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May 13, 2016 | Melanie Chandler

Client Spotlight: Clayton Center for the Arts Website Redesign

I don’t know what it is about working with local companies, but there’s always a little extra “oomph” and personality that goes into those sites. The website redesign we did for the Clayton Center for the Arts was no exception; we were excited to work on this project not only because we have so many ties to Maryville, where the Center is located, but because our staff includes big fans of live music, theater, and dance. 

If you're not familiar with the Clayton Center for the Arts, it's a partnership between Maryville College and the Cities of Maryville and Alcoa that provides a first-class venue for the arts and culture of East Tennessee, the Appalachian region, and far beyond. At the Clayton Center, you can find perfomances ranging from the local schools' choir concerts to musicians from around the world—even vaudeville acts!

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When the Clayton Center for the Arts needed a new website, they went on a hunt for a firm that would be able to accomplish their goals. We replied to their RFP and ultimately won the bid (Go us!). Their primary business objectives for the website included increasing revenue with online ticket sales and encouraging giving by patrons. 

clayton-center-mobile.pngAbove all, they wanted their new site to be fully responsive and as mobile-friendly as possible, so people can easily find and purchase tickets to events wherever they are. Who hasn't heard about a cool show from a friend and wanted to buy tickets then and there? Their new site makes it easy.

Because Clayton Center holds performing arts events throughout the year, they wanted to feature upcoming events prominently on the home page. It was also essential that this content area be easy for them to update themselves.

To accomplish this, we designed a slider for the main "hero" section of the home page that rotates through the upcoming shows. From there, visitors can easily click to find more information or buy tickets. This creates a clear, easy navigation that works as well on mobile devices as it does on a desktop computer.

In addition to displaying featured events on the homepage, this site includes an interactive calendar. Users can search by event categories and tags, as well as choose to view the calendar in 6 different formats, making it easy to hone in on exactly what they're looking for.

Prior to this redesign, the team at the Clayton Center wasn't able to update their website content themselves, and addressing that problem was a top priority. The open-source WordPress content management system (CMS) not only gives designers and developers incredible freedom to create custom sites with nearly any funtionality, but it's also very easy for our clients to use once the site is completed, even with no prior website experience.

To make the process of updating information as simple as possible, we used WordPress to create a custom post type. For the user, adding a new event is as simple as filling out a form, and then the information is dynamically populated on the appropriate pages and content areas throughout the site.

Here at VIEO, we're passionate about client happiness, and when we can solve big problems like these for clients in our own backyard, it makes a project even more special. We're proud of the Clayton Center website redesign not only because it looks great, but because of how simple and intuitive it is both for visitors and the Center's staff to use.

If you're facing a redesign yourself, we'd be happy to take a look.

VIEO Design Free Website Assessment 

 

Melanie Chandler

Melanie Chandler

As design director, Melanie Chandler leads the design team and works with them to create consistently compelling and engaging website designs, images for digital marketing, and other visual content to communicate corporate identity and drive traffic on websites and social media.

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