The DO Lectures brings together the world’s disruptors, change–makers, experts and pioneers to share their stories and encourage others to go and DO.
Since then, DO has evolved into an institution dedicated to bringing the creative underdog the best teachings, inspiration and thought around.
Starting with an annual event on a farm in west Wales, it has grown into an event held across four countries, a sister book company, an educational platform, a whole host of workshops and other one-day events, and one of the largest resources of inspiration on the web.
DO came to us amidst the pandemic with a timely need to bring their digital touch–points together behind a more homogenous brand expressive of their open and encouraging personality, communication style and content.
Central to this is was their website and supporting newsletter; as the engine that drives them forwards, enabling them to reach the widest audience possible with their online learning and courses.
We were tasked with creating a cohesive brand expression to unify and represent the world of DO and evolve it to encompass more visual language opportunities and to ensure consistency across DO’s digital properties.
Elements were taken from around the DO Farm and its surroundings, where the Lectures take place, to create a colourful, textural identity that could flex to give the consistency needed across the different ‘worlds’ inspired by DO.
The brand palette makes more generous use of playful, illustrative characters, representing the community, the contributors, and the user–generated side of the platform.
The new site combines this vibrant brand world with straight-forward UX to provide the best experience for the creative underdog.
Through several workshops we worked with the DO team to find areas that could be optimised to have them spend more time creating, and less time administrating.
Core to DO’s digital strategy was the aim of bringing that irresistible spirit and atmosphere of their in–person events, online.
It was important to us that newcomers to the site would not feel intimidated by the impressive breadth of DO's archive.
The customer journey was therefore crafted to consider how to educate users and showcase all of DO's themes, content pillars and background, without overwhelming them.
The homepage was focused on reducing the amount of initial content shown to the user and instead providing gateways into the various content areas. This was so we avoided any chance of choice paralysis whilst giving a bite–size flavour of what DO is about.
Their talks were the ideal focal point, so we surfaced these and ensured they were easy to find, consume and share.
A visitor could then make easier choices, with freedom to explore and digest content at a more manageable pace, with curated recommendations made along the way.
We also focused on breaking content up and making it delightful. With our digital attention spans ever in decline, the interface design needed to kindle people’s curiosity in the wonderfully inspiring advice The DO Lectures offer.
The richness and quality of their content was given the presentation to match, and we introduced related features in the margins to make content 'visually snackable'.
We sprinkled little moments of surprise throughout the site too, taking the form of hover animations and character pop ups to make sure DO’s conviviality wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Once eased in through a world of curious content, we needed to next immerse people in the community.
However, recreating this in the digital realm with forums, live chat rooms or complex platforms requiring community management and moderation felt a bit insincere.
We wanted to give people on the site the sense that you were there, in real–time, amongst others.
By introducing a simple set of questions at the end of each piece of content generates reflection, suggestion and commentary, giving people a tangible sense of their valuable place and participation in the DO community.
Through custom built CMS components the DO team are able to generate thousands of different layouts that are perfectly in-keeping with the new brand system.
Bespoke colour schemes, shape positioning and placement can be customised across the site using SVG elements, meaning that rather than DO spending time making assets, just a few clicks and it's ready. A small bonus is we can animate and play around to make them interactive too!
A quick snapshot into the system architecture of the site.
The site has over 1,000 pages and is created by integrating many micro services into a single unified platform, making it easier for the DO team to spend time creating content rather than administering it.
The site has custom personalised quizzes, extensive site search, playlist building for talks, use of portable text for marginalia and recommendations in articles and so much more — there is an endless amount of possibilities for DO to create the best website for the creative underdog.
"We were Companion’s first client. Our brief was simple but huge: to overhaul our entire website. It needed to be redesigned, be far more interactive and have a filtered search facility that was second to none. We needed it to work hard for us.
The results are outstanding. We could not be any happier. The entire process from our very first conversation to the website launch has been an absolute pleasure and delight. I’m only glad we got in there early as I imagine the demand to use them will be huge. Thank you thank you thank you."