Responses by Colin Gifford, creative director, Blast Design.
Background: We created the Assembly brand back in 2012, a place-making brand to establish a new mixed-use area for Hammersmith, London. Following our refresh of the brand, we redesigned and built the website. It is aimed at a broad audience: prospective tenants for the offices and commercial spaces, and the employees and guests of the companies that reside there. The site is the hub “where everything comes together.”
Design core: The new website projects the lifestyle at Assembly, drawing together work, wellness, leisure and nightlife. It features lots of visual content—films, photography and iconography—combined with functional content. The brand proposition, “where it all comes together,” expresses the Assembly concept and is expressed through the animation of content as the pages load. Each piece of content animates into place so that each page literally “assembles” as you move through the site. It was important that this animation was noticeable but not distracting or overpowering.
Challenges: The site needed to appeal to a number of different audiences who all had different functional and content requirements. The most challenging aspect of the site was bringing together all these different types of content in a way that provided a smooth, stylish user experience. We had to balance the sophistication of the brand with the functional requirement of the site. This included the animation of the content as it loads into the page, which itself expresses the idea of Assembly.
Navigation structure: The site can be navigated in a very simple way through the menu. However, we also built in lots of content signposts, links and in-page navigation to help visitors find the most important information quickly.
Technology: The site is built on the Craft CMS and uses our own proprietary Mudpack framework for the user interface. Mudpack is a mixture of front-end development technologies that we use to quickly and efficiently build out stylish, easily maintainable websites.
Technical features: SVG and CSS animations are used thoughtfully throughout the site to help bring focus to key areas and to build on the “assembling” idea. We built interactive floor plans to help potential tenants easily understand what spaces were available across the properties. The homepage carousel, with the spinning motif and full-page video backgrounds, performs efficiently by diligently preloading assets after the user lands on the page.