Minnesota Playlist

Asking the Right Questions to Set the Right Course

Minnesota Playlist dancers

Using Discovery to Drive Connection

Minnesota Playlist provides a unique and vital space where performing artists can connect with each other on an easy, accessible community-driven platform. When their site needed an upgrade, they worked with TEN7 to step back, reimagine possibilities, and plot a course for how the site can better serve their audiences.
What We Did

The Challenge

Minnesota Playlist was created in 2007 as a Drupal site with the goal of creating a truly community-driven website. Performing artists and companies were able to create accounts and post their own shows, classified ads, and other information to support their work. As a small business, it was important for Minnesota Playlist to have a site that could be easily maintained and managed. The website was upgraded once in 2014, but in 2021 it became clear that Minnesota Playlist was once again showing its age. Pages were breaking down and the user experience was suffering. TEN7 was brought in to upgrade the site, while preserving the immense archives of articles, past performances, talent profiles, and the profiles for thousands of users.

Our Solution

Despite the initial temptation to dive in and quickly fix issues that had emerged with the site, Minnesota Playlist and TEN7 decided to step back and evaluate the site's goals and audiences to be sure the upgrade would address those needs. This path required a Discovery process, speaking with key stakeholders and examining how the content and flow of the site supported the Minnesota Playlist mission. From there TEN7 could build a more efficient and strategic path for the future.
Minnesota Playlist website with mobile image isert

Conduct a Discovery process to evaluate website strategy and goals

The team at TEN7 took the time to really understand Minnesota Playlist, looking at the audiences and how the site fulfills its important mission. The Discovery process included a round-table discussion including the former owners of the organization, some of the writers who work with the site, and representatives from the performing artist community. This process drilled down to a better understanding of who the Minnesota Playlist audiences are, what they get out of engaging with the site, and what their pain points are as they try to leverage the site for their needs. Participants were also asked what changes they would like to see and what features might be important for the future. As this process unfolded, TEN7 was able to drill down to the key elements that required attention, and avoid getting distracted by other issues. Taking time to go through this process provided confidence that the new roadmap would lead exactly where the organization needed to go.

Use Discovery results to strategically upgrade website function and design

After taking a deep dive into audience perceptions and needs, TEN7 worked with Minnesota Playlist on the details of the upgrade. This included:

  • A new approach to design that brought more creativity and fun to users, helping it better reflect the energy of the audience.
  • A greater emphasis on visuals and photography, which bring the excitement and life of the theater onto the site.
  • A streamlined user experience which will allow people to easily upload different images and graphics and have them look good on the site no matter what format they are using.
  • A website foundation that is easy to maintain moving forward, reflecting the need of Minnesota Playlist to keep the site running well into the future while staying within their budget.

Love from the client

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Hear from Damon
The way that TEN7 has engaged with me, particularly in the way that they have shown interest in and care for not just building me a website, but really for wanting to set Minnesota Playlist up for success, and understanding my goals of how I want to also make something that matters for my client base, that’s how I've seen it really play out. They're relating to me, my business, and my clients, whom I serve in a way that is authentic, and really genuine.
Damon Runnals
CEO and Owner at Minnesota Playlist