WME/IMG is a premium talent & events management company, owning such brands as UFC, Tough Mudder, and Taste festivals to name a few. Their current Gourmet Escape website was not only due for a design refresh, the custom features capabilities lacked expert architecture and therefore required significant tech intervention to keep them running to an acceptable standard. Additionally the website ran incredibly slow at peak times.
- New brand and visual elements
- Custom designed and built web platform
- Highly functional user features
- Page speed and peak load capability, a top priority
- UI/UX Design
As outlined above there were a number of issues with the website architecture which was known for poor user experience. WME-IMG recognised this and responded by engaging BZ to take a considered approach to structuring the website architecture to work together rather than creating operation conflicts.
One of the biggest challenges was dealing with the nature of the event, running over multiple days, across multiple culinary categories/genres, and additional spread across many different locations in the Margaret River wine region of WA. Being a regional area it can be known for poor data coverage so the website by its own nature needed to be coded very lightweight so as to counteract data service deficiencies.
WME-IMG also wanted as much autonomy with content management so we needed to consider each page and the edit requirements.
As we do with many projects we commenced with a comprehensive discovery process to understand the frontline issues as well as the desired new features- this being a critical process in producing a great architecture. The new design elements were supplied and each page was carefully hand designed. The website also required a WordPress CMS so this was also taken into account.
The HTML process took extra care and expertise so that every 1% of available performance was realised. For high performance BZ hand build much of the functionality where many others will install a cheap plugin- impeding key metrics such as page speed. We worked with the client to further reduce the functional load to bare minimum so that reliability would be kept as high as possible.
A key feature we built was an itinerary planner, users could add numerous events and visualise their experience in terms of time and distance between events. This saved guests purchasing tickets for events that clashed with others they had already selected.
The first point to make is on the performance. The previous website (not built by our agency) required BZ to be contracted on standby for the duration of the entire event- if there were any technical hiccups, we were on hand to fix immediately. This came at a significant cost to the client. The new website was load tested prior to the event and the standby monitoring was not required. The website easily handled ticket sale launches etc where up to 60,000 users would hit the website in a few hours.
We included several subtle animation and video features which add to the sophistication of the design presentation, ensuring these would not impede performance.
WME-IMG staff has significant control over the website enabling them to apply updates rapidly, such is the fast paced environment they operate in responding to changes such as talent additions/omissions and juggling sponsor credits.