London International Festival of Theatre website

Found in: Web & electronic publishing

The brief

Lift were approached by John Morgan studio to work with them on the rebranding of the London International Festival of Theatre (Lift). Our role was to design and produce the new website, working closely with the team at John Morgan studio as they developed the identity and printed materials. The new website needed to reflect the new Lift brand, be visually interesting, easy to navigate, simple for Lift staff to update and manage, and meet accessibility guidelines.

The approach

We started by brainstorming concepts and ideas of how to represent Lift online. Then developing a site structure plan, drawing together all the requirements from Lift and our own proposals. The plan was discussed by everyone involved in the project and agreed in principle. We felt right from the beginning of the site that the website needed to allow for discourse between Lift and members, visitors and interested people. As an organization Lift is built around not just performing but discussion alongside performance. We felt that the website should reflect the two way process and proposed that every page should allow for 'interaction'. The interaction would provide users of the site with a simple way to comment on every page, then comment on other people's comments. We worked on designs for various key pages on the website on paper and screen, discussing these continually with John Morgan studio, and refining them as the brand developed, and also directly with Lift. Once agreement was reached on the design of the pages we built a series of master XHTML templates and CSS files. We also installed and set-up the backend publishing system for the site. The websites uses Movabletype to manage all the content and provide the commenting facility. We wanted a system which would not involve large amounts of training and be complicated to use, and would also support the types of interaction we wanted.

The outcome

The first phase of the site was launched at the end of May 2006 along with the new Lift brand. Lift staff have found Movabletype to be very easy to use, and have taken a very 'hands on' role in adding new sections, content and news. Consequently the site is constantly being refreshed and updated, encouraging existing interested parties and new people to interact. The use of Movabletype has allowed us to implement a series of new technologies for Lift, which have proved very successful. All sections have their own dedicated RSS news feed, which is automatically generated when a page is updated. 'Tags' (sometimes called keywords) are used extensively throughout the site to provide an alternate way of navigating - users can view other pages which are tagged with the same keywords. By using these new technologies, Lift is seen to be pushing the boundaries through digital communications, just as it pushes the boundaries through theatre.

Found in: Web & electronic publishing

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