International Festival of Authors

Zeitguys was engaged to build out an entirely new, highly visual website for The Harbourfront Centre’s International Festival of Authors. Being a festival website, the content is timely and highly dynamic – WordPress was a natural fit as the underlying CMS framework.

International Festival of Authors @ Harbourfront centre

Art Director Janice Ivory Smith delivered a keen and compelling visual design that references previous years’ marketing materials while providing a striking look-and-feel that places the events and authors at the forefront.

Event focused

The primary use case for site visitors is locating festival events, so naturally a great amount of time was spent ensuring an intuitive user experience. Researching and locating events to attend becomes a slick affair, leveraging both a highly interactive Event Calendar view and a next-generation textual Search that prioritizes events and authors, and pushes WordPress to its very limits without sacrificing performance.

Zeitguys Event Browser at

The team iterated many times over the UI and feature set of the Event browser, to create an intuitive user experience that accommodates the periodic nature of the Festival’s events. Users can see 5 months at-a-gulp, and can easily locate the high activity periods using the Calendar widget. Complete event listing details are presented on-the page, synced to the Calendar widget display, so there’s no need to click through to read an event’s details.

Cutting-edge Tech Under the Hood

Beneath the hood of the new website hides a wealth of cutting-edge tech developed to support dynamic content while enforcing adherence to the hand-crafted design conventions. On the homepage, author headshots are colourized in real-time to match a predetermined visual pattern, while their “cards” are being asynchronously served up in random order. The administrative user experience is also highly optimized, ensuring that keeping content up-to-date while adhering to the design standards is a seamless process even for novice WordPress users. mobile

Festival on the go

The mobile experience is a vital consideration for all websites, but a Festival website must especially be responsive given the nature of its target audience. Great care was taken to ensure that the site responded to a wide variety of mobile form factors, and adapts its layout accordingly.

The final result is a memorable web site that delivers dynamic and timely content in a highly visual way.