Founded in 1933, San Francisco Ballet is the oldest professional ballet company in America. Led by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet operates one of the country’s most prestigious schools of ballet, accompanied by its world-renowned orchestra.
The new online experience engages its audience through multiple touchpoints with the intention to clarify the company’s story, provide inspiration through dance, and attract a broader audience through education. It gives audiences the freedom to explore and appreciate ballet through multiple lenses, while extending the same elegance you would find in a performance to some of the more operational tasks such as ticket purchase or donation.
Large arts organizations like San Francisco Ballet often run into challenges many large companies face: diverse priorities and siloed teams, which can result in the misalignment of the benefits of an online experience. A large part of the success in this project was empowering the organization to work more collaboratively and efficiently, helping them understand that the new website serves as a tool for all of the teams across the organization.
Education and storytelling served as the primary drivers, laying the groundwork for the project, couched in the “changing season” as the overarching design theme. Due to Ballet’s repertory, off, and holiday seasons, Method approached the design to flexibly adapt to the features of each distinct time period. The navigation stems from the content of each page instead of an actual navigational dropdown menu, enabling related content to live within the pages, while providing quick access to other sections within the site.
The site launched September 21st, 2016.
Increase in mobile traffic in the first six weeks
Overall conversion rate (purchase) 420% on mobile in six weeks
Overall conversion rate up 29% on all devices
Our work for the San Francisco Ballet exemplifies how to solve the problems associated with long-standing institutions eager to modernize. Interaction with patrons and attendees has changed, and therefore forms of engagement must change. Digital platforms make it easier to create and sustain relationships with varying audiences.
Have conversations early
Empowering any organization to work more collaboratively and efficiently as part of the design process helps them understand that any new digital product serves as a tool for teams organization wide. We bridged the gap for the multiple teams at the San Francisco Ballet between design theory and reality.