Responses by Weston Baker, founder/creative director, Weston Baker Creative Group
Background: 15 Finches is Weston Baker Creative Group’s studio that helps build and accelerate startups. 15 Finches is unique because we act as a team within the team, taking on many roles and providing many services. Most importantly, we adapt with our startup partners over time, adjusting our team to best fulfill the startup’s needs while keeping the burn rate low. This website is the first public material displaying what we stand for and what we offer.
Highlights: The website is driven by a minimal graphic design approach that incorporates large, bold fonts and floating elements with a primarily white background. Many of the website elements use a parallax effect to simulate depth and light sources. In order to make the case study page stand out, it utilizes full-screen backgrounds that change color as users scroll through the projects.
Challenges: Integrating the subtle design elements and animation features that are meant to enhance the user experience—if not implemented correctly, they can stand out like a sore thumb. We tested out different ways to develop the color-changing background feature on the case study page in order to find the best transition and blending effect. We settled on a solution that waits for a specific screen location to blend from color to color. This enables users to scroll through the case study thumbnail images in a smoother experience that doesn’t result in clashing brand colors.
Favorite details: The overall quality of design and simplicity. Creating a design that is both simple and powerful is often one of the most difficult things to accomplish in the design world, especially in a digital form like a website. Also, on the homepage, there is a finch drawn in the style of the branding that moves its head in the direction of the cursor. The website experience, as well as the general look and feel, reflects the 15 Finches brand and offerings.
Navigational structure: The website navigation helps minimize clutter and maximize user flow. We hid the website menu in one navigation icon on the right side of the screen, which is a mobile first principle. Located in the center, the menu icon moves up the page and sticks at the top as users scroll. The footer in the individual case study pages acts as an additional navigation device, which allows users to click into the next or previous case study with a unique and dynamic rollover effect. In all other pages, the footer contains a large call to action stating, “Let’s build something together,” driving users to a contact form page that startups can use to reach out about partnering with them.