Film Streams is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. They’re located in the Ruth Sokolof Theater within the Saddle Creek Records complex in North Downtown Omaha.
Oxide was able to partner with Film Streams for their branding and their original website from 2007. After eight years of using that site, Film Streams was ready for an update. Even though the site was always meant to be a resource, the amount and kinds of content being hosted had grown significantly and needed to be easier to navigate. With the redesign, they also wanted to add responsiveness and any level of automation possible for their data-entry process.
Personally, working with Film Streams on their new website has been the most exciting project for me to date. I was really interested in building a site that needed to grow and evolve so much to meet their business needs. This level of flexibility required us to think through a lot of usability issues and scenarios in order to provide the best user experience possible.
The new site design does an excellent job of maintaining and reinforcing the branding while updating the aesthetic and ensuring great flexibility. What I love most is the design’s strict attention to consistency. The type, layout, and color all work together to reinforce hierarchy. As you browse from page to page throughout the website, you’re able to see that. This consistency elevates the design and makes it feel incredibly polished.
Besides refreshing the design and cleaning up the navigation, we were able to implement some automation to integrate Film Streams’ existing systems with the new site. We connected data from their ticketing software to auto-populate showtimes on films created in WordPress.
This created a relatively complex structure that resulted in a few loading issues. That said, I recently discovered AJAX and how that can be used with in WordPress to decrease server load. Simply put, using AJAX made it possible for us to use the design style we wanted while making it accessible to users on mobile devices or those with slower bandwidths. After this project, I still wouldn’t profess to be an expert in AJAX. But, this process has opened my eyes, and I hope others, into usefulness in future site builds.
For those interested, there are a couple decent online resources out there that do a nice job explaining the usage and how to implement.
On a less technical note, I’m really quite excited to see Film Streams continue to expand their revamped vault section. From previously being a text list of hundreds films to what it is now, I’m amazed how many films they’ve shown that I never knew existed that I can’t wait for them to show again.