Creating A New Digital Experience

Located in the heart of the Surrey Hills is Watts Gallery an Artists' Village, holding a unique collection of late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings in the small rural village of Compton. The estate includes the historic gallery, home to a permanent display of over 60 paintings and a collection of sculpture.

First opened to the public in 1904 it remains the only gallery in the UK purpose built to hold the work of professional artist George Frederic Watts. Ultimately, the brief was to create an award-winning and beautifully designed website to encourage people to visit Watts Gallery.

The Challenge

The website was rapidly becoming outdated, the infrastructure was limited and missing vital components to allow Watts Gallery to update the site. It did not reflect the values or true nature of the Watts Gallery Artists' Village visitor experience. As the popularity of Watts Gallery grew the website had not kept up, the overall navigation had become disjointed and complicated with a lack of overall brand and image cohesion.

The Solution

Understanding the demographics of who would be using the website was our first challenge, through a series of workshops with internal and external stakeholders we were able to formulate, digital personas along with user stories and ultimately deliver a functional specification document that ticked all the boxes.

As part of the new site we presented a revolutionary new experience which included an interactive "Collections" area that had the intention of offering a similar experience to walking through the gallery. A more intuitive way of viewing the latest events as well as embracing more of the actual art gallery to create a more seamless experience between Watts Gallery and the website.

Benefiting from the new Django Inline Editing CMS, Watts Gallery had a fully responsive and Content Managed website (CMS). Due to the size of the Watts Gallery team we created a multi-tiered permission structure so the right departments could manage their own content.

The Results

These were generated by comparing Jun 1st 2014 - Aug 31st 2014 to Jun 1st 2015 - Aug 31st 2015:

Sessions – 41% Increase

Visitors - 33% Increase