“An ambitious project that succeeded in transforming a typical promotional and e-commerce site into a strong editorial statement, with an elegance that resonated on both the visual and experiential levels.” —juror Erika Tarte
“Vibrant site for a premium experience. I love its simplicity, attention to detail and usage of mixed media. You want to explore more after getting a feel for what your stay at the Parker would be like.” —juror Eva Mautino
Overview: “The day I awoke and started dreaming.” This line begins a whimsical memoir told in the first person about a day spent at the Parker Palm Springs. The tale unfolds on the homepage of the Parker’s website, which was renovated by New York–based digital agency Canvas United after the hotel had been remodeled by designer Jonathan Adler. To evoke the typical Parker experience, Canvas sprinkled fun animations, clever illustrations and dreamy vignettes throughout the site. Once users have scrolled to the bottom of the homepage, the words “The time is now” coaxes them to book their own special stays in Palm Springs.
• The site was built with semantic HTML5, modular Sass and ES6, using the Middleman static site framework.
• Canvas United installed Barba.js to pull off fast, smooth page transitions that aren’t interrupted by page reloads.
• The site took four months to complete.
Comments by Taua Baccarin, Leslie Cohn-Wein, Milena Drejer and John Kaminsky:
What is the project’s core feature? “The signature element of the website is the long linear homepage. As visitors scroll through the story of a day at the Parker, they don’t know what they will come across next—this emulates the twists, turns and unexpected reveals of the hotel property itself. This is a hotel that has a central courtyard adorned with a seven-foot-tall bronze banana; capturing such eccentric and clever touches was key. The lower-level pages of the site continue the spirit of the homepage, but have a more pragmatic job to do: efficiently delivering information about the hotel and facilitating bookings.”
Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “To pull off the unique hour-by-hour storytelling concept on the homepage, we built an analog clock scalable vector graphic that fixes into place beyond the hero panel. As the clock hits each new panel, CSS animations rotate the hour and minute hands to the new panel’s time. We also have subtle parallaxing and short Cinemagraphs embedded on the page to add depth and interest to the experience and mimic the fun animated GIF illustrations found throughout the rest of the site.”
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Striking a balance of giving just enough away to intrigue site visitors and make them feel confident in booking a stay, yet not revealing too much and spoiling the magic of the in-person experience of the hotel. We wanted to capture the unique aesthetic between the emotional storytelling-focused aspects of the site as well as its functional commerce-focused aspects.”