Turning An Event Into An Online Experience

Turning An Event Into An Online Experience


With a trail of successful projects, Rubrik, the market leader in cloud data management, reached out to Pixelmatters once again, this time to design and develop the website for their first cloud data management event, Rubrik Forward.

The event was set to take place in Chicago, in a typical in-person setting. Almost everything was in place, but by March 2020, due to a pandemic that made the World adopt social distancing measures, Rubrik had to make a quick decision: adapt the event into an online experience. This was how we, together with Rubrik, broke down barriers and brought a community closer together through digital.

Transformation of Rubrik Forward to Rubrik Forward Digital Summit.
Transformation of Rubrik Forward to Rubrik Forward Digital Summit.


Having to quickly shift from an offline conference with a fully developed and ready website to a 100% digital and online experience in a short period, made this project challenging for both teams.

With a timeline of two months to complete the transition and zero margin for any mistakes, keeping everyone in sync at all times, and having complete flexibility and commitment became vital in guaranteeing the launch of the new Rubrik Forward Digital Summit website.

Speakers page. Left: Rubrik Forward. Right: Rubrik Forward Digital Summit.
Speakers page. Top: Rubrik Forward. Bottom: Rubrik Forward Digital Summit.

Close collaboration made it possible

With a short timeframe to make the project happen, having a close remote collaboration between both teams, Pixelmatters and Rubrik, was essential.

Having to deal with unpredictability, and working with teams spread out across different timezones, made following an agile approach an obvious choice. From a long experience in working remotely with overseas clients, we knew that proactive asynchronous and synchronous communication would be a differentiating factor.

Ongoing collaborative approach.
Ongoing collaborative approach.

Unfolding the design vision

As with any other project, it’s important to invest proper time in discovery. The website's design vision had to be fully aligned with the right user expectations, tailored for the right audience, and with clearly defined business goals.

Having an already defined branding — created by the incredible John&Jane team — served as a foundation for the design direction as a whole, truly making our job easier and even more delightful from a visual standpoint. It helped us understand and incorporate what was soon to become the Forward Digital Summit values and look & feel into the website's visual approach, along with providing a common ground of communication between the teams involved in the project.

Left: Website discovery phase by Pixelmatters. Right: Brand Presentation by John&Jane.
Top: Website discovery phase by Pixelmatters. Bottom: Brand Presentation by John&Jane.

Crafting a forward-thinking experience

Considering the existing brand guidelines — and being Rubrik Forward Digital Summit the first conference organized by Rubrik — we focused on crafting the best experience we could to present it to the world, exposing it as the cloud data management event of the year. Its design had to inspire, feel on the edge of technology, and get people excited about it.

Early explorations of the look and feel.
Early explorations of the look and feel.

Design re-envisioned to a new reality

With a new online reality, it became clear the experience had to be fully re-thought and the look & feel had to be adjusted. A Styleguide defined from the get-go, and a quick adaption of the brand guidelines by John&Jane allowed us to act quickly and efficiently.

As part of the transformation, we also had to understand the depths of the functional and non-functional changes the experience would require, especially given the introduction of a new integration — ON24, a platform for hosting live online events — which provided flexibility during this change. As a result, some visual constraints had to be considered when conceptualizing certain sections, but most of the website visuals were easily adapted to this new approach.

Rubrik Forward Digital Summit Styleguide.
Rubrik Forward Digital Summit Styleguide.

Every detail mattered

Since the beginning of the project, Rubrik Forward's website was technically planned on the highest standards. This goes from writing clean code within a scalable architecture defined previously for the project, to a strong focus on its overall performance.

Having these core principles in place allowed us to easily integrate ON24, and introduce a completely new experience directly on the website, rapidly transitioning to a new digital reality.

The website's architecture core principles that enabled a quick integration with ON24.
The website's architecture core principles that enabled a quick integration with ON24.

Built-in flexibility

Forward Digital Summit follows the same mindset as Rubrik, a rapid growth environment that requires agility. For this same reason, the Forward Digital Summit website is completely built-in on WordPress, using a structure of reusable blocks, allowing flexibility across the entire website. This makes it easy for the client to quickly change anything without compromising the overall design.

Representation of a form for easy customization and introduction of content.
Representation of a form for easy customization and introduction of content.

The Pixelmatters team was a clear choice for Rubrik Forward. With transitioning from an in-person conference to a 100% online Forward Digital Summit we were absolutely confident that they could support our vision and have impeccable execution in a short time frame due to their agility, strategic thinking, and high standards.

Anastassia Fink

Senior Web Marketing Manager at Rubrik

Representation of Rubrik Forward Digital Summit online experience.
Creation of a new Venue Profile screen based on user feedback

The Result

After a challenging journey, with uncontrollable twists and turns, we successfully launched the Forward Digital Summit website, an event accessible by anyone, and to everyone. Thanks to a close remote collaboration and a quick design and development adaption, Rubrik was able to reach an unprecedented brand exposure, starting with around 800 in-person confirmed seats, to now, thousands of registrations for their online event, in a matter of weeks.

Summing it up

In a time where collaboration, community, and agility are more important than ever before, we helped Rubrik connect a community of businesses, leaders, technologists, and thinkers to discuss the future of cloud data management, from the comfort of their own homes. That's the infinite power of digital.