As the world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, Gemfields’s strengths lie in its welcoming company culture and its commitment to both sustainable exploration practices and safe working environments. For its new, media-rich site, Southampton-based design agency Chaptr began by reorganizing its old site’s structure with a card-sorting exercise. “Hosting a real life card sort meant we could really visualize the site’s content and decide on the new site’s navigational journey in real life and in real time,” says Chaptr creative director Matthew Luke. “This made it much easier to see what content was unnecessary and what naturally fell where.” Since the site is heavy on rich media assets—images, sound and videos—Chaptr utilized the powerful Amazon S3 and the Cloudfront CDN to store and deliver content.
One big challenge faced by Chaptr was to create engaging, interactive infographics that would present the geological nature of various gemstones, including rubies, emeralds and amethysts. “We decided to create encyclopedia type pages about these gemstones with features that included a hover magnification of the gemstones' texture, customized Google maps to illustrate the origins of each stone and interactive sliders to present more technical mineralogical information such as the ‘Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness,’” Luke explains. The site has been featured by many design showcases around the world.