Client Launch: Driftless Yoga Festival

Apr 2, 2021

Hello and welcome! Have you ever wondered what makes a yoga festival website stand out? Better yet, what does it need, and how do you take your client’s vague aesthetic requirements and implement their values in the copy?

That -and a whole other list of things- will be covered in this article about building a yoga festival website on Squarespace.

Here’s a quick overview of some topics we’ll cover today:

  • Standing Out: A Case Study

  • How Is Driftless Different From Other Ranked Best Yoga Festivals?

  • Designing Justice

  • Principles

  • Yoga Festival Website Structure

  • Tickets

  • Schedule

  • Line up

  • Merch

  • Story

  • Challenges

  • Integration

  • Visual Content

  • Design With Intention

Standing Out: A Case Study

I will be treating this ‘build a yoga festival’ article as a hybrid between a guide mixed with a hint of Squarespace case study of website design, sprinkled with some key takeaways from my experience of building The Driftless Yoga Festival website.

An intentional and strategic website needs to have a number of things. It needs to:

  • Showcase the subject

  • Keep visitors engaged

  • Be consistent

  • Be aesthetically pleasing

  • Be inline with client’s or brand’s imaging

  • Be user friendly and easy to navigate

Easy peasy, right? That’s all well but simply adding a link to your website and sprinkling buttons here and there is not enough.

I’ll walk you through how I built a yoga festival website that showcases The Driftless Yoga Festival’s mission, aesthetic ideas, incorporated justice, inclusivity, and much more -all while ensuring the web design remains unique as well as honest.

How Is Driftless Different From Other Ranked Best Yoga Festivals?

To answer that question let’s take a look at some examples of yoga festival websites. This comparison is in no way a means to highlight how one is better than the other, or what is being done ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but instead a way to explain how I incorporated The Driftless Yoga Festival values into the website and how those intrinsic qualities makes it stand out.

Let’s take a look at length, content, and message of the 3 best yoga festival websites that appear on the radar:

Wanderlust

Wanderlust is a well-known yoga festival that’s been expanding its events around the US and Canada.

Their landing page is the shortest among the 3 websites we’re looking at. Both the home page and event page is set up in a ‘gallery view’ and comprise of 3-4 sections at best.

The website is very ‘visually centered’ with the main focus being the chosen images, accompanied by brief descriptions at the bottom of the image.

Telluride Yoga Festival (TYF)

Telluride Yoga Festival (TYF) landing page is also relatively short. It consists of:

  • A banner

Granted it’s a beautiful one that highlights the community and scenery of the location.

  • A note from the founder

Followed by:

  • New dates

  • A brief description about the setting, festival, and the experience (other events you can do while you’re in Telluride, CO)

And it ends by directing visitors straight into an instagram feed grid. Details about the event can be found in a bar on the right hand corner, leaving navigation entirely up to the user.

Nantucket Yoga Festival

The final yoga festival website on our list is Nantucket Yoga Festival. Much like The Driftless Yoga Festival, it has its new dates listed on the banner.

And similarly to TYF, the website begins with an explanatory note from the founders. That is followed by a video of the festival from 2019 and ends with a list of sponsors in the form of icons.

The Difference

All three yoga festival websites had one thing in common:

  • Their landing pages were short

  • It was very event focused

  • There was little about the central mission in the copy and there lacked a sense of connectivity from a storytelling point of view.

The Driftless Yoga Festival

So, back to the original question posed at the beginning of this section. How is The Driftless Yoga Festival website different?

To start, Driftless has a lens of social justice. With that in mind, I tried to weave that through the language used in the copy, layout, and narrative.

The visitor is intentionally guided through the website with a series of panels that paint a picture.

Story

I wanted to include a personal note from the founder, Laree Ann Schouweiler without it taking up the main page or seeming out of place in the narrative I was carving out on the home page.

Which is why it seemed only right to give the note its own page.

Length

Of the websites, The Driftless Yoga Festival’s landing page is longer but with the intention to tell a story. With that being said, I made sure that 3 things were clear early on in the beginning of the website:

  1. The date of the event

  2. Opening statement underneath the dates that give insight to the festival’s message.

  3. Made information like the schedule, line up, and tickets, readily available in the form of ‘Call To Action’ buttons.

So, even without navigating through the entire page or clicking on the menu, visitors have the information they need, early on.

