B:Music – putting people first

27 January 2022

B:Music is the music charity responsible for sister venues Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. We launched their modern, intuitive and upbeat new website in 2021.

It was great working on this all-new project with a team we know so well. We've been the organisation's digital partner since 2015. Having a deep understanding of the more complex functionality in particular meant we had more time to focus on things like user experience – those little details that make everyone's lives easier – and design impact.

Speaking of design, we love B:Music's visual identity by Pentagram. As soon as we saw it, we knew it’d give the B:Music team the ability to share stories in powerful, engaging ways.

What B:Music do

One of our favourite bits of the new website is What we do. It replaces a traditional 'About' section with clear, interesting, and user-focused content.

An editorial design style entices and encourages you to find out more. And, although the content is easy to browse, there's a deceptively large amount of information.

Crucially, this information includes showcasing B:Music's top-level charitable aims. Clearly stating what the organisation does outside of looking after their venues and hosting great events – commissioning new music, working across Birmingham, and collaborating with artists and others – was a big part of the brief.

Another key goal was to highlight compelling stories about the huge impact B:Music has – not least from the viewpoint of individual artists. For example, acclaimed pianist and singer, Reuben James.

Under BMusic's white website header is a green background. On the background is a cut-out of artist Reuben James tilting his cap. A big title to the right reads "'Closer' to Reuben James." Smaller text below: "The acclaimed pianist and singer gave up a scholarship to Trinity College of Music to go on tour with an up and coming artists he'd met."

Human connection is so important. And we all know that context matters to people – especially when it comes to donation asks.

The website is structured so that the ways to support B:Music's work can be added to the website wherever they'll be most effective. Whether that's alongside the charitable mission, woven-in to artists' stories, or as part of news articles about community projects.

Screenshot of donations widget which reads "As a registered chairty, we rely on your generous donations to enable us to immerse thousands of people in a world of music" Beneath this are buttons showing £10, £20, £30, £50 and an 'other amount' field alongside a 'Donate now' button
What's not included?

As well as covering the content that's been included, it's important to note what isn't.

For example, a history of the buildings. The previous website included lots of detail about the history of Town Hall and Symphony Hall. It's fascinating. But not why people come to the website. This information was rarely sought-out by website visitors, and was even something of a distraction from the focus on B:Music's charitable aims.

Another purposeful omission – numerous images of empty venues! With a strong focus on people, and the experience they have within the walls of Town Hall or Symphony Hall – and with B:Music in general – this sort of imagery is no longer on-brand.

Broadly speaking, if content doesn't serve users or emphasise the charitable mission, it probably shouldn't be on the website.

The moment Supercool presented design concepts to us gave me goosebumps – because the design captures, understands, and reflects back to us all that we want B:Music to communicate.

Richard Loftus – (former) Director of Sales & Marketing, B:Music
Three reasons B:Music's What we do works so well:
1. Focus on people

This is not a new concept especially, but having it as a decisive focus for the website makes all the difference. The website is full of life, colour, and verve because of this human touch.

2. Focus on (charitable) impact

It's becoming increasingly important for not-for-profits to demonstrate why they're so vital to society. The website gives the B:Music team the tools they need to do just that.

3. Clear, concise storytelling

Giving B:Music the space and design tools to make the most of compelling human stories helps to elevate the organisation from 'music venues' to a vibrant, engaged – and engaging – part of people's lives in Birmingham and beyond.

Ask us about our process for creating beautiful, accessible, people-focused websites – we'd love to hear from you

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