The first thought that came into my head when I visited the Progress Theatre’s website, is they do not do themselves justice. Progress Theatre is very well established in Berkshire; Sir Kenneth Branagh is their patron and the range of their productions is fascinating. However, their website lets them down:
- The colour scheme, photographs and text lay out is dull. There is a very limited creative input.
- They have a side panel directing you to helpful links on the right, but it is overcrowded and presented in black and white.
- You have to search through the website to find out about Sir Kenneth Branagh’s involvement, which seems silly. His involvement is impressive and Progress ought to advertise this link better, to their advantage.
- The website is also missing a ‘Your Visit’ page. As a local theatre company, it would be very helpful for customers to be directed towards The Riverside or local restaurants in Reading.
The basic function of this section is to tell the customer about their history, core values and objectives. The website is informative on these issues, but it is not presented in a way which entices you to read it, which is a shame because their history and objectives are interesting. This is because the website is very text heavy and the only photograph used is a particularly dull image of the theatre door.
Although the booking page has the same presentation issues, it is a useful page. The information provided is succinct and all the contact details needed are available. It is a shame there seems to be no option to book online, but perhaps that is a logistic or budgeting issue. There is however, a very helpful average ticket price table, which is useful if you are just making an enquiry, or for example if you are budgeting for a big group.
Once again this page is very useful, but there is no visual enticement to read it. They explain the benefits of becoming a member, and how that can lead to an involvement in the productions. The price is clear and there are contact details.
Twitter & Facebook
There is a link in the top right hand corner of the website directing you to the Twitter which is useful. Progress Theatre have got the tone right on their page- it’s professional yet personal and gives their followers an insight into behind the scenes information. Although the cover photo and profile picture are not overly vibrant, they work well on the twitter and continue the website theme. However it would be good to see less linear images.
The Facebook page is of a similar standard, helpful, informative and with an inviting tone. Like the Twitter it is also updated regularly.
Strengths: An informative website and the basic information for a theatre goer is easy to find.
Weaknesses: The colour scheme and photographs are too basic, suggesting the content is dull. They also do not use their patronage to their advantage much as they should. There is also no ‘Your Visit Section’ which would be helpful for a customer.
Opportunities: They should revamp the website, adding colour and new photographs. They could also write a blog about their relationship with their patron with a link to the website.
Threat: Visiting a dull website can turn away potential customers and members.