Responses by Oleg Zavialov, head of marketing, Shakuro.
Background: StreetArtNews is just what it sounds like: a web resource for street artists, people related to the industry and all who love this movement to learn what’s new and noteworthy, get information on past and upcoming events, read interviews of famous artists, and discover trends, among other things. Plus, it features an online store where you can buy prints of some of the works you can encounter while reading articles. With the platform already preexisting, our job was to optimize and redesign it to make it feel fresh and more contemporary.
Design core: With the blog as its main functionality, the site has a quite simple although somewhat unusual structure. If you look at the homepage, you’ll see that right after the large header comes the website’s main feature: a dynamic collection of stories put into different categories, with the editor’s picks as a separate unit. This is followed by visual elements and a link to the store. What we wanted to do differently is to devise a layout that would fit the content while looking different from the usual blogging-platform look.
Challenges: Creating an attention-grabbing yet clear catalog of news and articles categorized not only by the subject but also by the visual style of the featured artworks. We also put a lot of thought into choosing the right typography and ways to animate parts of the interface; we wanted the website to look like a true publication but with the digital full-screen functionality. As reading about street art is not the same as seeing it, we did our best to bring the actual pictures to the forefront rather than let them hide inside the stories.
From a technical standpoint, we also had to deal with issues connected to content migration. There was a lot of content already when we started, and it didn’t all have the same structure; for this, we came up with ways to carefully present it on the new platform.
Navigation structure: We wanted to match the free spirit of street art and make the navigation superunconventional and create a delightful experience of studying the website, hence the large typography, split-screen design and different scroll patterns, including the combination of vertical and horizontal patterns. However, we also added a more conventional hamburger navigation option for purpose-driven visitors.
Technology: StreetArtNews is a WordPress website with custom design. While websites based on WordPress usually get developed using some of the readymade themes, we wanted to explore the benefits of the CMS while also designing and integrating a custom theme.