“I love all the little details—the way the page edges bounce, the teeny little arrows, the swishy transition music. It’s very delicate and very neat.”—juror Sasha Kurtz
“Feels more like an application than a Web site. The use of sound adds to the site navigation.”—juror Bryan Finke
Overview: A simple and clean interface allows the work of this agency to take center stage. The slideshow interface is easy to navigate and the use of lighthearted animations and soft fades creates a soothing effect.
• 117 files totaling 2.2MB
• Utilizes XML files for data
• 1 1/2 months, 4 people
Comments by Mike Kretsinger and Natalia Berglund:
“In December of 2003 we went through a major brand overhaul; the launch of our new identity (and site) was to coincide with our move into larger offices in Minneapolis. Our target date for launch was January 2004. Of course we completely underestimated the stress and challenges associated with moving offices while redefining our identity. The time we should have been spending in analysis and design was actually spent filling and emptying boxes.
“As we embarked on the project, we summarized it with one word: relationship. We know that the best agencies master the art of relationship and grow the relationship through the delivery of extraordinary solutions grounded in strong business intelligence. Our challenge was how to effectively express our value on relationship through our identity.
“We started with what we had: a copy of our business plan, our award-winning work, the personalities of our employees and our new offices. We ended up with a soft and rich color palette for our identity and set out to design a site that would be clean, elegant, professional, easy to use and, hopefully, very different than what most people are used to seeing. Since the project is a self-promotional piece, we had free rein as to how the site would look and function.
“The color palette and navigation are relatively traditional, so we set out to do something unique with the animation. We created movement that is fluid and friendly but, although common in everyday life, still somewhat rare in an interactive arena. For example, the intro opens and closes with the same movement as raising and lowering window blinds and the main navigation and content windows open and close like doors and cabinets. Finally, the motions were scored by a sound designer to give them an added sense of dimension and the site was meticulously built by Atomic Playpen, our Internet strategy and development firm.
“Although it was energizing to have total creative control, it was also somewhat unsettling to realize that the site would play a large role in how all future clients evaluated us. It not only had to exemplify our best work, but it had to appeal to a broad client base.”