Less is more

Saffron Hall is a concert venue based in the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School. Open since 2013, their original website was in urgent need of improvements. As a charity and relatively small venue, they were keen to make their budget for those improvements stretch as far as possible.

We worked closely with the hall's staff to identify the most critical problems with the current site and devise elegant, economical solutions. We also helped them prioritise these new features according to cost and potential benefit.

The result was a completely transformed booking process that sat alongside the rest of the existing site, which still worked just fine — meaning Saffron Hall got many of the advantages of a full rebuild, but with a price tag more like the cost of routine annual maintenance.

The new What's On listings look beautiful on all devices, and slickly automate several tasks users previously struggled with
The new What's On listings look beautiful on all devices, and slickly automate several tasks users previously struggled with

Researching Saffron Hall's core user base — and redesigning the site to sell tickets specifically to them

Like many regional venues, Saffron Hall relies overwhelmingly on a core group of dedicated local supporters who attend regularly and often. The new ticketing site includes a number of features designed specifically to make their lives easier, and keep them coming back again and again.

Intelligent filters on the listings page let users simultaneously search by date, genre, and available amenities — and better yet, the page remembers your choices and how far through the programme you've looked, even if you navigate away to buy tickets for a specific event. That way, if you decide to keep browsing for something else, you can pick up right where you left off, just like flipping through a physical brochure.

Meanwhile, our automated "same seats" widget means that if you're booking multiple events at once, you don't need to fuss with a seating map every time you want to add something new to the basket; if you find a seat you like on one event, you can pick it again for any other event, with just a single click from the listings page. Our site talks to the ticketing system's API and works out the details for you.

Image showing a newly designed event listing page on the Saffron Hall website
New event pages surface the information people search for the most

Because Saffron Hall has a large classical music programme, users often decide what to buy based on the specific pieces being performed and the specific musicians performing them. So where the previous website buried this information far down the page, we put the programme info front and centre.

We also highlight at the top of the page other key information like availability and whether there are food options before the show. And unlike the previous site, we give users the option to purchase tickets with a single click, as soon as the page loads, with a "Book Now" button that then follows users down the page as they scroll.

As a result of all our improvements, we cut the average time it takes to complete a purchase by 5%. We also reduced the number of pages users had to view from an average of 25 per purchase to just 15 — all without reducing the average order value or quantity.

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