The Problem: I was contacted by Dylan Wilks, creative director for TedXVictoria. We sat down for a beer, and he told me they needed to update their website in time for their upcoming TEDxVictoria Event. Their existing site was starting to show its age, as it wasn’t responsive, was bloated with unnecessary and repetitive content, and was designed using trends that were no longer trendy.
The Data: We looked into other TEDx sites, the TED mothership site, their guidelines, and wordpress themes that we could use as a skeleton to design and build the site around.
After that we spent a week looking into demographic data, and comparing it to other TED audiences around the world. We discovered a lot of similarities between Victoria and Portland in this respect, but their site didn’t contain much information other than speakers and their videos.
The Solution: Armed with a litany of relevant datasets, we began working on designing a new tedxvictoria.com, encompassing all the relevant pages and information, but packaging them in a way that Victorians would find most engaging.
The most important aspect (other than making sure the new product was responsive) was including more video. TED exists because of the popularity of video, and the ease of sharing it online. Paramount to us was ensuring that when people visit the site on their computers ready to watch videos, they are immediately met with one.
We requested a favour from the mighty talented Dave Wallace of Riptide Studios, who had recorded the 2014 event, and he edited his footage to create a short, quick loading background video to greet people when entering the site.
In addition, we added a stylized twitter feed to the home page, as TEDxVictoria is very active in the twittersphere, and added a couple video/blog feeds to the home page as well. This ensured that most visitors could quickly identify and engage with content that was most relevant to them.
The Results: We closed comments on the blog posts, as we wanted to encourage people to be sharing, conversing, and engaging more on social media, and it worked well.
Additionally, we helped tie the site back into the main event by incorporating the Impact event’s campaign specific branding (recycled paper, lightbulb/iceberg, etc.), which helped make the entire online experience springboard back to what is really important.
Finally, engagement on site went up by a significant margin post-launch on both desktop and mobile, as mobile users actually had a site to view that wasn’t cut in half, and desktop users had a lot more video to watch immediately, which increased time on site and decreased bounce rates across the board.