I have been pondering for a while one of the problems with how the events listings on this website operates, and I think I have come up with a sensible solution.
To clarify, the listings pages has two core aims:
1) To list the less well publicised events mainly focusing on heritage, science, architecture, walks and the like. I think most people using the listings guide for a while will have probably worked out the flavour of events I try to find out about.
2) To make it easy to find out what is happening today, without having to wade through pages upon pages of events that repeat every single day. I know I am not alone in finding many website based listings guides not unlike a needle/haystack situation.
Those core aims will never change – they are indeed the very essence of the listings guide.
However, in the aim to focus on one-off events, I am overlooking the temporary exhibitions that occur and would fit the theme of the listings guide – such as the museums etc – if only I could find a sensible way of listing them without smothering the one-off events.
Today, I am making a change to the front page of the website – and to the weekly newsletter I send out each Wednesday.
Firstly, the front page of the website is laid out to make it slightly easier to separate out the one-off events from those events which repeat on a semi-regular basis (typically weekly/monthly heritage walks) which I have always had in the listings guide but buried deep away.
A second smaller change is that listings that charge an admission fee will now include the price in the description. I am trying to make the website as easy to use at a glance, and I think that little change will help save clicking on an interesting event only to find it is too expensive.
I will rarely list expensive events anyway, but we all have different views as to what counts as good value for money, and I tend to go by personal gut instinct if something will be value for money when we get above Â£15 or so.
The big change though, is at the bottom of the page – and that is a listing of temporary exhibitions that usually run for several months. However, the key is that I will only display those exhibitions that are ending within the next fortnight.
In essence a warning, or last chance to see of the exhibitions that will close shortly. You probably read about the exhibition opening in Time Out etc, and this is a reminder that it is about to close.
I believe that by limiting this new section to those exhibitions which are closing down shortly will preserve my core principle, which is to focus on those events you can’t do any other day, while listing some events you can do everyday, just not for very much longer.
Having created the section, I need to populate it with content, which I am slowly working on. It may take a while for it to get fully up to speed.
Any thoughts and suggestions for further improvements, as always, are gratefully received.