Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) Website
Now a major international festival, DIFF had outgrown its website's capabilities and the site had dated, no longer reflecting the festival's objectives. Our first tasks included the re-design and development of the DIFF website, a touchscreen application, and digital marketing deliverables, such as banners and an e-newsletter.
This project presented four different challenges:
The entire bilingual (English and Arabic) website and database needed to be revamped and all creative assets delivered within 2 months.
Upgrades and optimisation
The entire content management system needed upgrading, with significant optimisation required to ensure performance.
No down time
We had to perform the upgrade while the website was still live, without any disruption to site access in the lead up to the festival.
We had to consolidate the work of multiple back-end & front-end teams into one single project.
Some technical notes
The task of building the DIFF website was split into a further four distinct parts:
Server setup and back-end development
UI code implementation
Feature-development on an ad-hoc basis
At a technical level, the job involved improving site performance, including remaking design decisions from the previous site design, mainly because the design didn't follow the DRY principle (Don't Repeat Yourself). For example, templates which were split into 6 files for Arabic & English, in multiple instances throughout the CMS, were consolidated into a single file.
We had to re-factor a majority of the code – modules that were created for the screening schedule & film database were redesigned to perform faster, and be more customizable and robust.
We designed all digital assets based on the supplied brand guidelines, for
a modern design that would allow users to access the vibrant and fast
changing information in a convenient way.
The touchscreen application was placed in front of cinemas for users to browse the film catalogue. The bilingual app featured a modern, HTML5 based touch interface. Using simple animations, and a thoroughly tested UX, the app received positive feedback from festival goers.
We enhanced site usability with a more user-friendly film schedule, and a new shopping cart so patrons could purchase tickets directly from the site. This year users could also create a personal schedule to plan their festival experience, and share and invite their friends.
Digital marketing material
In addition to the digital marketing assets we designed to help promote the festival online – the banners and e-newsletters – we re-designed DIFF's internal management system for cohesive branding, and improved usability.