Tech Swindon is the information hub for all things tech in Swindon and across the region. They have been a key resource in building awareness, attracting talent, and strengthening the community across the great tech scene in Swindon.
In November, they are running a summit event, which will bring together the local tech community for a mix of technically focused workshops, thought leadership seminars and networking activity. This is such a pivotal event, especially as we all begin to come out of a difficult economic period.
We were tasked with building a site for the event, which would:
- Inspire people, showing how much is happening during the summit
- Promote the various key partners of the event
- Create a platform that will last for a long time, for sharing content after the event, and for hosting future summits
Along with this, we also needed to build upon the strong existing branding that Tech Swindon has established, whilst keeping the site clean and easy to use.
Research & Design
One of the more unique parts of this event is that it is going to bring together a number of different sessions hosted by partners. With this in mind, our first focus was to make it easy for people to get involved. Clear actions and simple messaging was a great way to guide people into joining the event. For the initial release, the schedule was still being finalised, so it was also important to keep any early visitors updated when new information was available. After some investigation, we landed on three clear pathways depending on the visitors potential involvement. For most users, registering for updates would be preferable, but we also needed to highlight ways to get in touch for sponsorship or hosting a session.
At the heart of an event site is the schedule. In our experience, many sites can be either too busy making it hard to see what's on, or they feel a little flat and uninteresting. We wanted to find a way to really highlight the people behind the session to give some colour to the sessions. Keeping the layout simple and clean would also allow for many sessions to be shown together in a visually appealing way. With a large number of sessions expected, we also wanted a way of narrowing down the content to what the user would find interesting. Some simple filters would hit the mark for this, and be an intuitive but unobtrusive way of narrowing down the sessions.
As with everything we build for the web, the site needed to be as easy to use on a small mobile device as on a large desktop. We tend to tackle both the design and implementation phases from smaller screens up. This way we can be assured that we won't be compromising for a large segment of the audience who will only ever see the site on a mobile device.
Tech Swindon has a well established existing brand, and we wanted to bring that to the summit site so that it clearly felt like a Tech Swindon event. We wanted to fold in great photography to the summit site, to highlight the social nature of the event. As a result, we had to extend the existing branding in some areas to cater for the large-scale photography. Finally, sprinkling in some extra areas of interaction and delight really helps to bring the site togetherr, from an interactive hero section on the home page, to a dynamic event theme banner.
It's no secret that we love Webflow here at Fluff, and for this project, it made a great fit once again. It’s a favourite of ours, as it allows us to very quickly deliver quality deliverables to our clients, whilst also being a bulletproof system for them to maintain in the long run.
Having an really easy and powerful CMS was key, as Lucy and the team would need to update and add new sessions, partners, and information right up to the event. We spent some time making sure that the CMS content was laid out in a way that would be very quick to update.
Even with the dynamic nature of the schedule page, we combined some custom code along with the fantastic MixItUp library to create the filtering functionality.
With the design and site hierarchy, we've aimed for it to be as intuitive to use as possible, whilst also acting as a future-proof framework for future content and sessions.