The London Business Forum organises business events that inspire, inform and entertain. Events cover topics such as business leadership, HR and talent, and general business topics. The business has developed beyond the capabilities of their current website, in terms of messaging, marketing and functionality. What they needed was a new website that could convey the value of their offering with the impact it deserves, whilst adding powerful new functionality.
As the lead interaction and visual designer, my role was to:
London Business Forum's offering is fundamentally simple, but is made complicated by having two quite different target markets: b2b, and b2c. The design of the ticket purchasing user-flows had to provide a fast and valuable experience for both audiences. Individual customers needed a simple and focused experience, whilst bulk-buyers (HSBC, Post Office, etc) needed to be able to leverage pre-paid tickets packages and saved delegate lists. With the latter audience, we also needed to integrate appropriate payment methods, such as cheques and bank transfers.
Just add HTML, CSS and a back-end (that takes 8 months to build)—et voilà
The new site needed to:
It was clear from existing analytics that mobile users needed to be considered. We chose responsive design over the adaptive and m-dot approaches as it would mean a simpler and more manageable codebase. Compromises were needed in order to create a sufficiently simple and usable mobile experience, so we cut out the complex tasks that would be difficult to complete on mobile, such as creating and managing departmental delegate lists, or managing access tokens for past event videos.
Our broad strategy was to focus on the customer-facing side of the site. Exploring this area gave us a good indication of what would later be required when tackling the system's administration interface. With the client having undertaken design research prior to engaging with us, it meant there was little scope within the budget for our own user research, but that there was a wealth of interpreted user data for us to use. On top of that, we did conduct extensive interviews with stakeholders and account managers, which further guided our development of the design specification.
It's not often that a designer gets to draw such a direct connection between the business's value proposition and the visual presentation of that offering. Here was an excellent opportunity to do so, with each event having its own art-directed "slide". This enabled us to use the emotive and associative powers of imagery to create a rich and dynamic experience. LBF’s organises business events that inspire, inform and entertain—and that’s what each slide does.
Whilst the Upcoming Events page focuses less on imagery and more on easy-to-scan event information, such as date and location, the homepage provides the location for this immersive experience. Each slide takes up the full height of the viewport and a vertical row of navigation indicators is present so that the user can jump to events much lower down on the page.
Behind the customer-facing website there needed to be a very powerful back office that would play several roles: CRM, database CRUD, completely flexible order-creation workflows, and proactive admin alerts. In addition to this, the interface needed to support the administrators in varying contexts, for example: normal day-to-day administration, taking telephone bookings from customers, and performing a number of critical tasks onsite during the actual events.