Responses by Shane Cranford and Ross Clodfelter, partners/creative directors; Rebekah Rhoden, designer, Device
Background: The purpose of the site is to give prospective clients, employees or fans insight into what it’s like to work with Winston-Salem, North Carolina–based firm DMA, and to showcase its body of work. Whether users scroll through the home page or dive deeper, users will come away with an understanding of the firm’s philosophy, process, culture and design outcomes.
Highlights: The randomized main page images and a visual rendering of the firm’s tagline that aligns as users scroll. Users can also browse a gallery of projects in the portfolio page, narrowing their searches to find results most relevant to their interests. We’re also huge fans of the contact page, which breaks away from the standard form approach—and makes users want to reach out to DMA.
Challenges: Not starting to design from day one. Without truly understanding the firm, we couldn’t have a strategy for creating the website and making it feel like a seamless extension of DMA. It wasn’t until we had a solid grasp on DMA and the industry that we started putting pencil to paper.
Favorite details: The process was the most exciting part of this project. We had a great client who allowed us to develop a strategy based on a strong understanding of his firm. Being able to work from that understanding allows us to create work that doesn’t just look great but also communicates exactly what a brand stands for.
Navigational structure: The navigation of the site offers two levels of interaction. The scrolling main page contains top-level information about the studio sufficient enough to understand the firm and its capabilities. Those desiring more content can venture further into the site to read case studies or learn about the firm’s design process and philosophy.
Anything new: We dug deep into the architectural industry, the competition, and the firm’s client base to inform our strategy and design. In doing so, we found that most architectural firms showcase their work from a purely visual perspective. We wanted to create a site that put focus on the details and processes of those projects while also reflecting the client’s belief that “architecture is built around humanity.”
Technical features: The portfolio filtering, dynamically aligning main page tagline, the scrolling main page content overview and the email-in-browser contact page.