Responses by Nathan Trost, co-creator.
Background: In the Stands was created to be a helpful resource for people visiting Major League Baseball parks. In 2019, my wife Melissa and I decided to add visiting all 30 ballparks to our bucket list. As we began researching places to stay and things to do near the ballparks, we figured we could create our own site to help others that may have the same goal.
Design core: We wanted the site to invoke a simple, clean and modern feel, but also include a few baseball-related elements. The logo is designed to look like a vintage team name on a jersey. The little star on the homepage is made out of baseball bats. The 30 home plates are broken into the six divisions of five teams. There is a scorebook graphic on a couple of the pages. Additionally, we have a few core brand colors, but we brought in each team’s primary colors to add some variation to each ballpark.
Challenges: Content creation was—and is—the most challenging aspect. I have to be honest: It’s nice when you’re designing a site and you don’t have to worry about creating all the content. You can focus on the design and have somebody else worry about filling in the holes. It’s a whole different ballgame when you’re the one responsible for creating everything. Getting everything together and adding it to the CMS proved to be a time-consuming process. We still have a bit of content to add, as well as updating existing content. However, you do feel a nice sense of completion when you get those pages set up and the info in the CMS, and then it all magically appears online.
Time constraints: We started working on this before COVID-19, so when that hit, it changed our perspective. It’s been a crazy, tough, weird time, but now with ballparks finally allowing fans back in the stands, we felt that it was a good opportunity to get this out there. The great thing with this being our personal project is that I don’t think there will ever be a final version: I’m looking forward to filling out a lot more of the site, and there are additional ideas to work on.
Navigation structure: We wanted to keep the site simple to use and navigate. With 30 different ballparks, we thought it would be best to initially get users into their preferred one. Once they are there, they can navigate either by the subnav or the link at the end of the content.
Technology: The site was created in Webflow. This was my first time using it, and I was really impressed by how simple it was to use—well, after watching a number of tutorials! When we first started throwing around the idea of creating the site, I thought I was going to have to get a developer to help out. The more I looked into Webflow and its CMS capabilities, the more I figured I’d give it a try. So far, I’ve been pretty happy with it.