Case study - The Royal Ballet School

Royal Ballet School logo

At the end of last year we launched a new website for
The Royal Ballet School.

This represented a huge change for them in terms of how they came across to visitors online, as well as the way they managed their own website.

Their previous website was out of date and hard to manage – it didn’t reflect the values, heritage and style of the Ballet School as it is today.

With our help, The Royal Ballet School now have a fresh, vibrant and engaging website that they can build upon every day.

Take a look for yourself – www.royalballetschool.org.uk

Royal Ballet School website shown on a desktop, tablet and smartphone

“Tonicbox helped us to plan and execute a complete redevelopment of our website and they continue to maintain and develop the site today. They have been a pleasure to work with – they have that rare gift of a highly creative team, matched with technical expertise which has resulted for us in a beautiful site that is also practical and easy to use, for both the user and the administrator. Tonicbox are full of ideas, easy to work with, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

 

Annalise Cunild, Marketing & Communications, The Royal Ballet School

How we did it

Planning the Royal Ballet School website

Careful planning

The first steps we took was to spend plenty of time talking about the current website and its faults, the Ballet School and how it wanted to present itself and finally the people that would be using it.

We created a number of hand-drawn and digital wire frames, potential site maps and connections between different areas of content.

We looked at what the content would be, how it should appear on screen, and how the user could interact with it. This was very useful for building the content management system (CMS), as it was clear from early on that they’d need a lot of flexibility in the way the

We spent many hours going through these with the team at the Royal Ballet School. Finally we had a set of plans that we could use to design an build the website.

Creative design and production

Making sure the website looked great and worked well was a given, but it was also important to understand the fact that the audience would be broad and varied.

So who would visit the new Royal Ballet School website? Here’s the main target audience:

  • Existing and aspiring students
  • Parents of existing and aspiring students
  • Friends of the School
  • Supporters and benefactors

With this wide-range of potential viewers, we had to make sure that the site was accessible and visually appealing to all.

Responsive design

Responsive design for desktop, tablet and smartphoneAs the old website didn’t render well on mobile devices, one of the first things we looked at was responsive design.

The new design was created with responsiveness in mind, so the website naturally looked great even when it was viewed on the small screens of smartphones and mini tablets.

The admin system was built to be mobile-friendly too. If a page used a slider with multiple images, this could be replaced by a single, optimised image when viewed on a smartphone. This saves loading time and bandwidth usage for the viewer.

 

The outcome was a website that can be viewed anywhere, on any device.

Content management

CMS content types CMS drag to position

To allow staff at the Royal Ballet School to have true freedom and flexibility over the content and page layout, we crafted a content management system that suited them perfectly.

Each page can have as much or as little content as required. They can choose from numerous different types of content fields, allowing them to add text, images, video, documents and more.

Once content is added, they can simply drag it around to make it appear exactly where they want.

They can also choose whether or not to show a sidebar.

Every page on the website is maintained by staff at the Royal Ballet School.

The finished product

  • Responsive design for desktop, tablet and smartphone
  • Flexible content management system
  • Manage text, images, video, document and more
  • Fully managed events calendar
  • Online payments/donations

  • Online school fees calculator
  • Image slider management
  • Blog and latest news management
  • Database managed online forms
  • Private content areas for students and parents

Royal Ballet School website