The project

As Australia's premier event for innovators, creatives and tech heads, Pause lives under a microscope. If Pause doesn’t have the look and feel of an ultra-cool industry thought leader it loses on ticket sales.

This scrutiny is felt most keenly at Pause’s primary point of conversion, their website, which is why they came to us for a new one.

We would build their high stakes hub for content, ticketing and scheduling. It would align with an evolving brand personality and repositioning. It would be responsive with outstanding UX and it had to be delivered in just a few weeks. 

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Page views up 20.45% from last year

Average session time is up 24.73% from last year

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85.11% increase in acquisitions from organic search results

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The design

As a festival about innovation, Pause has to be a shark, always moving, always evolving and accelerating beyond the pace of ordinary change. So, pretty much every year they redesign their website, and this time they also decided to redefine their brand.

Pause has become a more exclusive event, which focused our design choices around a few key elements drawing the user towards purchasing from a limited ticket pool.

The most apparent is the inclusion of a countdown timer, which gives the user a sense of urgency when browsing. There are also several buttons on the first section of homepage that will take you to the ticketing screen. There’s an intercom pop-up, which means the users questions can be answered immediately.

The hard part is to include all of this without muddling the message or inundating the user with information. So, we focused on keeping the website simple, inspiring and easy-to-use with the minimalist design giving the site’s content the space to speak for itself.

The colour pallette came from existing marketing collateral for 2018’s Pause Fest on the theme Journey=Destination. We did a little tweaking to ensure it met rigorous contrast standards for maximum usability. The collateral also gave us the iconic valley and mountain silhouette, which speaks to journey, destination, and if you look a little deeper, how that plays into the human struggle between necessity and innovation.

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The Solution

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Logical navigation and easy access to information is essential for event sites, which can sometimes lose themselves in a quagmire of speaker information and prosaic event details. As the primary point of conversion we couldn’t let this happen to Pause’s website.

We created a website where users can have frictionless experiences across all devices, whether they were on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. We made the fonts strong, the type bold and the colour contrast stark.

We also used some cool features to keep users on-site by making their lives easy. We implemented an awesome calendar and scheduling plugin, Blokks (which, just quietly, hasn’t even launched yet!). This powerful tool allows users to browse event details and speaker information without navigating away from the schedule page. It has been a massive win for Pause.

To top it off we built the ticketing plugin, Tito, into the site. This has been another godsend for Pause, who had been using third party ticketing companies to sell tickets. These often have clunky purchasing systems taking users off-site.

Tito is a pop-up that allows tickets to be purchased quickly on-site and helps reduce the number of abandoned carts.

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Tech talk

What really makes this site hum is the UX. Its crisp. This is in part thanks to super fast load times brought about by clean code, the use of SVGs and thorough testing.

The clean code is a result of building the site’s template from the ground up, which gives us full control of the code’s structure. There are no loose pieces of code that go nowhere, which you often get with templates. Templates can be good for speedy design, but for us there’s little benefit because we still build fast with our own CSS framework for front-end development, which accelerates our builds and, crucially maintains quality.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG’s) are a beautiful thing. They are what helps us make logos, icons and illustrations look amazingly sharp no matter the screen resolution. They also have the benefit of having super small file sizes, which can drastically reduce load times.

Finally, we test. And, we test again… Then, we do a few more tests. With all the sites we create we do regular speed checks to ensure everything is loading as fast as possible. This means our in-house dedicated QA team uncovers any bugs well before a product launches. We scan it all, from cross-browser checks, to tablet, mobile and desktop checks. It’s all about ensuring the end product is the best it can be. 

Pause Fest Journey is the destination

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