What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice Belt

Never let reality get in the way of a perfectly good theory.

- Bill Jetzer

Big Ideas

So I’m keeping my three posts a month schedule for April. That’s probably a good number of posts in a given month, right? Once every week or so. Well, that’s what I’ll be aiming for.

Big idea ay? Yup, at least I think so. I mentioned my last pet project (Mad’s To Do) but it has been slow on getting that going. This new big idea is different, you ask… well not really. In fact if all goes well, I would like to see everything done for this new project done again for Mad’s To Do except on a much greater scale.

Without stalling any further, I would like to introduce http://madstheatre.com! I have gathered feedback from all sorts of actors and directors associated with the One Acts that I’m in and it appears that the already existing resource is insufficient, hard to use, and (in my opinion) ugly. So I built a brand new website to serve as that resource.

My goal is to provide a single, easy to use, well designed, comprehensive and current website for all things theatre. Ideally, it would be great if this could turn into the “wikipedia” of Madison theatre.

So let’s talk UX. There are three major User Goals and two major User Profiles that are looking for this type of information.

User Goals and associated User Profile

1) Finding what is performing around Madison – The Performance Attendee

There are sooo many performances that go on in Madison. So many. Now how does one find out about these? Posters, Radio, the Theatre Companies Website are all reasonable sources. But what is the reach of these three mediums of communication? The first two are unsought sources and have to be well timed and coincidental. The third has to be sought and it is likely that this person already has theatre attendance in mind with that specific theatre co.

Now what happens to someone who may want to go to a show on any given weekend that hasn’t seen or heard of what’s going on? They’ll do a google search and may/may not find something. All the theatre co’s websites are different and not terrific so going into several and finding what’s playing is not ideal. What if there is something that they would love to see but the theatre co’s website isn’t updated or has terrible SEO? It’s a missed opportunity.

Assuming my SEO skills are up to snuff, they should find Mads Theatre and get EVERYTHING. Not only that, it’s in a simple, easy to use, single format. The can browse them all, get information on the cast and director, the theatre co producing, etc…

2) What auditions are there around? – The Actor

This one is fairly self explanatory. There is a resource but the general consensus is that it’s not terrific. So the need remains unfulfilled.

3) What’s goin’ on around the Madison Theatre scene? – The Actor and Performance Attendee

This goes back to the #1 User Goal except in terms of News instead of Performances.

How does one satisfy those three things? The Main navigation are News, Performances and Auditions and they are prominent on the homepage with a lot of above the fold presence.

Of course there are many many less important User Goals and Profiles… Submitting info, researching venues, Theatre Producers, Directors, etc… that will be accommodated in their own way through Mad’s Theatre, but success hinges in the big three (News, Performances, Auditions).

Now I mentioned that this is related to Mad’s To Do. Ideally, I could very much hijack the entire design and make it Mad’s To Do. I believe it my design is easy, appealing, attractive, simple, etc… so I why wouldn’t I want to recycle it?

All in due time :)