Dallas Symphony Orchestra

A new web presence strengthens connections with patrons, drives earned and contributed income, and positions the DSO as one of the world’s great orchestras.

A cornerstone of the Dallas cultural landscape, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is the city’s destination for uplifting, entertaining musical experiences, as well as for innovative, enriching educational opportunities. The DSO is known for its artistic excellence and for programming that includes something for everyone—performing both within the inspiring Meyerson Center and across the community.


But the organization’s web presence was disparate: well-regarded educational content was housed in a separate site for which the organization didn’t get sufficient credit; would-be attendees and donors had difficulty getting the information they needed to act in the DSO’s favor; and a rich (and growing) trove of audio and video talks and performances were obscured.

Comprehensive website strategy, planning, and design

Working with a dedicated core team—with a mandate to launch a site in a very short timeframe—we conducted qualitative research with internal and external constituents, and evolved a new, more intuitive architecture.We tested the new sitemap with prospective users; developed wireframes that combined the team’s recommendations with test results; and then tested the wireframes with yet another set of prospective users.

Patron journey mapping and testing

For different prospective site visitors, we mapped out how they might achieve their goals. In this case, a prospective single ticket buyer trying to plan a fun night out.

Information architecture, wireframing, and validation

Together, the Dallas-Sametz team planned the architecture for the site with the goal of locating and naming content to be both engaging and intuitive. We user-tested the sitemap to see if it made sense to prospective users. User testing demonstrated how efficiently prospective users navigated clickable wireframes to achieve their goals. The bar graph, above, plots how easy (or difficult) it was for people to find the information they were tasked to look for. Results informed sitemap evolution and subsequent wireframes. We evolved a range of modules that can be rearranged as needed to house different types of content, and to facilitate user journeys.

Connecting visual expression to brand attributes

The site will drive income, enhance the visitor experience, build connection, and raise our stature. It seamlessly combines Tessitura’s new TNEW platform with a robust WordPress marketing site.

Kim Burgan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
All the planning and testing—together with earlier research around desired brand attributes and business goals—came together to inform visual directions for the new site.

Our new site—planned, written, designed, and developed in record time—engages patrons, invites prospective attendees in, highlights our robust educational programs, and advances our upward trajectory.

Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President and CEO
The result is a well thought-out new site that helps:

  • prospective attendees find concerts of interest and purchase tickets;
  • parents find materials for homeschooling;
  • teachers find useful lesson plans;
  • new donors learn both how and why they should give
  • long-term subscribers easily access their accounts; and
  • all visitors access deep audio and video content.