Design a website for Ripley's Publishing to dovetail with the release of their new fictional series of children's books. This eight book series is based on the adventures of seven gifted teens. These teens, attending a special school called Ripley's Academy, are in a top-secret group called the RBI: Ripley's Bureau of Investigation. The site must highlight the RBI characters, tie-in their adventures with the real, wacky history and artifacts collected by Robert Ripley while offering site visitors a sense of adventure. The first four books are already written and illustrated, so the site design needs to play well with existing artwork and story lines. Add to this mission: The flavor of mystery and continuing exploration needs to be evident within the site. The site must function as a marketing tool for the books. The site must also enhance and enrich the book buyer's experience.
Aeon Blu and the local Ripley's team met via conference call with the UK publishing team. After sharing our best British accents, our main focus involved determining how best to incorporate existing collateral within the website, what role we'd take in the direction of the vision-to-completion scenario, and how we'd make it interactive and fun for kids. After hearing the client's ideas and goals, we went to the drawing board...literally. We knew immediately that we wanted to try something different to make the RBI site stand out from other sites in this genre. Throughout the website design process, we brought clarity to the client's vision by generating ideas first through hand sketches, which eventually led to finished, hand rendered illustrations within the site. Our creative direction and design along with our original illustrations helped create a fresh and expressive look and user experience.
Throughout the project's course, we took the initiative in establishing good communication by guiding the client and focusing on their visions and goals for the project's success. Our project management expertise came into play early on, easing the coordination of tasks among two local teams and one international team. We used our project management and collaboration software to provide transparent, real-time information and communication with all collaborators.
In the initial web development discovery, we evaluated the user experience and experimented with multiple prototypes. We determined that the best approach, would be an innovate, seemless integration of Flash and the jQuery UI library. By combining these two technologies, we were able to expand the interactivity to the entire page, making for a more compelling and immersive experience. This worked well with the playful and adventurous theme. The site utilizes standard HTML and CSS programming for much of the content to maximize the search engine optimization.
Aeon Blu's robust and adaptable bluHQ content management framework was utilized, providing a admin-friendly interface for the client to edit all of the site's content.
Two-headed sheep, double-bloom tulips and a double-pupiled guide popping up around the site-we thought we needed new glasses! The wondrous world of Ripley is being re-introduced to a new generation through an updated look. As planned, the site functions as an interactive adventure for kids to delve more deeply into the stories, a means of driving book sales, and a base for downloads from coloring pages to avatars.
Performing a simultaneous go live with the launch date of the books, the site serves both as a supplement to the books and a sentinel leading the viewer to further information about them. As we always aim for, our goal of a successful go live and a very happy client was met, and once again, we celebrate with our favorite song. To quote the client: "...brilliant, this website is absolutely wonderful! I love it, it is exactly how I imagined it, if not better..."
We like that.