Responses by Amanda Ford, creative director, Ready Set Rocket.
Background: The site looked to establish Industry City as the epicenter of creativity and innovation in Brooklyn by showcasing its vibrancy and breadth of offerings. We did this by redesigning its website to build awareness and equity; as a result, we bolstered Industry City’s position as New York City’s new creative hub, bringing together businesses, creatives and community in one exciting waterfront district.
We developed the site around two audiences, each with distinct goals: We wanted to entice visitation by tourists and the broader New York community by highlighting the breadth of events and offerings they can find in one place. We also wanted to appeal to businesses, optimizing the site experience to drive lead generation and engagement for leasing. It was important to show that Industry City isn’t just coworking or shared spaces; it’s a unique community you can’t find anywhere else. The space acts as an incubation and innovation hub, fostering ideas, encouraging collaboration and creating natural partnerships.
Larger picture: We ran campaigns to help Industry City reach new tenant leasing goals over this past year, and in just eight months, we were able to increase qualified leads by 102 percent and lower cost per lead by 61 percent, resulting in a roughly 90 percent occupancy. The site helped drive excitement about Industry City by showcasing the community, cultural attractions and experiences that make it an amazing place to have an office. It provided prospective tenants with valuable information about the spaces available, the campus, amenities and the other convenient shopping experiences available right downstairs that make it an appealing place to work.
Design core: The site is characterized by its unique color palette, its type system and its layout that took visual cues from the large, blocky architecture of the industrial campus buildings. Photography acts as the primary vehicle for communicating Industry City’s brand story and community narrative, which—paired with a bold, exposed grid and unexpected interactions—helps stimulate and engage the user.
Favorite details: I’m most proud of the fact that we could integrate a new look and feel that both honored the established brand and elevated them to a place that matches the cool factor and creativity that vibrates out of Industry City.
Challenges: The site structure and page templates had to be flexible enough to support an evolving variety of content, particularly all the business profiles and regular events. Because of that, we wanted to make sure we developed a UI and UX that would stand as a strong visual framework without relying on consistent, perfect photography or specific amounts of content all the time.
New lessons: A strong concept will only result in a strong look and feel if it is carried throughout the design system without compromise. We had to stay committed to the exposed grid, boxy UI, and systematic use of type and color even when we faced challenges with specific areas with responsive behavior. There’s always a good solution if you are dedicated to the product quality, collaborate with a smart team, and never take the easy way out.
Navigation structure: We structured the site around the core audiences and their needs: both consumer and B2B audiences needed to be able to intuitively find exactly what they wanted without digging around. Furthermore, we incorporated a directions button into the navigation to encourage visitation, provide an easy to way to find Industry City and keep users on the site without jumping to Google.
Special features: We made sure that the site was super easy and fun to use. By amplifying the scale of tiles and UI, it made navigating super intuitive and encouraged more exploration. The Events page incorporated an oversized, list-based calendar with robust filtering to find specific listings.
Technology: The site is built on WordPress with a PHP framework. The About page incorporated an interactive slider module that lets you move your cursor over an image to see the “then” and “now” comparison of the Industry City campus.