Billed as ‘The Tech Event for Everyone’, The Leeds Digital Festival has grown exponentially year-on-year, since its inception in 2014. And as creators of one of the earliest incarnations of the site, designing and building a best-practice accessible website—again—was a real privilege.
As is the way of digital, plenty has changed in that time and the team at Creode was delighted to be invited back to design and build a bold new site for a festival that was now attracting almost 50,000 attendees from 60 countries, spanning 6 continents. A big deal for the city of Leeds. A huge deal for us here at Creode; we were on a mission to design and build a best-practice accessible website for LDF and its rapidly increasing number of visitors.
Our mission was to take LDF’s mantra of being ‘The Tech Event for Everyone’ completely to our hearts and to our approach to the design and build. Not only that, we had more specific objectives to ensure that LDF had more functionality than ever on their site, including:
An open book: virtually anyone with an interest in digital, from a passing, new-found curiosity to a professional expertise in digital; any age, any person with any background is welcome to Leeds Digital Festival—whether hosting, speaking at or attending an event.
Whilst this is an event pitched at everyone, people who might have loved getting involved hadn’t done so for a couple of reasons: some didn’t realise there’d be anything for them at the festival and others weren’t aware of the sheer variety of events on offer. This meant we had to focus heavily on both the LDF proposition and ensuring the UX opened up more opportunities for discovery, whilst also allowing people to be signposted easily to where they needed to be, quickly.
To reinforce LDF’s proposition of being ‘The Tech Event for Everyone’ we introduced the theme of ‘Open’ to the messaging; ‘Leeds Digital Festival is now open’, ‘The floor is open’, embracing the idea that LDF is open to all and that the festival can open up a wealth of inspiration, enlightenment and indeed, opportunity.
Built in a scalable manner, the site was always designed to be fully capable of evolving and growing as LDF’s needs changed. Having launched in three separate phases, including pre-launch, event stage and booking stage, the site hosted more than 200 events and gained 215,000 page views in 2022, jumping from 130,000 in 2021. To that end, we are delighted that the site we have created is planned to be used for the festival for the foreseeable future as we continue to make improvements to the UX and functionality—and help Leeds Digital Festival grow to increasingly greater heights.