The Carolina Performing Arts website had not been redesigned for many years and the codebase itself was over seven years old, so a series of needs arose that had to be dealt with to improve the current online experience for their users. Plank also wanted to give the team full control over their site updates making it a more pleasant and easy experience to launch their season every year.
Making It Work
Plank was tasked to help with a move to TNEW v7 to replace the current outdated Tessitura ticketing API which was being phased out. We also upgraded the site to the latest version of WordPress as well as performing an overall audit of the site content and structure – this was to check the functionality, clean up unnecessary content and ensure that everything was behaving as expected. The intention was to use the original site code and design assets and update everything alongside it.
Flexibility Is Key
Although not originally in the scope, when the pandemic hit and moved the goalposts, we had to make sure the new way of doing things could also be reflected in the site – all of this alongside a modernized user experience that worked effortlessly on both desktop and mobile.
After our initial audit, we concluded it would be more beneficial to start with a fresh codebase rather than building on the previous WordPress install, but we were able to migrate a significant portion of the previous content to the new site.
Agile was the perfect methodology for this site rethink. This meant we could design and work with the client in an iterative way, evaluating needs as the project evolved.
A Future in Digital
With the temporary switch to purely digital content, Plank made sure that as many pieces of the website as possible were easy to adjust by the Carolina Performing Arts team. For example, the button names and actions can be changed by their internal team to reflect their current needs – switching from a “buy tickets” model that links to a ticketing site to a “subscribe” or “sign up” model that could link to an internal or external streaming page.
Making an Impact
With the appointment of a new Executive Director imminent in 2021, the new Carolina Performing Arts website can now easily be adjusted to fit whatever new vision the team wants to portray without any interruption to the live site. Be it virtual or in-person, the show must – and will – go on!