Melbourne Writers Festival

Melbourne Writers Festival

Designing between the lines

The Melbourne Writers Festival holds a unique and important position in the Melbourne festival landscape, with a broad appeal being the festival “for everyone who reads”. An important part of any festival is to sell tickets, and Melbourne Writers Festival came to us to explore a revamped interface.

MWF Website

By simplifying the menu structure, we made sure that there was a clear distinction between content navigation menu and the ticketing menu. We also eliminated any hidden hamburger menus on the desktop site.

We aimed to gain an understanding of the complexities of the festival by holding workshops which also gave the stakeholders a chance to speak candidly about the reasons for wanting change. We learned that success would require a drastically different website experience, and that seamless client management of the online assets was a must.

Existing API’s were required to stay in place which handle ticketing, and the site was required to have different modes which correspond to the festivals seasons.

MWF User Experience
MWF User Experience

By placing the events filter across the top of the program it is easier to narrow down the myriad of sessions that MWF offer.

We’ve made conversion the focus by grouping all of the key session details with the call to action. Once the tickets added to the cart we hand over to the Ferve Ticketing service which handles the transaction.

The mobile site has been optimised to elevate what matters. We introduced sliders to enable the wealth of content from the desktop site, but reducing scrolling.

The menus have been consolidated on mobile, while still keeping the differentiation between the ticketing navigation and the content navigation.

MWF responsive website


The website launched to positive feedback, increased traffic and user engagement, and increased ticket sales, with a significant decrease in calls to support requiring assistance with the website/purchasing tickets.

View the website


  • User interface design
  • Website development
  • User experience design