24 Sept 2019

UX Reviewed: Global TEDx Websites (Interactive).

I love a good TED talk. And with the development of the TEDx concept to establish locally organised 'franchised' versions of the TED concept, we've seen a democratisation of the TED talk. Anyone with an interesting experience or perspective can potentially speak at an event - and you don't need to pay the US $10,000 to attend the global conference (if you are accepted to attend). In our day-to-day, we make sure we keep ourselves across interesting websites and web design solutions, and it's common for us to come across a TEDx website that demonstrates a concept or idea that we want to communicate with a client. So we figured why not look at them holistically and present back some of the interesting web design concepts and usability practices we have found in our travels.

The task

The TEDx website ultimately is an event website. An event website doesn't need to be complicated. But there are a couple of things the website likely needs to achieve. The core challenge is to create an impression of interest and curiosity in the event. While it is a TEDx event, they are locally organised, and so the quality of the event is going to be largely influenced by the quality of the organisers.

  1. Create an impression of an innovative and well-resourced event

  2. Highlight the quality of the speakers

  3. Make sure it is as simple as possible to purchase tickets.

The Australian: TEDx Sydney


Our review

Website header

Information architecture


The Transitional: TEDx Copenhagen


Our review

Content search

Dynamic transitions


The Double Deluxe: TEDx Bethesda


Our review


Digital design


Refined Simplicity: TEDx Portland


Our review

Imagery selection



The Original: TED Global




The Global TED website is a little different to the other TEDx sites we reviewed. They don't push the creative or innovation angle for the event. Why? They don't need to. The TED brand is already well-established as being innovative and forward-thinking. They have a bigger problem of trying to provide some kind of meaningful and useful system to enable users to browse the many thousands of videos - without users necessarily looking for anything in specific. They are just looking to be inspired.

The Wow Factor

The interesting thing about the TEDx websites was the justified utility of adding in a Wow factor to the website. As an event, you want people to get excited about what you are doing, you want to push them over the contemplation threshold to a place where they think they can't miss out on the event. Normally, we don't recommend investing as much into creating a statement piece like this, but it makes sense for this type of website, for this brand.

Our ranking

  1. TEDx Bethesda: We really loved the Bethesda website. The punchy and innovative home page element is a unique use of video with dynamic interactivity - it looks gorgeous.

  2. TEDx Portland: The website is very nice, but the mega imagery doesn't necessarily translate onto mobile as well as it could. It may help if they used a single large image, than to try and replicate the two large facial images on the desktop experience.

  3. TEDx Copenhagen: The inter-page transition is great and unique, but the overall design and content sophistication isn't as high. What do you think?

Tell us what you think! If you would like to talk to us about this article, drop us a line at greg@lamb.com.au.

Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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