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Towngate Theatre

Website and Spektrix box office integration

The Towngate Theatre website was our first design for a theatre site, the project being prompted by the theatre’s imminent migration to Spektrix. This was also the first time we’d integrated any box office system, and we were redesigning the website with a completely new look and feel, so we had lots to do in the four months before the switchover.

The site combines our custom interface interventions employing the Spektrix API for the what’s on pages, show pages and calendars with comprehensively styled Spektrix iFrames for the booking process.

We developed the DOT Spektrix WordPress plugin for the API calls. The plugin meant we could deliver a highly usable customer front end for Spektrix within the four month deadline and at a very competitive budget.

What's on listings call the Spektrix API for all the show information including categories, performance dates, times and prices.

Easy publishing

The Towngate has two auditoria and a high turnover of shows, many of them with just one performance. 

The content team is small and exceptionally busy, so we designed a simple workflow to help editors produce show pages in the shortest time. Shows can be based on exemplar templates, or cloned from similar shows and quickly linked with the right show in Spektrix.

 

The show page includes a mini booking calendar calling the Spektrix API. Specials like Q&A SESSION and access indicators are displayed directly with each performance.

Theatre branding for the 1980s venue wasn’t in the design remit, but we’ve moved away from the harsh legacy green and taken Towngate towards a more modern feel.

Fresh and friendly

Language and choice of typography is friendly and accessible, the colour palette is like a packet of sweets (in a non-rustling packet).

As always with a receiving theatre the quality of images provided to the theatre for visiting productions is very variable. There may be no production shots, there may only be poster graphics full of type that’s hard to read at small sizes and difficult to crop for hero images. Our guide for editors includes image production guides that help make the most of what they have to work with.

The legacy site bogged the user down with dowdy language and forced shows into an unresponsive display straightjacket.
Show pages are designed to make the essential information and booking links really prominent, and to accommodate every kind of media supplied.