Responses by Bruno Choinère, creative director; and Alexandre Joseph, lead developer, Akufen.
Background: Mutek is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the dissemination and development of digital creativity in sound, music and audiovisual art. It provides a platform for the most original and visionary artists currently working in their fields with the intent of providing an outlet of initiation and discovery for the audiences they seek to develop.
The digital ecosystem is built on two different platforms: the mutek.org website that acts as the organization’s hub and its city-specific festival’s websites that give information on their respective events. These platforms target likeminded audiences but reach different objectives.
Design core: The mutek.org website acts as the hub to all its city events as well as its own unique voice. It serves users a vast series of rich content from all over the planet, showcasing artists’ databases that have performed at Mutek festivals in the past.
Challenges: The festival websites needed to be very efficient, especially during its open dates when thousands of users rush on the platform to look for specific information. We needed to provide a visual, eye-pleasing experience based on the nature of the festival, but also keep efficiency at the forefront of our minds. We achieved both those objectives with a UX approach that always centers the user in the experience. We also worked on custom transitions and animations to give a modern feel and echo Mutek’s already well-known edgy signature.
Another challenging aspect was that Mutek’s worldwide festival websites needed to be administrated by different groups of people. They needed to have custom looks, feels and identities but all have the same structure beneath. In this way, Buenos Aires’s Mutek festival page would have an entirely different visual environment than Barcelona’s.
Navigation structure: For the festival’s website, we needed to provide a clear information structure so that users could find what they’re looking for intuitively and quickly. At the same time, we needed to make clear that the city events were also part of a much larger ecosystem. We had to make sure to build smart bridges towards mutek.org, where all the editorial content is made available.
Technology: We used Craft CMS for the back end to manage six (and potentially more) yearly festivals in several languages. For the front end, we used our custom framework to handle the routing, page transitions and some animations. We also used three.js for the pixel sorting animation.