The Wheeler Centre
The Wheeler Centre is Melbourne’s home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic. They hold more than 230 events each year, featuring local and international speakers. The centre is a non-profit arts organisation, and has budgets and resources that align with that reality. Nonetheless they have large aspirations for the way they disseminate content about and from their range of events and other commissioned writing projects.
Icelab was brought on design and build a new platform to help them realise those aspirations. This process began with a series of workshops with staff and stakeholders from the Wheeler Centre to try and discover what they wanted to achieve, to understand resourcing issues that might impede those aims, workflow issues with their existing platform, and to tease out latent ideas from their teams.
Build a platform able to push large swathes of content live in a single push to coincide with event program launches, and that can easily handle the visitation spikes that coincide with those launches.
We recommended and facilitated moving of their enormous library of video content from an expensive hosted service into YouTube, relieving the Wheeler Centre of the financial burden and complexity of running their own media servers, while simultaneously making their content more accessible to a larger audience.
During that process we automated the media publishing pipeline for their site: automatically converting, resizing, and reshaping images, audio, and video content for different devices, contexts and platforms, dramatically reducing the workload on the administrative staff.
We constructed a content management system that empowered the two-person team the Wheeler Centre to publish rich and varied pieces of content —including with complex relational data— with ease.
The Wheeler Centre had a particularly hands-on role throughout the project, as we consulted them for incremental feedback on all iterations of the prototypes, design, and development work. Their new site has allowed the Wheeler Centre to reach a wider audience with the content, and to maximise their internal resources to publish rich, deep content more often – including Andrew Denton’s ‘Better Off Dead’, which is currently the #1 ranked podcast in Australia.