feel of?
- Anything else you want us to bear in mind?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE AND ANY OTHER THOUGHTS VIA THE USER COMMENTS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. Alternatively, you can email feedback to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a spare ten minutes, we’re also looking for a handful of volunteers to take part in a telephone survey with one of the team here – if you’re up for that, just include your telephone number in the email and let us know good times to call you.
Finally, if you have web design and development skills and want to get really stuck in, please do give us a shout. With your help, we may be able to get there even faster! Email us with details of your experience – including any programming languages and software packages you’ve mastered – and thoughts on how you might be able to contribute.
- by Terri Paddock
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
|Become more of a website about theatre news and less about selling tickets. I realise you need to support the site with other revenues but sometimes it gets a bit too much! Look at Broadway - they have Broadway World and Playbill (more so) which publishes content all day and has a much smaller amount of the homepage for ticketing. That said, you do a hell of better job then The Stage website (supposedly our 'industry publication') at publishing news stories. - Bob||03 Oct 11|
|Although I live in Johannesburg,South Africa,I make fairly extensive use of your site to keep up to date with theatre in the UK.We visit fairly often.Too often photographs appear with the same people on them,it take valuable time to sift through all.Although appreciated,there is just too much info to try and digest.Keep up the good work. - WillyJozie||02 Oct 11|
|To improve the site the home page needs to be decluttered as it is a mess. Have separate news and review sections.Throughout the site things should be tidied up as elements seem to drift into each other.
It would be nice to create an exclusive section for the Whatsonstage Theatre Club which only members can access. Include photo galleries and reviews of outings and have a dedicated club forum so members can discuss events or arrange to meet at the venues and to create a real "club" feel. - Darren||28 Sep 11|
|I link directly to the forum and rarely visit the main site. Get the weekly email and may open up to the main page if there is anything that catches my eye. It always appears incredibly cluttered. - MrsDoyle||28 Sep 11|
|I visit to find out what deals are on offer. I love the theatre and live in Portsmouth so to travel up to London means I need to find really good deals. - lynne collinson||27 Sep 11|
|Oh and, to add to the above, regarding the forum a few of us have long been asking for a general non-theatre area where we can discuss books, food, films, and anything at all, similar to other forums. Thanks. - Sycamore Flint||27 Sep 11|
|What are the top three reasons you currently visit the website?
- To use the forum, to use the forum, and to use the forum.
How often do you currently visit the site? What, if anything, would entice you to visit more often and/or stay longer?
- I never visit the main WOS site, only the forum. A cleaner more sparse site might make me happy to regularly visit. Even just using this blog page isn't very pleasant due to it being so cluttered, and I don't just mean the adverts.
Which other culture websites do you regularly use? Which other websites do you like the look-and-feel of?
londontheatre.co.uk which I tend to use pretty much exclusively for theatre news. - Sycamore Flint||26 Sep 11|
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