UI | UX
Designed at: Phase 3
Role: Web Design Lead
Event Design: Carlton Roberts
2016, in progress
Lightfair International (LFI) is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. Each year sees a record 25,000+ professionals from around the world attend to discover new technology & trends, to earn education credits, to celebrate & recognize lighting achievements and build their networks.
LFI is a client known for its innovative and captivating event branding -- an account we have held for over 8 years. We are intimately familiar with the conference, having designed the theme and all collateral pieces over the years. We were thrilled when LFI came to us ready for a new website.
An outdated, cumbersome website with no clear site architecture; leading to a drop in online registration and an influx of users contacting support. Vendor area did not serve the needs of exhibitors, and the brand presence was overshadowed by too many ads and non-essential information. Finally, the site was not responsive--a problem for the modern digital user.
Success would be measured by an increase in traffic and a decrease in inquires about where information lives on the site.
Create a web experience that aligns with the brand and allows for colors/images to easily update to match the current year's theme. Design with modern web patterns and UX for an intuitive and informative experience, and--ultimately--convey the vitality of the conference.
Limitations existed with legacy CMS capabilities and multiple third-party plugins. We were also designing to hand-off to an internal development team, so a considered style guide would need to be included.
LFI decided to do a "light" refresh in preparation for the 2016 conference, and will implement additional design direction in phases over the next couple of years.
Keep it simple, keep it evergreen.
Initially, we evaluated the site map and discovered the site contained a whopping 45 pages of content; most of which was duplicated throughout the site. There were also many third-party entities to handle registration and exhibitor areas that took the user away from the site. We made recommendations to scale back content, and consolidate where redundancies existed.
The overall structure of the site was dictated by the legacy CMS, which at the time could only handle one column of content and a maximum of 3 template page styles.
Working with a modular homepage structure, we allowed the current year’s branding to shine with a full-screen slider and large image blocks calling users to register and view photos from the previous year.
We then explored the overarching sub page template structure. Working within one column with a fixed side navigation allowed us to air out the content and establish hierarchy; while streamlining the experience of digesting quite a lot of information, and remaining within the boundaries of the legacy CMS.