Donmar Warehouse put out a tender in 2016, looking for a UX design and web partner who could translate their unique brand identity into the online space, whilst creating a seamless ticket buying experience for customers across devices. They wanted to speak to their loyal customers, enhancing the experience offered to them online, but also to entice new custom and encourage key conversions (ticket sales and donations). Praised by their Artistic Director as "a thing of beauty and efficiency, two things that rarely meet except in truly great design", the website has far exceeded expectations.


INCREASE in page views


TICKETS online since launch


DROP in bounce rate

Donmar website by After Digital

First opening its doors back in 1977 in Covent Garden, the stunning non-profit theatre company Donmar Warehouse has a rich and internationally acclaimed history, boasting some of the biggest names from film and stage as its Artistic Directors over the years, including Sam Mendes, Michael Grandage and now Josie Rourke. Its reputation makes it a key player on the global stage - ‘the world looks to the Donmar’. And so, we were over the moon when the Donmar looked to After Digital to take them to the next level online.

Donmar website by After Digital

Revolutionise the online ticketing experience

Our challenge was to reinvent the commonly poor user experience that is online ticket purchases, particularly on mobile, meanwhile presenting the Donmar to the world in all its glory. Integration with Tessitura CRM needed to be seamless, offering increased administrative control and the ability to respond to data insights to increase productivity and better serve audiences. This would also bring the purchase path completely into the Donmar website, rather than presenting a fractured journey (as previously in place).

Inspired by high-end retail websites, the primary user journey was ticket purchases, enabling those looking to buy the simplest, most intuitive and personalised experience.

We ran workshops with Donmar stakeholders to identify user personas. These informed numerous user scenarios, which were extrapolated into user journeys. Over 40 wireframes were created to test usability and provide a clear blueprint for the new design. From these interactive prototypes were presented, which could be usability tested and rapidly refined.

In addition to API integration with Tessitura, our team worked to establish complex membership logic that increased the website’s functionality and ability to personalise journeys.

Donmar wireframes by After Digital

“Amazing work from the team. It is a thing of beauty and efficiency, two things that rarely meet except in truly great design.”

- Josie Rourke, Artistic Director, Donmar Warehouse

Donmar online ticketing by After Digital Donmar Warehouse website by After Digital

An award-winning user experience

The output is a website that is both stunning and practical, evidenced by client and user feedback and sell-out performances since launch, as well as the website scooping a coveted Big Chip Award for Best User Experience Design 2017 and Website & App: Craft at the BIMA Awards 2018.

The new website offers the user and the client far greater control and flexibility. This has produced efficiencies for the administration of the website but has also proven effective at driving sales - with sell-out performances of tickets online since launch. What's more, the website has supported a dramatic increase in new member sign-ups, thanks to new functionality offering online membership purchase and user experiences designed to cross-serve relevant content to these customers. Both of these are the lifeblood of the Donmar, supporting the theatre’s ongoing success.

“HUGE CONGRATULATIONS and many thanks for all your work on the Donmar website. I hugely appreciate all the time and effort you have put into it throughout the project, but particularly in these last few weeks so that we could hit the go-live deadline with a site that feels really polished. An amazing result from all the team.

The site is looking amazing, and we’re getting lots of good feedback on both the design and also the ease of user journey for the checkout process.”

- Alison Atkinson, Digital Project Manager, Donmar Warehouse

The Donmar has reported positive feedback from numerous members and customers, who are now better able to achieve their online goals and self-serve the content they need, when they need it.

Donmar Warehouse UX by After Digital

A partnership focused on long-term success

The focus on establishing a spectacular user experience did not stop at go live though. We continue working with the Donmar to constantly iterate and improve based on data and user tracking, with new site features due to launch in the coming months.

“One of the main tangible achievements is the significant number of new members that we have gained through having online membership purchase. This is very exciting! And, we’re beginning to move our existing members into online renewals, which should significantly reduce administration time.”

- Alison Atkinson, Digital Project Manager, Donmar Warehouse

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