This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

North Pole Speed Record

21st March 2008

A few days ago we launched the North Pole Speed Record site for our intrepid client Ben Saunders. Ben is a record-breaking long-distance skier, with three North Pole expeditions under his belt. He is the youngest to ski solo to the North Pole and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton.

North Pole Speed Record

Figure 1: The North Pole Speed Record website.

This latest expedition (supported by Ernst & Young) is an attempt to set a new world speed record from Ward Hunt Island to the Geographic North Pole. The current record was set in 2005 by a guided team using dog sleds and numerous re-supplies in a time of 36 days 22 hours. Ben’s expedition will be solo and unsupported and on foot. This route has only ever been completed once solo and unsupported, by Pen Hadow in 2003. Ben aims to halve his time and complete it in 30 days.

I love the Equipment page (below). Just check out the sheer volume of stuff ben has to drag behind him, including his trusty “spork”, and a gun to ward off polar bears. Gulp.

North Pole Speed Record

Figure 2: A massive list. Ben’s expedition equipment page.

We worked closely with Ben, his team and the sponsors in a very short time frame to pull this website together and reflect the scope of the expedition and Ben’s personality. We also created bespoke tools to allow him to easily post journal entries from the North Pole on his mobile without exposing himself to frostbite or hammering his batteries.

Ben Saunders

Figure 3: Ben during a typical day.

We’re still waiting on clips from a couple of TV interviews and a few other bits, but to get some other perspective on Ben and his achievements, check out the press page.

Huge credit to our Greg Wood who led the design and development on this project. Greg has written more about his approach here. We’re now counting down the days until our client sends a blog post from the North Pole using the tools we built. That will be pretty special. Ben is off to the South Pole in November too, so hopefully we can collect the set. Next stop, the moon.

Responses

# Joost van der Borg responded on 21st March 2008 with...

Very nice! The equipment list is indeed impressive. Will the position on the map (homepage) be updated as he goes?

# Simon Collison responded on 21st March 2008 with...

Joost: Yep, the flashing beacon will move with Ben’s progress. We didn’t have enough time to do any particularly mental interactive stuff on this one, but hopefully we will on the next expedition.

# Lodewijk Schutte responded on 21st March 2008 with...

The site looks great. Love the pale yellow bits and the footer. A job well done to you, Greg and all you Erskinites.

# Alan Wallace responded on 22nd March 2008 with...

Lovely site. The style sheet could be used as an education tool in how to organise your css! It’s how I imagine my css will look at the start but somehow never manage to finish with.

Thanks for sharing.

# Biscuitrat responded on 22nd March 2008 with...

Great job on the site! I really like the Flash map ^_^

# james wilson responded on 22nd March 2008 with...

very nice, simple, clean & very effective. You mention time constraints, how quick was the turnaround?

# Joost van der Borg responded on 22nd March 2008 with...

Thanks for the reply. Anything in particular you’re thinking of doing (location wise) later on? BTW: Like the 404 page!

# Dale Cruse responded on 22nd March 2008 with...

That looks great! Congratulations!

# Erik responded on 23rd March 2008 with...

B-e-a-utiful. I love it!

# mike responded on 24th March 2008 with...

lame template design.

# Patrick Haney responded on 25th March 2008 with...

I came across the design after someone posted a screenshot to Flickr and read Greg’s writeup of the process. The site looks fantastic and I certainly can’t wait until Ben gets on his way so I can periodically check back and see where he’s at and what he’s written while on his expedition.

Great work once again from Erskine. Simple, readable design with focus on the users’ (and client’s) needs. And as Joost mentions above, the Equipment page is really interesting.

# David Horn responded on 25th March 2008 with...

Looks gorgeous - congratulations!

# Pål Degerstrøm responded on 25th March 2008 with...

Marvelous and inspiring work, guys.

# Org2 responded on 25th March 2008 with...

nice site. good job!

# Alan responded on 26th March 2008 with...

Looks great - as always. Seems IE6 (Win) is having some problems with the inclusion of PNGS though..?

# Lynne responded on 26th March 2008 with...

This looks great. I don’t think I could complain on the design even if I wanted to. I might change the way the top nav. bar shifts once you leave the default page to another. But, thats a minor detail that only people who are overly obsessive worry about. In any case, now I am following this speed record because of this site and looking forward to see what happens next. I think the journal is my favorite…kudos to whoever followed through with that idea.

# Joe responded on 27th March 2008 with...

The site looks really awesome, and congrats to Ben for making and surviving so many North Pole expeditions.

# Semy responded on 31st March 2008 with...

the pictures are beautiful - as the page. Wow!

# Greta responded on 2nd April 2008 with...

I clicked the link to the site and i must say you have a nice page there. Seldom have i seen 3 column sites without being cluttered. The design is simple and color is fitting, cool and classy. May I ask about the map on the topography on the left, is the blipping orange the real-time location of B.Sunders? if so then your page rating will get high for that feature…Am loving it!

# Chloe Edwards responded on 6th April 2008 with...

Really like the design of the site, lots of quality information.
My friend has recently setup a ski norway site which is this guy who is this exmilitary man who is skiing the length of norway… skinorway.org.uk

# Alastair Mucklow responded on 7th April 2008 with...

Yes. That’s a fantastic site. I really like the combination of a grid design with images that break out of this grid, and the little visual design cues like the footer silhouette.

Just a shame he hasn’t made it!

# Susan Shepherd responded on 9th April 2008 with...

Amazing and impressive! Only a fraction of the world is seen by any of us and even to virtually keep tabs on a lone explorer is like being part of it bigtime!

# Rupert responded on 10th April 2008 with...

Wonderful and excellent work! the page seems to be easy to use.

# Baur responded on 14th April 2008 with...

the images are amazing. the blue colors are calmly. good job

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