Brighton is one of the biggest centres for digital media creativity in the UK. The number creative agencies in the City grow monthly, with its geek community one of the strongest and most active.
Regular meets, events and training ensure Brightons designers, developers, artists, copywriters and animators stay connected with one other, and those new to the City can quickly become involved in this welcoming community. Barely an evening goes by without like-minded types congregating in a pub, meeting room or studio to discuss, debate and learn from one another.
Wired Sussex are the biggest and most well known digital media hub in Brighton, and approached Makemedia (with a tight deadline!) hoping to better promote City events. The brief? To develop a calendar application which would allow users to view events for the month ahead at a glance, and organisers the ability to assess suitable dates for their own meet in order to avoid potential clashes.
To start, we set about considering the potential questions for the calendar user, such as:
“Which events are relevant to me?”
“What is the content, start time and venue for the event?”
“Can I promote my own event?”
“How can I make sure I don’t forget to attend?”
With these considerations in mind, we developed wireframes, prototypes and eventually the proof of concept you see above, with key functionality in place to ensure users are able to get the most from the application. These include:
- The ability to filter events: Users are able to select from a preset number of categories, and Wired Sussex can assign events to multiple categories to ensure users do not overlook an event relevent to them.
- Event details in one place: Event location, time and overview are all available within the calendar without the need to visit an external site until registering interest or booking a ticket.
- Wired Sussex event highlighting: Wired Sussex need to promote their own events for the month currently in view. A highlights bar was developed to sit above the main month view to showcase these.
- Microformat integration: We integrated the hCalendar Microformat to allow users to add event details to their diary when a browser addon is present which can read the data. We hope to extend this functionality by generating ‘add to calendar’ buttons with a future update, using the microformat data in a way that users without a browser add-on can utilise this functionality.
- The ability to add your event: Although the calendar is fed through a feed from a central Yahoo Upcoming account, sometimes events may not be part of this feed. In this case, users can click the ‘Add my event’ button to contact the Wired Sussex team who can ensure the event appears on the calendar. We shall be extending this functionality shortly by using a form which automatically adds new events to the calendar, and will appear instantly once moderated without the need for Wired Sussex to add them through the CMS.
The BETA version of the calendar is now live on the the updated Wired Sussex website, and we would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the application and any additional functionality you feel would be of benefit in a future release.