Warp Speed Technologies came to us to build a prototype for their online conference hub concept Breakout. Using a prominent science and technology conference as inspiration, we worked closely with Warpspeed to prioritize features and envision the future of attending online conferences. We were thrilled at the chance to help yet another client with a virtual conference solution, a trend that was increasingly relevant in 2020.
While minding the limitations that come with thinking in the prototype/MVP mindset, we were asked to think through the user journey of an attendee, implement some design aesthetics, and focus on the main features that will drive the future experience. Given the schedule and budget constraints, we took an agile approach by starting development and design simultaneously. Led by efficient and effective standup meetings with the client, we were able to quickly hone in on what would make for a successful prototype, and iterate along the way.
In early sessions with the client, we learned that the primary audience/user would visit the hub for specific content needs. We knew it was important to connect the sections, presentations, posters, live streams and tracks — all common content types for conferences — in a simple and comprehensive way.
Our goal was to make finding a session and/or presentation as easy as possible. We used informational cards to direct the user to related content on their journey. For example, if a user is interested in a session that is happening Wednesday, with just one click, the user can either join the live stream or see other sessions from Tuesday or Thursday.
After multiple discussions with Warp Speed in the new business process on how we could maximize value given the constraints of time and budget, we were motivated to deliver something both parties would be really happy with, which took creativity.
We started by demonstrating the user journey with wireframes and presenting them to the client to make sure we were aligned. After a few iterations of wireframes, we zeroed in on the most compelling features to invest in. While a UX designer was working on the wireframes, our developer leveraged modern tools like Bootstrap to fast track development in a responsive, accessible, and cross browser-compliant way.
We implemented a flexible design approach as well, utilizing components inspired by the React Bootstrap component library, developing the site in tandem with drafting wireframes. This approach allowed us to add finishing touches of design improvements at the end of the project that we may not have had if we worked in a more sequential manner. This also afforded some flexibility to collaborate with Warp Speed during the site build, as they were working on the brand’s identity in parallel. The agile approach we took resulted in an on-brand look and feel the client was thrilled with and a product we’re both proud of.