"Quick and easy to use but also fun and engaging, that rare mix of simplicity and interactivity." —juror Todd Purgason
"With the ability to create a seemingly infinite number of roof combinations, this site is strangely addictive. And I don't even own a MINI." —juror Paula Willard
Overview: Personalization is a big part of the MINI culture and Roof Studio is the virtual gallery where enthusiasts can create and show-off custom roof designs. Special features include an online design tool kit and the ability to upload images and convert them into usable roof graphics.
• Downloadable vinyl-ready graphics
• Custom paint shop tool
• 3-D spiral navigation
Comments by Andrew Keller and Jeff Benjamin:
"The roof of a MINI isn't just a roof. It's a blank canvas. A clean slate. Personalization is a huge part of MINI culture, so the goal of roofstudio.com was to provide a global gallery where MINI enthusiasts could create and show off their roof designs.
"Images can be uploaded and instantly turned into roof graphics. Toolbox options let people design something truly original and have it posted to an ever-growing, ever-evolving gallery. One option even makes it possible to download a graphic in a special format that can be brought to a sign company and transformed into a vinyl graphic that can be applied to the roof of the car. One of our biggest obstacles was making sure that a majority of the designs on the site were available as downloadable graphics.
"Since we wanted this to feel like a virtual museum, the navigational structure grew out of the way museums are organized. The 3-D navigation creates a sense of depth and allows users to immerse themselves in MINI roof designs without being overwhelming. It also showcases a multitude of MINI designs without looking like a typical photo gallery.
"Content is tied to an enormous database of cars and keywords for searching. Each MINI roof can be tagged with up to five keywords that are all searchable. It allows for a huge set of vehicle designs that can be narrowed by color, design style, format, etc. Incorporating this level of detail into the site was pretty labor-intensive, as was dealing with the large amount of data loading and unloading in Flash.
"We went through a great deal of optimization to get to the point that users on different platforms could fully immerse themselves in the site. In the end, it's not just a showcase of designs but a means for inspiring them."