Responses by Noé Melon, creative director, Castor & Pollux.
Background: The Castor & Pollux website is the showcase of our digital communication agency. The site primarily demonstrates our expertise in creating digital identities, intelligent and inspiring content, integration, and development. It also presents our case studies in media as diverse as TV commercials, social media campaigns and website ecosystems. Finally, our site acts as a recruitment hub for potential Castor & Pollux employees.
Larger picture: Our agency has evolved significantly in recent years, so we wanted to showcase our new identity, latest achievements, and more broadly redefine our mission with clients to truly differentiate and stand out. Given these challenges, the website is our best tool for seduction.
It’s also part of a complete digital ecosystem, telling the story of Castor & Pollux from multiple angles: our CSR website, the group website and an educational website about UX design.
Design core: We deeply immersed ourselves in the codex of neobrutalism, a radical design concept that removes ornamentation to focus on content. We believe that this way of designing websites will become more widespread with the additional challenges of accessibility and ecofriendly web design. That said, we do not want web design to fall into a cold, soulless “functionalism,” which is the main criticism lobbied at the neobrutalist movement. To remedy this, the website displays a wide range of vibrant colors in small touches, and many microinteractions serve as Easter eggs to liven up the navigation.
Favorite details: The audio cases of our projects. The voices are those of the creatives and consultants who worked on the project, which helps to humanize the interface.
Challenges: In France, we have the expression: “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Designing a website for your own digital agency is always a challenge when you want to contradict this saying!
Time constraints: With Castor & Pollux’s website being an internal production, we were our own client. The question is: At what point are we satisfied with the result? Knowing that design can always be improved, it’s a delicate balance between the desire to do better and the necessity of closing the research phase.
Divergent paths: The website was launched three weeks ago at the time of this publication. In order to preserve our mental balance, we will ask ourselves what we could do differently at the next redesign.
New lessons: We paid particular attention to the dialogue between text and images by bringing together two well-mastered agency work processes: the creation of UX interface design, and the creation of advertising concepts.
Navigation structure: Our navigation is a manifesto against the overuse of the hamburger menu. The ubiquitous presence of those three little lines on the web makes us less demanding and innovative with menus.
Beyond being a very poor ergonomic practice, it’s often a way to avoid questioning the structure of information. Too many items in the navigation? No problem! Let’s just group them all together in a hamburger menu. It gives me the feeling of sweeping dust under the rug.
Special navigational features: Our sticky navigation features a transparent background to keep the structure light. It’s a readability challenge: as the menu overlaps the content of our pages, it needs to remain visible and not conflict too much with the text and images. We hope we have succeeded.
Technology: The website is built on a headless CMS powered by Strapi.