Watermans Arts

Watermans is an multi-discipline arts centre in the Brentford neighbourhood of London. They offer a wide range of creative experiences to enjoy and participate in, from live performance, cinema, installation and children’s activities. Being a non-profit, they had not had much budget to upgrade their website or branding in years and were in sore need of both to be overhauled both from a UX perspective, as the site was not responsive and too many pieces of content required too many clicks to access, as well visually as the brand was being updated.

THE CONTEXT & OBJECTIVES

For Watermans, their key objectives for this website overhaul included:
1. Make the website itself responsive as they were getting plenty of data showing increased traffic from mobile devices
2. Re-organise and optimise content structure to be more intuitive / follow best UX practice
3. Apply the new brand to the site while also bringing the overall visual look and feel more up to date
4. Ensure the site was at least AA compliant in colour usage, text readability and tags

PROJECT CHALLENGES
  1. Trying to transition the offline look and feel to online – trying to make the colour palette and text usage compliant, but still retain the overall visual tone proposed by the brand. Many of the original colour combinations, though intriguing from a visual point of view were not compliant from a colour contrast perspective for online. We ended up using those less compliant colour combos for secondary / non-crucial content while ensure all crucial content within a user journey was definitely compliant

    2. Working with the third party booking and content system. For all of their events, including shows and cinema, the majority of the content goes through a third party ticketing system that was changing and upgrading their platform at the same time as we were putting together Waterman’s site. The end result was us (at Watermans) having to constantly change user journeys and page structures weekly due to the third party vendor changes. The majority of issues any user encounters on the site has to do with this technical integration…

THE SET UP

  • My role: Experience Director / Designer (UX & Visual Design)
  • Client: Watermans 
  • Media / Platform: Responsive website 

THE OLD SITE

THE NEW SITE ARCHITECTURE

One of the biggest areas of the architecture to update as around how they categories events within the nagivation. I worked with them closely on constructing a more intuitive structure for both users and organisers. I also improved their donation flows and entry to their cart functionality. 

UX WIREFRAMES AND TESTING

The traditional wireframing process was skipped in lieu of code based prototyping. That process consisted of me working directly in conjunction with a developer to build the key pages and menus via very rough sketches from myself; too rough to be terribly decipherable to post. All refinements to the UX were picked up during the visual design phase as seen below.

As for user testing, there was no budget to do so. We did guerrilla testing with staff and some very engaged members on key flows like the events calendar, cart and donation flows, but mostly for validation of designs given time and budget constraints. 

KEY PAGE DESIGNS

Home page – Desktop view

Events listing page

Events detail page

Event calendar listing / Search & listing template

Mobile view

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Location

London, UK

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