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 terri@whatsonstage.com. 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.