Hey! recharged

Photo by Joe Woods
8 minute readAugust 14th, 2019

It's been three years since the last Hey! refresh, and with the conference and events getting more investment (in both time and money) it seemed like a good time to give things a once over.

The goal of Hey! is to provide a platform for people to discuss the things they're most passionate about. The main focus for me has always been to make the events themselves as valuable as possible, with the website cataloguing events as they happen. I feel that the formula for events is pretty good now, so the web presence of Hey! is what will receive the most attention during this refresh.

Therefore, the goals for this round are:

  • Create a cleaner, clearer site structure
  • Showcase the catalogue of content
  • Reboot the YouTube channel
  • Push more people to respond to the event on Meetup
  • Make upcoming events and conferences more discoverable

I'll cover these in more detail below, but here's a quick example of some of the house-keeping in action:

Hey! Talks Before/After Screenshots

So what's changed exactly?

Cleaner Site Structure

A large portion (~70%) of traffic comes from mobile devices, yet some parts of the previous site weren't well designed for this. Things like heavy graphics and unevenly spaced areas made viewing some of the content slow and awkward on some devices. The new site has been optimised for speed of navigation, opting for a much simpler grid focusing on cleaner typography.

Showcase Content

At the time of writing, 94 talks and lectures have taken place across Hey! events. Bar a select few, they all have either an accompanying video or slides which act as valuable resources to the community. The previous site didn't do a great deal to organise and surface this content, so with this version, I'm changing that.

Talks and lectures are now more clearly organised with tags and speaker biographies. I'm also going to be making more of an effort to surface this content across the socials to ensure that content gets the recognition it deserves.

Reboot YouTube Channel

I've always published our videos to YouTube for embedding on the site but never given the channel itself much thought. YouTube is now a first-class citizen, with a proper channel home page. Some videos on the channel have organically received a reasonable amount of views, so I've recategorised historical videos so subscribers can quickly find what they're after.

Hit "subscribe" to ensure you get the latest videos from us in the future.

Push Meetup Event

Meetup has been invaluable for planning events properly. Knowing how many people to expect at each event along with having a better medium of broadcasting information to attendees has been incredibly useful. I'm now using Meetup solely for event ticketing. Although we will never charge an entry fee, this helps us prepare the venue for the correct capacity of attendees (as well as knowing how many gooey brownies to make).

We'll still allow you entry if you don't manage to register on Meetup. However, we might ask for your name and email address to make gathering post-event feedback easier.

Information Architecture

The next event should always be clearly communicated across the site; however, this hasn't always been the case. I've added a banner across the site letting people know how far away the next event is, along with where it's located.

There's also been a general rethink on how talks, lectures, topics, tags and biographies all link together. It should feel a lot more natural navigating around different parts of the site, making it easier to explore things you're interested in.

Hey! Home Page
Hey! Talks Page
Hey! Lecture Page
Hey! Person Page

As always, I'm excited to see where the events go next. I purposely leave the topics open-ended to allow anyone to express themselves on the platform. If you want to collaborate on an event, or just have a chance to speak, then please get in touch.

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