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Interactive Annual 17:
Self-Promotion

DDB Canada Web Site Redesign

Launch Live Site

“A great example of the one-page site done right.” —Jared Benson

“The simplicity of the UX makes the site. I love that there is no wasted space and the vertical navigation is unique and very effective.” —Oscar Llarena


Overview: When the DDB Canada site began showing signs of age, the agency set out to modernize how it promotes itself to potential clients, employees and the press with the specific goal of demonstrating its strengths, instead of just stating them. It created a sophisticated and unconventional experience that’s easy to update and never gets in its own way. The main navigation is minimal and divided into clear categories and a scrolling sub nav affects only relevant content while keeping main navigation components locked and persistent. The site also has loads of social network sharing features and pulls in tweets from DDB Canada’s Twitter and Flickr accounts.

  • • It took a core team of about six, plus one development partner—and a committee of around 1,000—about fourteen months to complete the site.
  • • The strings were dynamically coded using a Parametric curve library (from the Algorithmist) and a cool JavaScript event leverages the native browser window’s scroll bar to animate the Flash content.
  • • Since launch, it’s received more than 67,000 visits, with 1,049,735 page views and an average of 15,000 visits per month and there’s been a 300 percent increase in traffic, compared to the previous site, with an average time on site of 7:48 minutes.

Comments by Josh Fehr

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “The biggest challenge was the task of representing ourselves. We work everyday at a strategic and creative level to solve the communication challenges of our clients, and all of a sudden we were trying to do the same for ourselves and realizing how difficult it is when it’s not about someone else and all objectivity flies out the window. That’s why this project took so long to complete. We went through rounds and rounds of creative, each time honing and refining what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. There was a tremendous amount of patience required from everyone involved to stay committed and not let things deteriorate, just because we wanted to get it done. I think our effort is evident in the result.”

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “It’s no surprise that when it comes to a creative agency representing themselves it becomes a huge ordeal. Obviously the way a company goes about tackling the task is crucial in determining its success. In the past, I’ve seen places underestimate the effort and resources required to do this well. Often the wrong people are put in place to control critical pieces of content; we all know a great design system is only as good as the content it holds. Thanks to the talent and commitment from everyone involved, we avoided these pitfalls.”

Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? “A committee of 1,000.”

What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “Reduce the committee by a couple of hundred.”

Credits

Murray Falconer/Josh Fehr, art directors
Jarrod Banadyga/Andrew Simon, writers
Antonio Roman/Yuan You, interactive designers
Cosmo Campbell/Josh Fehr/Dean Lee/Andrew Simon, creative directors
Justin MacLeod/Anthony Trad, developers
Jam3, Flash programmer
Anne Forkutza/Eiko Kawano, information architects
Ryan McCormick/Rich Morgan, interactive producers
Nicole Moore/Richard Sandor, project managers
DDB Canada, Tribal Vancouver (Vancouver, Canada), project design and development


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