Friday, September 28, 2012

Ushering in the 2012-13 Season: A New

The 2012-13 New Victory season is bigger than ever! To help you navigate every small detail, we're shining a spotlight on a few key topics. Let our staffand outside experts we've enlisted--share their insights and tips for deciding what's just right for your family.

Based on conversations with his colleagues, Blake McCarty, Media Manager, is thrilled to share some of the newfangled features and content of our digital stomping ground as the final installment in the "Ushering in the 2012-13 Season" Series.

If you’ve visited in the last few days, you'll have noticed a few changes. And while, for our patrons, the old site vanished and the new site appeared in only a matter of hours, the Digital Services department has been looking forward to–and working toward–this transition for well over a year (and we couldn’t have done it without the help of many individuals in many departments). We hope you’ll take the time to explore the site on your own, but we’re such proud new parents that we want to share some of our favorite features with you.

Lilaia, the Director of Digital Services, is most proud of the new Select Your Own Seat functionality. With this new feature, you’ll be able to see every seat that’s available for any given performance and choose precisely which seats you’ll sit in. While you can still choose “best available” and leave your seat assignment to us (and to algorithms), this tool will allow you to secure seats on your favorite level, on your preferred side of the theater, or directly on an aisle. This is a feature we’ve heard patrons ask about and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it to you.

As a parent herself, Lilaia is also very excited about the new family content we’ll be featuring on the Explore Tab for each production. We don’t want our website to only be used to purchase tickets – we want it to be an extension of your family’s experience at our theater. But we also know that time spent together as a family is precious, and ideally filled with as much fun and laughter as possible. As a result, each show’s webpage will include a short activity that you can complete as a family before or after your visit to us. Some will be crafts, some will be games and some we’re still working on– but they’ll all be created by our talented Education Department and will encourage deeper exploration of a production’s themes and art forms, and be targeted to the age group recommended for the show. For a taste of what’s to come, check out the Family Activity for Urban.

Jamie, the Senior Manager in Digital Services, can’t stop playing with the navigation of the new website. While I blame our newest toy–an iPad–for this obsession, I have to admit that toggling or swiping through show pages is rather addictive. Whether you’re on the home page or browsing productions, the arrows on the left or right will take you directly to the next show. But remember, if you’d rather browse by age recommendation rather than date, you can always head to the Shows and Events page and sort by age.

Perhaps because she worked so hard to collect, edit and create the various pages, Jamie is also quite pleased with all the new (or updated) information we have on our website. You can read about our philosophy, check out descriptions of all our different engagement activities, find coupons to other family-friendly companies, or get lots of details about the accessibility and amenities in each of our venues. But if there is something you’d like to learn about and are having trouble finding it on the new website–post a comment to this blog or send us an email, and you might have a page created in your honor!

Personally, given my title as Media Manager, it should come as no surprise that I’m tremendously psyched about the video content on our new website. Excuse me while I geek out–but you can now watch trailers for every show that are more than twice the size of their predecessors on our previous site. But that’s not all! Each company has recorded a video message just for our audiences that can be viewed on the Explore Tab of any production. We’ll also be creating new videos all season long, including how-to videos featuring teaching artists, interviews with artists from the productions, and short videos just for fun.

You can check out the Explore Tab for any production right now to quite literally explore the background of each company, including a description from our Programming Department about what makes each show special. Be on the lookout, though, because we’ll be adding content to the Explore Tab of every production–be it family activities, videos, contests or more. This brings me to my other favorite new feature: the News section of our homepage. It will be my job to consistently update this section with our latest events, announcements, blogs and additional content on show pages. Matter of fact, this blog that you’re reading right now should be featured in the News section of our homepage. How meta.

The new is live now! Check it out and let us know what you think. If you encounter a bug or want to help us improve and refine our site, please fill out this survey.

1 comment:

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