Revamping the look & feel of an established digital product.

Localist is a community event platform that has been working for a decade. We modernized its core product, helping retain clients and go upmarket to enterprise customers.

Z1 Editors
Nov 20 · 5 min read

Localist provides event organizers with beautiful, white-labeled community event platforms and centralizes content workflows for all kinds of events: live, virtual, free, paid, and needing registration or not.

Localist got its start focused on colleges and universities, which have thousands of events happening across campuses every month, but more recently, its customer base shifted to marketing and HR teams at organizations. The Localist team came to Z1 looking for a fresher look and an improved user experience to help them achieve new business goals.

Gathering together is pure magic✨

That night, Myke met the Mayor of Baltimore and dozens of other people who had real influence in his community. That moment raised some questions:

How do I become one of these people? What if I could know about events like this ahead of time? What if a tool could facilitate the connection between people who want to make a difference with people who already are?

The answers led him to one idea: a desire to create something that would make it easier to connect to his community. That’s how Localist was first conceived.

The vision: there’s no better approach to sustainably grow a business than to create, empower, and connect communities around a brand’s mission. Localist asserts that when it’s done successfully, everyone within the community benefits, everyone wins (including the brand, of course).

Emphasis on event content

Localist’s community event platform design was a hit back in the early days. However, years later, it had become a weak point of their product. We detected the layout was poorly used, it had too many unnecessary columns, and the typography wasn’t ranked adequately for today’s standards.

Localist primitive white-labeled community event platform design.

Localist’s new design is called Emphasis. Creating it was a huge challenge. They needed a trendier and more functional look, but we had to be super careful with their legacy code not to break any existing features.

The design had to be flexible enough to adopt the hundreds of configurations that reflect all the client’s needs while maintaining all the functionalities their backend provided.

Localist’s focus is on event content. The design of every page on the platform started with asking: How does this page need to work to truly emphasize the unique aspects of each brand’s event content?

A flexible, personalized, and functional new design

Localist community event platform redesign.

By the end of the project, we designed a vast amount of screen views. To implement them, we used sass and JS vanilla. We also played with some Ruby on Rails templates to reorganize HTML and introduce new CSS classes.

But here is the thing: they had a 12-year-old legacy code, so imagine how many features they introduced during all those years! We were cautious while adding our code and took into account many details not to break anything. We even hacked some things to make them work better, and we rediscovered features that the previous design didn’t allow us to use, like adding the possibility of introducing lots of dates for recurring events. Surprise!

Feeling part of something bigger than ourselves

Emphasis applied to the University of Dakota’s brand.

Myke likes to say we live in a world where we’re introduced daily to technologies that promise a new way for people to connect, but only a few of them promote the kind of face-to-face interaction that leads to genuine connection.

“When we gather together at events, we remember that each of us has a role to play in the history of humanity. It’s where we find purpose and a place to belong.” Even having worked remotely, without having the chance of gathering together, we are proud to affirm we belong to Localist’s story.


🙌 Check out our Dribbble profile for more Localist’s design details.

Z1 Digital Studio

We turn great ideas into wonderful products — from zero to one.

Z1 Editors

Written by

We are the people who turn great ideas into wonderful products at Z1— and sometimes we write about it.

Z1 Digital Studio

We turn great ideas into wonderful products — from zero to one.

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