1st September, 2004

Hooray for Stylegala’s smallest site

Trumpet-blowing time, folks. Huge thanks to the nice people at Stylegala for adding our Agenzia company site to their gallery.

This is the smallest site featured at stylegala so far, only one vertical page. But I really like the minimalistic approach - this site tells me a lot more than 100 blog entries about other blog entries.

Indeed, my colleague Jamie Craven must take the credit for this one, for being both brave enough to take on the company site in the first place, and for daring to make it work using just one dynamic page. Good work, fella! Read on for more…

Anyway, to celebrate, here’s some blurb from myself and Jamie that we wrote just after launch, but for some reason was never published on the blog. My mind is a sieve, so the CMS may as well be too.

Jamie has stuck to a very tight set of specs to make this XHTML/CSS/DOM/FLASH design, about which he elaborates below. Agenzia is a full-service creative agency providing internet, design and marketing services, where I spend my days happily coding and dreaming of the outside world, or at least a different plane of vision.

Jamie’s brief was as follows

Must appeal to both a design based and commercial based audience

Must be standards compliant

Must display in a logical order without styles

Must work in I.E 5 upwards on PC, and I.E 5 in OS9 upwards on a Mac

Must be easy to update when built, so we expend minimum time on it and can update it easily

A site that can grow as the needs and demands for its use evolve

new Agenzia site

Tell us more, Jamie

From a design point of view, I love modernist and in particular swiss influenced design. people like Josef Muller Brockmann and Wolfgang Weingart are the kind of people I like, and that level of simplicity is a cornerstone of my work. I think this approach to the work is quite apparent on the site.
Extending this idea of simplicity to the web, I thought about what a reduced approach to a website might be, but beyond just the look of it, but it’s function. This extended to thinking what most people go to your site for (in our case, we reckoned a phone number, address or email) and arranging the information accordingly.
I’ve started to notice quite a few one page sites, or at least sites where everything you need to see is on the homepage. They seem mostly quite long, using anchor tags to help the user move through the page. A few favourites would be Kleber, Werkburo and Projector Studio. I thought that this would be good for us, as it forced a certain level of simplicity on the project, and it removed page elements such as the navigation, making the layout side of things more reduced.
In terms of the site development, a few more pages may be added to the site, or maybe more content within the one page model, using some clever DOM stuff and style switching. For the time being though, it should serve our needs, and with regular project and news updates, it might get the odd return visit!”.

I love it. I didn’t follow it’s development too closely, so it was a joy to view the finished thing. I’m most excited that it is just one page, and that we have something concrete to build upon. But mostly, I’m just delighted we now have a company site that doesn’t use any tables. We’d like to thank whoever it was that gave us some spare time to get it built.

In the weeks to come we’ll be slowly adding to the site, linking all our blogs from it, and generally tweaking it when we should really be working on client jobs. Stay tuned…


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