Responses by Louise Wong, creative director/head of content and Elaine Yeung, account director, Eight
Background: Hysan Development is a Hong Kong–based property investment company with a history that dates back to 1923, when founder Lee Hysan first acquired a coveted site in the Causeway Bay district from a famous British trading company. To mark the 95th anniversary of this milestone, Hysan engaged Eight to develop 95 stories for Hysan95. A perfect way to share the many facets and people of Causeway Bay, we hope to reach the local and international community with the site.
Highlights: The editorial/documentary style website has been structured to showcase three types of stories: short streetsnaps, mid-length profile interviews and feature length articles. Taking reference from editorial design, the website has been developed to display feature length articles on the left and related portrait interview and streetsnaps on the right, like a double-page magazine spread.
Challenges: Ensuring that each story feels distinctly different, in both tone of the story and the look of it, yet collectively feel that they belong together. The sheer volume of stories also meant that the process to organize them needed to be rigorous. There were also so many moving parts to handle on the site, like the editorial, production, photography, design, social media and the languages, as the site is available in both English and Chinese.
Favorite details: From the onset of the website development, we had to create a template structure that would allow various formats of copy, imagery, video and transitions before we knew what content we would actually be making. Also, the template had to bring the portrait interviews to life, while providing a high level of customization.
Anything new: Developing a site for 95 stories with structure and an ongoing content publishing schedule meant that the team needed to churn out each piece like clockwork. Process was as important as creativity. From setting up an interview, to shooting photos to developing the story and layout, to finally publishing it online, it all took time to perfect. One important lesson we learned was to create an agile template structure with rigor and flexibility joined at the hip.