Responses by Gabriel Sauer, UX designer and partner, Duck Design Studio.
Background: The purpose of the Quartier Latin website is to celebrate the rich history of the school that is a national Brazilian symbol of classical ballet. After 30 years of programs, the school wanted to change its direction to something more modern and diverse, adopting new tendencies and innovating its own story while keeping the same level of competence that made the Quartier school famous. While part of designing the new site was to convey the school’s new purpose, we also had the objective of attracting new students to the school. We used animated pictures for each modality of dance so visitors could imagine themselves in there.
Design core: The motion graphics we used form the core of the website’s elements. We had to communicate something as rich and warm as dance on a cold stage of the user’s screen. We watched some of Quartier Latin’s spectacles and tried to emulate some of the dancers’ movements in web design so that the school’s site would feel impactful to users. Additionally, the fonts and colors are correctly applied, and their interplay creates the perfect stage to highlight the pictures and the movements.
Challenges: The pandemic scenario. At Duck Design Studio, we usually have a complete immersion in the projects we do to help us feel and translate their vibes into web design. This was the first time we had to do everything by video calls and online meetings without a “real world” perspective. It was a huge challenge, because there were fewer ambient aspects that we could apply into the project and it was more of an abstract effort to connect and empathize with the client.
Navigation structure: After our immersion step, we structured the navigation and the site’s pages to keep the users’ objectives in mind. We obtained information from Quartier about each one of the dance modalities and the emotion they should impart to the viewers. The previous website was messy on that point, so we reorganized everything. We also suggested some story pages as well as a biography of Marisa Ballarini, the creative mind behind the academy who has enormous respect in Brazilian dance culture.
Technology: We used Adobe XD for design and developed the site using the Webflow platform for front-end, back-end and CMS features. We did all the work in our three-person team, and we appreciate how Webflow helps us put our ideas as designers into a functional, well-structured code.