Working with an arts centre
Mwldan is a vibrant arts centre situated in the heart of Cardigan, an old market town on the beautiful coast of west Wales. They have an audience of over 350,000 each year across cinema, theatre, conferences, classes and other performances. Plus those who have an occasional tipple at the bar or a bite to eat in their cafe.
Mwldan came to us with a website that was several years old, looking a little tired and not doing the job that it needed to do. It was also quite complicated to manage content bilingually in Welsh and English languages. Through our initial discussions we also discovered there was also an underlying problem of reducing customer telephone queries coming through the the Box Office.
However the biggest problem with the existing site was the Box Office system. We discovered that the users of the site found that it made the booking process confusing due to the website being split between mwldan.co.uk and mwldan.ticketsolve.com.
Our brief was to develop the core website bilingually to allow for easy content management and provide a handful of templates for their box office software Ticketsolve, which Mwldan uses to managed and publish production information internally and online.
It was the first time we had worked with Ticketsolve, but we were surprised by its API, allowing us to do some clever things. Like extract show data and import it periodically directly into the Mwldan site. This was great because it meant that all show information is now accessible on the Mwldan.co.uk domain, solving confusion for users, but also helping the SEO and the website’s position within search engines.
During the research phase we found that there were two key types of user, the first knew exactly what they wanted and just needed to find it. The second are those who like to browse up and coming shows. Focusing on these user groups we developed features that help them jump quickly to specific shows directly from the homepage, whilst making the rich show packed What’s On much clearer and friendly to browse.
The website has had great feedback from customers and stakeholders, helping Mwldan stand out but also making information clear allowing customers to find out the information they need quickly and easily.
Box Office Intergration
When we began working with Mwldan, they already had a strong established relationship with box office software provider Ticketsolve and rightly they wished to keep it that way.
Using the API and XML feeds provided by the Ticketsolve system, we were able to periodically import all show data and photography directly into the website allowing the day to day management of the theatre to remain unchanged, yet allowing the website to present the information in a rich format.
Since 2006 we have worked with the Drupal open source content management system. Over the years we have moved through three major versions of the CMS allowing us to gain extensive knowledge of installation, configuration and themeing platforms using Drupal.