On the Boards

Project Overview

This is a case study I completed as an individual project for one of my graduate courses. On the Boards is a local nonprofit theatre in Seattle and they host various performances and events.

My goal was to improve the information architecture and content design of the website to make it easier for users to navigate through and buy tickets online.

Role: Content strategist, UX writer

March - June 2018

Project type:
Individual class project

User Persona

The subscribers are a group of people who have bought a package of tickets to performances held at On the Boards for the season. From the information provided to me, I learned that they love to spread the word about performances and events by inviting their friends and family. They also belong to many communities and groups, which is what gives this group the best advantage in achieving the goal of the redesign.

User Interviews

I interviewed a few people that matched the user groups mentioned above. I mainly asked questions about their experience buying tickets to concerts/events/performances online and the likeliness that they would share an event with their friends.

Main learnings

Content Audit

I used Ahava Leibtag's content checklist to audit 56 pages of On the Boards. I audited each page by seeing if it met the requirements for each of these metrics: Findable, Readable, Understandable, Actionable, and Shareable. 

To make this audit easy to refer back to, the three rating options I used were: "Yes, No, or Somewhat." 

Competitive Audit / Heuristic Analysis

I looked through four other websites that had a similar value proposition to On the Boards. I chose 15 heuristics to base my analysis on when I compared these sites. Here are some of my findings:                                                                
Artist biographies - featuring their past and current performances/shows, familiar words used on the site, simple, easy to navigate, professional looking, trustworthy, clear CTA

Negative: Contact links and menu were a little confusing to navigate through, users had to go to an external site to buy tickets online

Voice and Tone

To support the needs of the subscribers, the voice and tone on the site should be straightforward and friendly. They like to feel like they are part of the community so a friendly, welcoming tone will help them feel that when they are on the site. A straightforward voice helps users get straight to the information they need in order to achieve their goals of learning about performances and making reservations to special events online.

Old & Updated Site Map

By modifying the site map to emphasize special events, users will be able to easily view them and learn more about them. I simplified the menu by removing the subsections that weren't big enough to have their own separate section. The Box office section reduced to four subsections, which makes it easier for users to find and select the "Buy Tickets" link.

Before & After: Studio Suppers Page Interface Copy

My goal for these wireframes was to create a simple and minimal layout that displayed information at a glance. I wanted the page to be scannable and readable so users can get some context before clicking through to the next page.

High Fidelity Mockup


A challenge I faced with this project was choosing a section to focus the redesign on. I thought an easy way to increase online ticket sales would've been to just redesign the 'buy ticket' page, but I wanted to challenge myself by focusing on the Studio Suppers page.

With the Studio Suppers event, people need to have already purchased a ticket to the show accompanying the Supper. I soon discovered how difficult it would be to convince people to buy a ticket to a show based on this page alone. Looking back, I would like to focus on a few pages and make sure they all flow together nicely, so that once a user buys a ticket to a performance, they can head over to the Studio Suppers page next and purchase another ticket.

Final Thoughts

By implementing a new content design with a clear CTA, users will be able to learn more about performances and make reservations to special events, such as Studio Suppers. With an improved information architecture, users will be more likely to buy tickets because they will be able to navigate through the site in a more user-friendly way. I found that updating the interface copy made it much easier to scan through the text and grab the important information right away.