Responses by Lasse Sehested Leth, partner and client director, Ruby Studio.
Background: SPOT Festival has been spreading new music throughout the city of Aarhus, Denmark, since 1994. The festival promotes Danish and Nordic musical artists and creates a platform where they can perform for both audiences and national and international people from the music industry. This site targets both the audience interested in new music as well as the music industry through the festival’s networking and conference platform SPOT+.
Design core: What differentiates SPOT from other festivals is its extensive number of acts and venues. Based on experience from prior schedule layouts, research and user feedback, we added a category filter for better navigation; a music player for each act that gives visitors a quick, ideal impression of an artist; and a one-size-fits-all artist page that makes content management super easy for the client, even including a translation tab.
We also made the decision to split the focus between SPOT’s audiences. Historically, it was a challenge for the client to clearly communicate to both its targeted audiences. Now, with simple styling, we divided the website into two areas: the SPOT+ audience of industry professionals can find valuable information easily, and the public audience doesn’t wander off onto the wrong pages and get confused.
Challenges: As with many other festivals, SPOT gives each yearly iteration a new theme and visual identity. For SPOT, this has also been the case for its website, building each iteration with a new WordPress theme. This practice came with a lot of constraints and didn’t allow its creative team to be super ambitious. So, since the client has been around the block and had internal tech and design skills, the pressure was on us to create a new visual identity and flawlessly integrate it with its management system as well as hit its ambitious deadline—all exciting challenges!