Salvage Vanguard Theatre

Salvage Vanguard Theater based in Austin TX, is a nonprofit organization that provides accessible, affordable, artistic exchange between a diverse, inclusive community of artists and audiences through high quality experiences that foster experimentation and generate conversation.

Salvage Vanguard Theater Redesign

 January 2019, Austin TX

Salvage Vanguard Theater (SVT), a nonprofit organization based in Austin TX, recently celebrated 25 years of creating transformative live performances.

The goal of the redesign:

The goal of the redesign was to showcase SVT’s work while giving users access to the time sensitive information. Keeping the navigation clean and focused on imagery was of high importance. The previous SVT site had little in ways of performance images. We wanted to draw the user in with the unusual photographs and the unique content. SVT performances are something to behold, and we wanted the user to understand that to watch a SVT show is to be a part of something special.

The Challenge:

  1. I had to use the previous “Create/Collaborate/Advocate” messaging. From a content perspective I felt that these were vague, as typical user would not understand what they would see when they would click one of these options, so they would simply not click. I decided to keep these three as TILES on the homepage and included the secondary messaging so that the user would know what to expect. I did not include them in the main navigation. I did this because we wanted the main navigation to serve the tasks of the website (more on that below) and for there to be little distraction for the user. The tiles were used to draw a connection between similar images on alternative platforms (in this case Instagram Story Covers and Amazon Kindle book titles: big, simple text with very little secondary messaging, if any). If a user had been on their phone (as many SVT users who arrived via social media were) the images would appear as an Instagram feed, something intuitive and familiar. We did that in hopes that they would would continue to scroll until they viewed the entire page, taking in recent shows and a secondary change to donate. They did not need to explore these tasks, but I wanted to know that they were they when they were ready.

  2. The Archive: There were over 70 pages of show details from the past 10 years. Organizing them in a meaningful and visually interesting way while also cutting down copy and irrelevant info was complicated but very do-able. I created I grid system and chose photos

  3. Limitations Within Squarespace: We need to meet the user where they’re at - and SVT needed something they could use with little effort. They had been utilizing Squarespace and enjoyed the platform, so we agreed to continue their relationship.

Creating Wireframes Based on Data: A Task Oriented Experience

By analyzing the most visited pages with Google Analytics, I was able to map out the typical user workflow and decided to create a task oriented experience for SVT users. I found that users usually navigated to tickets upon landing on the homepage, while others viewed the calendar (Where previous shows were listed). Users more often that not viewed the tickets, but we still had to take those who wanted to explore into consideration.

SVT wanted their users to have a better experience and to be able to get tickets, view the calendar and upcoming events, and to donate. These tasks were in line with SVT’s data, so I decided to build our wireframes around the idea that users arrived on our site and did one of two things:

1 - the user would arrive at the site generally curious about SVT and their work, leading them to explore pages

2- the user would arrive at the site with the explicit intent to view the calendar, purchase a ticket or donate.

I wanted the user who knew where to go (tickets, calendar, donate) to be able to get there within seconds. The critical path for a user is clear and the information is contained, natural and logical. The site is free from excessive animations and graphics, as I relied on the unique imagery of SVT’s performances to keep the user visually interested.