The Tiny-Festival Website

October 20, 2005

I’ll be helping some friends with the website design of a production house, which will host a tiny festival in the area early next year, the planning stage is exciting, I went back to Open Source CMS to take a look at the available tools, what we have in mind is a media-rich yet accessible website, which can host a lot of promotional and archival information for current and future performance. Right now I have my mind set on Drupal and Mambo, actually right now I’m looking for hosting places. Never mind that, I’ll put my thoughts in writing and probably hold off doing anything as usual.

So in the hope of getting some ideas and inspirations, I did a search on “music festival” and looked at the first one hundred festival websites, it was quite a sobering experience, as we were talking about using festival-themed colors and visual elements with the maximum impact, it just occurred to me, while browsing these festival websites, that visual impact might just not work for websites.

A lot of these sites probably started off with the goal of visual impact too, but the end result was confusing, blinding, and, in some worse cases, simply bad taste. They seem to share the common problem of lacking attention to details, the mixture of many types of visual elements were not pulled together well enough. And the background music was shocking, here’s the number one no-no in designing a website dedicated to music, don’t play background music automatically, how’d you know whether your visiters are not playing music on their computers already? Be that :wumpscut: or Nick Drake, it just doesn’t mix well no matter how good you think the music you’re providing.

End of ranting already, though I haven’t found my inspirations yet, there was a good lesson learned in what-not-to-do. In the end, a simple user interface seems even more important in presenting media-rich content.

Here’s my wishlist for the perfect Tiny-Festival website:

1. A usable calendar and not just table of numbers that works as clickable dates. (see blog-calendar for more details)

2. If we’ve got to have visual impact, let’s make a cover page and put all the impact there.

3. Photo / music album, music / video player.

4. Places to leave your valuable comments (should not be displayed blog-like.)

5. Minimal and simple navigation UIs.

6. A “news” page which is again not blog-like, I prefer the newspaper look here.

Now please let me know if you’ve seen the perfect music (festival) website! Maybe it’s time to whip out my one and only WordPress.com invite? 🙂

6 Responses to “The Tiny-Festival Website”

  1. gaumont said

    Although I am basically a server side guy and don’t know php( my perl is not bad though), if you need some helps on building this website,
    I will be glad to do some simple works and learn some new stuff as well.

  2. ann said

    heh, thanks gaumont! Always nice to hear from a perl master and server side person! 🙂 I only know php and css, (and LAMP setup if needed), seems like you can help out on a lot of different aspects, such as music / video streaming and the likes. How’d I contact you on collaborating? I’ll be looking / begging for hosting this week, the plan is to set Drupal and Mambo up first and see if the capabilities meet our requirement, of course we can always hack something up if neccessary. Let’s move the conversation to Keda’s side so that he’ll be able keep track on what’s happenning. Do you also have some personal favourite websites that I can take a look? 🙂

  3. […] 他们å?¯èƒ½ä¸?知é?“ Flock 的团队里有我一ä½?朋å?‹ï¼šdotann,是ä¸?是很酷。作为一个程åº?员,在她的主 blog 里是看ä¸?到任何迹象的,过ç?€â€œä½ŽæŠ€æœ¯ç”Ÿæ´»â€?。:)但她其实是中文 WordPress (现在下线了)的主è¦?贡献者;中文音ä¹?评论网络æ?‚å¿— digforfire 的设计者;最近å?ˆåœ¨å‡†å¤‡ä¸ºä¸€ä¸ªå°?型音ä¹?节设计网站。 […]

  4. gaumont said

    I downloaded developer preview last night. Really cool stuff!
    Congradulations to Ann and her colleagues!

  5. nomap said

    haha, ann, how many blogs on earth do you have? 🙂

    let me tell you how i got here..you wouldn’t believe it.
    I was checking links pointing to one of my paper and I found yanfeng’s website. And I saw he/she has a post about flock and you! Then I followed the link(as in comment #3) here. I don’t even want to say the cliche word again…but alright, it is a “small-world”. 😀

  6. ann said

    Hey nomap, just these two… 😉 Yanfeng has written some very insightful articles on the “small world” problem last year, it all boils down to that the community people form (online or in real life) is small after all. So you always end up connected to the same set of people. And not a coincidence that you guys are both physicists who love poetry? 🙂

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