Mercury Theatre

Delivering a fresh WordPress site brought Mercury Theatre’s new branding to life. Complete with full Spektrix integration and AA accessibility, it set them up perfectly for future growth.

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About Mercury Theatre

Staging incredible productions for the last 50 years, Mercury Theatre is home to some of Colchester’s most talented producers and performers. The theatre has been a social and cultural community hub for decades and is currently going through a full renovation with a grand reopening planned for Spring 2021.

The brief

Mercury Theatre had just undergone a full rebrand and needed a new website to match. One that was easier to manage for the theatre’s marketing team, and easier to use for the theatre’s many stakeholders and visitors.

They were looking for a website that was built to AA accessibility standards to make their site accessible to a disabled audience (and to meet rising industry requirements), and that served them well from a technical SEO standpoint.

They also needed to transfer their full historical archive of shows and blogs as well as integrate their existing Spektrix ticketing system into the new site for a smooth transition.

Improving user experience and accessibility

As excellent accessibility was a fundamental part of this web project, we ensured all our design and development elements conformed to AA standards. From the ground up, this website was crafted with accessibility and an easy user journey in mind. We restructured the sitemap, organised all pages with an accessible system of H tags, ensured all images had useful and descriptive alt tags, and that all forms were labelled clearly.

In translating their brand colours to an accessible digital space, our designers subtly adjusted a carefully selected combination of colours to guarantee they pass AA standards. We also opted for a bold and clear style with simple signposts and CTAs (functional on both mobile and desktop) that would complement the creativity of the theatre as well as provide a straightforward and logical user journey accessible to all.

With Mercury’s cooperation, we completed extensive user testing to make sure the site we built was fully navigable with keyboard and screen readers.

Full Spektrix integration

Like many of the theatre projects we’ve been a part of, Mercury was already using Spektrix so needed this fully integrating into their new site without any loss of service. WordPress integrations is a specialism of ours at Splitpixel, so we were easily able to accommodate this.

We designed a feed which automatically pulled shows into their new site from Spektrix, which will allow the Mercury team to add rich and dynamic content through their CMS. The site also accommodates for all the merchandise, memberships, donations and mailing list subscriptions handled by Spektrix – we didn’t say full integration for nothing!

Futureproof WordPress development

We wanted to ensure the Mercury team were set up for the long haul with a futureproof site they could easily update with new features and designs – without having to totally redo their entire site. So, we set them up with a fully flexible, modular WordPress site that can keep up with them as they grow and change over the years. With exciting new productions to showcase and a grand reopening to launch, they’ve got a lot of exciting things to come. Now they have a website to show it all off in the best way possible!

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