“An easy-to-use, dynamic product catalog that expresses the personality and lifestyle focus of the brand.” —juror Bryan Finke
“This type of site tends to engage in overkill visual tactics, but this one takes a relatively understated approach. The result is a useful site that maintains a good dose of cool.” —juror Grace Stanat
Overview: Online catalog designed for extreme sports enthusiasts with killer photography and hip copy. The sophisticated animations between sections and the stylish use of hierarchical menus reinforce its authentic youthful style.
• 84,000+ average monthly visits
• 600+ products listed
• Navigation is created on demand
• Flash MX/ColdFusion MX, SQL database-driven site
• 14 weeks, 9 people
Comments by Tim Klauda, Elena Blanco and Tami McLaughlin:
“Dakine’s audience spans multiple demographics across a variety of action sports (surf, skate, ski, snowboard, windsurf). The challenge was to create a site that would speak to all of these groups and engage them without alienating the others. In traditional media Dakine’s in-house art department does this by branding each sport individually, but on the Web people see all the content at the same time.
“Our challenge was to build a heavily-branded product catalog without using any of the sport-specific Dakine branding.
“We based our approach on the consistent theme of technology and innovation that’s at the heart of the company. We focused visually on what would be ‘cool’ to the various audiences but since we also wanted to extend the brand through function, we also focused on the interface.
“We started with a very simple dropdown system that everyone would be familiar with and added a new twist with a ‘preview’ window that allows users to browse entire product lines without ever clicking or loading a page. The result is that everything is a mere two clicks away. Additionally, by using the preview functionality, the product pages include technology details, large images, color previews, online dealers, features, specs and cross-selling opportunities all in an area that doesn’t require scrolling (even at 800 × 600 resolution).
“If a user is browsing to a particular section of the site, the navigation is created dynamically by grabbing the proper information from the backend and displaying it to the user. The result is a site that loads fast on dial-up connections and machines with low-processor speeds, ensuring that a broad variety of users can navigate the site with ease.
“Cutting Edge Product + Cutting Edge Design = Great Site.”