From the Series
Design Indaba has recharged its digital presence with a new website that complements our renowned annual festival but whose content is independent of it. Informed by the same spirit of creativity and drive for excellence that are the hallmarks of our event, designindaba.com has set out on a new course to showcase, analyse and probe developments in design and creativity from Africa and across the globe.
We’ve realigned our content strategy to stand alone as a fully-fledged online media platform and unveiled a smart new look to navigate users smoothly through the experience.
We’re focusing our efforts on delivering impactful, intelligent and well-researched stories from the worlds of design and innovation every day, at least three times a day. Look out for these changes, which we’ve implemented partly in response to the results of a reader survey conducted in April 2014:
In-depth, original content
With so much clutter in the online space, we’ve set ourselves apart by devoting the bulk of our content to original stories that haven’t been told anywhere else or that probe popular issues from a fresh angle. To our regular Interviews, Profiles and Q&As, we’ve added Next Generation, which introduces emerging talent from around the world, and Design Frontiers, which heralds inventions and applications that are breaking new ground.
Africa is now
Continuing the momentum of our “Africa Is Now” exhibition that debuted at Design Indaba Expo 2014, our website is the key medium through which we are uncovering the best examples of creativity on the African continent. At least half of our content is now about Africa and of those stories, many are being told for the first time on designindaba.com. Our fortnightly African Report shines a spotlight on futuristic fashion designers from Dakar, conceptual architects from Luanda, film junkies in Rwanda and master carpenters from Sierra Leone, reported by someone on the ground. Another hallmark of our editorial focus is design activism, a common thread running through the entire Design Indaba brand. We search out stories that demonstrate the power of creative thinking to solve everyday problems, uplift communities and broaden access to innovation.
Jaw-dropping, inspiringly good work is still the order of the day. But it’s not just about good looks – our number one priority is innovation. We’re on the prowl for design, film, music and creativity that redefines their discipline, changes the way you encounter the world and adds something unique. We’ve added a curated music feature, Track of the Week, to our regular offering that already encompasses short film in #FilmFestFriday and product design in Product Spotlight.
Distinctive points of view
One of the key findings in our reader survey was that our writing lacked a strong sense of voice. In response we’ve set about finding people who can contribute distinctive points of view to write for us. We’ve tapped our network of leading designers and seasoned thinkers to tell us how they work, what the future holds for the industry and what’s important to them. They write for us in first-person Opinion pieces, give us rapid-fire assessments of a pressing issue in Hot Topic and review major international events for us.
The full scope of the Design Indaba platform – including Design Indaba Conference and Expo – has given us a wealth of insight into the realities of making it in the industry, from the challenges of running a small business and juggling commerce with creativity, to the perils and potential of retail, manufacturing and self-promotion. We’re tapping some of the big names for Inside View, which distills their expertise into key lessons for industry folk.
Our new sections focus on our best content offerings, and we have pared down the design to let the content speak for itself through beautiful imagery and crafted stories. Our new site is also fully responsive to the device you are using, providing the best browsing experience whether you’re on a wide-screen computer, laptop, tablet or phone. (One small disclaimer: Older versions of Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox do not render responsive websites properly so we recommend you update your internet browser for the optimum experience.)
Our journey to this point
Through its event, Design Indaba has been showcasing creativity from both design heavyweights and emerging talent for 20 years. For a decade Design Indaba Magazine packaged this inspiration between its pages. With the rise of digital we moved all this content onto our website as an additional offering to its event functionality. Now designindaba.com comes of age as a content platform in its own right, separate from our festival.
The full talks from the Design Indaba Conference going back to 2006 are still a unique offering of our website. We’ve made them easily accessible in the main navigation bar that appears at thte top of every page. We release each year’s talks on our website starting from August of that year (but they are released earlier on our app, which you can download here). Our speaker talks are a treasure trove of inspiration from the world’s most notable designers and an invaluable educational resource for creatives of all types.
Our other longstanding offerings, including our Designer Directory of creative personalities and information about Design Indaba’s own projects and annual festival, are also easily accessible from the top navigation bar. These are now accommodated in their own sections on our site
We welcome any feedback you have to offer, so email us, tweet @designindaba, or post a comment below.