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NW StageEvents Done Better

Welcome to NWS

Welcome to the new NW Stage website

If you are reading this blog post, you are in our new redesigned website (yay!). Depending on who you ask, this site has been in process for either four years or four months. I have had a design concept for the website since mid 2012, which included a large rotating slideshow that showcases images from work that we have done. This concept required that we obtain images that meet that end, and that we sort them appropriately into proper categories. Ironically, it took some time for CSS technology to catch up to what I envisioned, and then a lot more time to actually get the images together. In the meantime, I built an entire new site, that sadly, never saw the light of day. While this site had a few cool features, this newer version implements the vision far better and has a degree of flexibility that the “vaporware” site could never achieve.

We will be rolling out all of the new sites pages over the month of June (and let's just be real, into July as well) so check back for changes, additions and updates over the coming weeks.

There are a few things I am really proud of in the new site. They include:

  • The rotating slideshow background for each page - all of which are taken from NW Stage events.
  • Better text descriptions and categories of what we do.
  • The new intelligent contact form. The form asks questions, then automatically routes the message to the appropriate person which increases the time from inquiry to action.
  • This production blog, which replaces our social media stack. The Production Blog will be the repository for news, updates and showcase our current (and some historical) projects.

On the design front, each and every page has been meticulously beta tested and then live tested by our crack team of engineers in the same way we check every event detail here at NW Stage HQ. Not that we like to share our internal trade secrets, but I've decided to roll back the veil and share a little on the process:

Our Creative Design Process

NWS Creative Process Flowchart


To properly design any project, I have discovered it is important to set aside time to brainstorm and think through “big picture” ideas. These brainstorming sessions, which usually occur sometime between midnight and three am, immediately after waking up from a restless sleep, form the genesis of many good design concepts. These ideas are dutifully recoded in a phone notepad to be fully flushed out and expanded on at a later date. Some examples of design ideas I have recorded:

  • Make good slideshow
  • Website footer with email
  • ambferol
  • Background image from that auction, with that picture of the speaker. (I'm not sure if that is a presenter onstage or an actual loudspeaker, but it is important not to focus on the details during a brainstorming session, you should stay focused on the “big picture”)
  • Look through old phone for pictures

Beta Testing:

After the design concept is laid out, it is important to move on to the detail phase of the project. In this phase, I code a page, select the background images and order of their rotation. After final assembly I mercilessly hound anyone who comes by my desk (even the UPS delivery driver is fair game) for their opinion. Those who get asked first have their ideas jotted down on a post it note (or if they are really lucky a scrap of paper or the back of an old quote) those who stop by later in the process, usually after changes have already been incorporated are summarily dismissed and their ideas rejected as “lacking appropriate vision”

Live Testing:

After the beta test phase concludes, I make the page “live”, then begin the ritual of running around the shop forcing everyone to stop what they are doing and load the new page on whatever computer, tablet or phone they have nearby. Then commences a lot of groaning, eye rolls, and arguing about the changes that I didn't incorporate from the beta phase. Finally, after the new pages have been exhaustively live tested, revisions and fixes are quickly done and the pages rebuilt until all time runs out and I have to be somewhere else.

This process concludes with my mumbling something about NWS being “a well oiled machine” and I usually allow the process to quietly taper off by slipping out to get some coffee or jump into a conference call.


So after the cycle has repeated several times over, at some point we have a finished project (in this case our website). The determination that it is at a good place to be finished, is usually in direct proportion to the amount of frustration that we all feel in discussing it further. After a few months, the brainstorming sessions begin anew, and we will start coming up with fresh ideas for the 2022 version of the site.

Hopefully you find the new site informative and helpful.