Responses by Danielle Evans, creative director
Background: This site refresh allowed my studio Marmalade Bleue to shine and stand confidently. Aside from commercial imagery and videos, I speak, teach, write and cultivate my local creative community. I needed ways to group these experiences without overwhelming users. Squarespace’s updated galleries made it easy to store and share clickable images as sound files and embedded videos. Also, when I say “I create lettering out of food and objects,” it’s not abundantly clear what that means. Therefore big, bold visuals with embedded links made the most sense.
Highlights: I’ve been dabbling in the #oddlysatisfying ASMR space with my work, and it’s caused me to reflect on macro and micro user experiences. I’ve always wanted large, luscious images on display, but knew that the diversity of style and substance would present a challenge to users. To solve this visually jarring problem, I drew a connection to my color-coded bookshelf. I also manually re-entered every project in a gradation so quick scrolling would be immensely satisfying.
Challenges: My work is image and video heavy, which can overload a page and bog down the experience. My friend, illustrator and front-end developer Rogie King, popped a quick load injector into my headers to alleviate lag. Condensing and editing is difficult regardless of career length. Ensuring the mobile experience is as thoughtful as the desktop is a crucial consideration, even with use of a template.
Favorite details: Initially, I worried the anachronistic display would deter users from seeking out my latest projects, but instead, this reshuffling gives users a chance to enjoy recent and archived imagery side by side. Personally, I enjoy charting my own journey in this manner.
Navigational structure: The challenge of portraying a personal brand online is conveying breadth without being all over the map and showing specifics without being pigeonholed. A handful of links with interesting titles are crucial to navigation. Live events were easy to condense. My press page received few clicks, so it made sense to roll these links into a bio. Media encompassed video and sound bytes, which have been my brand staples since the beginning. Also, I finally opened a print shop and thought “Bleueprints” was a clever brand extension.
Time constraints: I challenged myself to finish this site within a week. Originally, I’d planned to collaborate with an entity for this refresh, but timetables didn’t align. I didn’t trust myself to do this correctly because the last two iterations of the site felt like failures. A couple of friends also challenged me to let the work speak for itself, encouraging users to get up close and personal. Creating a hierarchy helped make this quick turnaround manageable.