Responses by Homunculus.
Background: Based on the Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.’s Better Starts Now brand platform, we created a digital extension of its 2019 BaselWorld installation to convey the appeal that Citizen opens the future of watches to more people. All “Light is Time” installations are represented on the website. The aim was to appeal to more people with the installation and trajectory of the brand.
Design core: The site’s concept places the formidable BaselWorld installation—by Citizen and architect Tsuyoshi Tane—on the axis of the ground plane. The details of each exhibition have been carefully curated so that they can be understood accurately and more intuitively. In addition, we aimed for designing a seamless UI, imbuing it with an easy feeling so that people can immerse themselves in Citizen’s worldview as much as possible.
The site itself will continue to grow and update with new content. We are planning a big update in the future, so I think that the site will be even more enjoyable.
Challenges: The large amount of content and how much each page could contain proved to be the most difficult point. If the number of elaborate pages were too few, the site would be unsatisfactory. If the number of elaborate pages were too large, the site would exceed its budget, and we would be in the red. It was very difficult to strike the balance between simple pages and complicated pages.
Divergent paths: If we were to restart the site from the beginning, it would be the same shape as it is now. It may change after a while, but we think that—at this moment—it is at its best output. There were many sites that felt like this one during the heyday of Flash; it’s still fun to make and experience sites like this.
Navigation structure: There was a great deal of information to be placed on the first iteration of the site, but we designed under the assumption that we would continue to add content and functions in the future. In that sense, designing the navigation proved to be very troubling. We solved this by keeping the function on the screen as much as possible so that visitors could access all contents as much as possible. In addition, the navigation gives a panoramic view of the site’s content, so that the content can be seamlessly traversed.
Technology: We used WebGL to reproduce this installation using tens of thousands of clock parts in a browser. In addition, we focused on the balance between the parts expressed by WebGL and the parts expressed by CSS so that the user experience doesn’t suffer.