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our work : National Theatre


The National Theatre is a long standing client of tincan. The site is focused on live and scheduled productions, but many other sections of information are available as well. Tincan has supported the National Theatre for more than four years to make the most out of their internet presence.

There were several levels to the clients requirements.

A website that has multiple zones, each reflecting a function that the National provides to the public. In essence to provide a user with a glasshouse view of the Nationals work and services.

A website that provides a learning tool and experience of theatre. A guide to any user interested, researching or wanting to work in this world of drama and costume.

The core of the Nationals work remains its live events and productions. The website has to guide interested users to detailed information and efficiently provide the means to attend scheduled performances and events.

Users need to easily and logically - bearing in mind the scale and range of the Nationals' work and services - post their own commentary and personal reviews to any event, production or aspect of the National.

This vast amount of information has to be delivered clearly and without distraction to the actual content itself. At the same time users must feel confident of their placement within the website and in their ability to navigate their experience through it.

Finally we have had provided future capacity to integrate other initiatives and projects - such as the Nationals own online ticketing system and a comprehensive online archive of productions - that will be coming online in the near to medium future.

We have worked very closely with the National at all stages of this project.

As with many clients the National had a very clear idea of the information architecture and site requirements and had been through an internal process to establish these whilst also increase internal awareness and ownership of the website project.

A key part of our work was to contribute to, realise online and problem solve unforeseen outcomes to these ideas. It has been important that we have taken one or several steps at a time and not rushed the development process. A core strategy element has been the necessity to be able to foresee and respond to developing issues.

We started with the existing version of the webbler and created a special plugin for the calendar. The calendar plugin allows the client to connect date and time information to documents in the site. This date and time information can then be used to be displayed in several different ways:

In the admin section, a document can now be related to events, that are specific in time and date. They can have special attributes, that will be configured when setting up the website. For example an event can be a press event of the final event.

- a listing of documents that have an event in a certain timespan. The range of the timespan is configurable.
- a listing of events for a document. This can be displayed in many different ways. A full listing, or only the days of the next week, or only the next seven events (starting from the day a user looks at it).
- the entire calendar system is searchable on dates

We have worked extremely closely with the National's design team to deliver a very fresh and very different online identity. It has been an extremely rewarding, often challenging experience. One that has enriched our understanding and capacity to deliver a strong online identity to such a well known brand.



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