Integrity Through Copy

Driftless has a lens of social justice. The first thing you’ll notice is that the first few words on the website pay respect to the land, acknowledging and giving mention to the tribal name. Then only is the currently referred name of the location given.

That’s what I mean about integrity through copy. Yes, the copy is meant to market an event but Driftless differs from the others because the underlying tones of the website don’t inherently focus on it as an event but deliver it as an enriching experience.

A Moment In History & CDC Guidelines

Did someone say Yoga festival 2021 but #safetyfirst? Of course, the one thing I felt necessary to include early on in the initial message is that the festival will adhere to CDC guidelines.

Call To Action

‘Call To Action’ buttons or CTA’s are great to have throughout the website. I coupled these prompts with short and welcoming messages with the intention to intrigue visitors to click on them without the blatant + pressure-filled ‘BOOK NOW’ buttons.

Line Up

Headlines and line-ups are important to any event page and how you present that information says a lot. In this instance, I wanted to continue with the personal narrative and inclusion by putting a face to the name of each presenter, along with their pronouns. Read more on that here.

Followed by a CTA button that allows the user to view the other presenters and another reference about the adherence to CDC rules.

Sponsors

This is followed by a list of sponsors that made the event possible but more than that, it includes a description of who they are, and thanks to them there will be goodie bags at The Driftless Yoga Festival.

A Full Circle

Just as it began with the land, the page ends with more information about the land. It made a full circle and paves way for Driftless’s narrative -all while ensuring the navigation and user experience wasn’t affected.

Designing Justice

Design is a big part of building a website and that’s pretty straightforward. But what about values? How do you design values like justice into a website?

You can do this in subtle ways. Show that justice, inclusion, compassion, and accessibility through your copy and language.

For The Driftless Yoga Festival, I did this by highlighting pronouns and land acknowledgment. Showed diversity in speakers. This value is clear in the online yoga workshops that center equity, hybrid yoga, and justice pricing.

Highlighting the little things like justice pricing shows that Driftless stands for accessibility and wants the space to be accessible for as many people who want to join as possible.

Yoga is a powerful tool for social justice and frankly, so is design. Here are some design principles I kept in mind when I was ‘designing justice’:

  • Integrity through Copy

  • Respect

  • Inclusion

  • Centering Voices (of the community)

A Facilitator

I took my role as a designer as a facilitator rather than that of an expert. This process is one of inclusion and to pay respect in every aspect while understanding your event’s value and being concise with your copy.

Yoga Festival Website Structure

What does a yoga festival website need? The structure of a yoga festival website can be boiled down to:

  1. Tickets

  2. Schedule

  3. Date & Location

  4. Line-up

  5. Merch

  6. Sponsors

  7. Story (Optional but a nice personal touch)

Challenges

Building a website doesn’t come without obstacles. Does anything ever really though? I’m sharing my takeaways and some of the obstacles I faced while designing the website:

  • Integration

  • Visual Content

Integration

Every client is different: aside from the technical and visual aspects, I had to find a way to thread the past and future together – to include their story and narrative. One that was guided by the tarot card ‘justice’.

There aren’t many guides on how to design justice into a website, let me tell you that. It was a learning experience and a good one at that.

Visual Content

Visuals are often created for a website. In this case, the branding assets like photos, logos and social media posts were created before the website was designed.

This meant that the ‘wiggle room’ for the designing process was confined to the aesthetics based on the branding assets made available to me.

I took what was given and decided to focus on ‘design with intention’.

Design With Intention

What is designing with intention? Essentially, what that means is:

  • I gave attention to the color psychology of the website

  • Its content

  • Included relevant typography trends

  • Paid attention to white spaces

  • And kept visitors engaged with relevant pictures and CTA buttons

With the festival photos provided by the client; the focus was placed on color. Why color you ask?

Have you heard of Color Psychology? Color is actually a powerful communication tool. It can be used to influence mood, prompt actions, and even influence physiological reactions.

After using Adobe to find colors that were shared on the website -to ensure consistency- a color personology was done.

We landed on the color deep burgundy -as can be seen threaded throughout the web pages- because it showcased wisdom, perseverance and passion.

And there you have it; a 3-in-1 mish mash of a website case study, (kind of) guide, mixed with my own personal experience of building a yoga festival website on Squarespace.

I hope this article helped you understand the structure of a yoga festival website and demonstrated how to implement designing with intention or incorporating your clients’ voice.

If you haven’t yet, check out The Driftless Yoga Festival website or visit their Facebook page!

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