An online extension for the creative
woodworkers and artists at De Bende
Role: Interactive Designer, Concepter
CREATING AN ONLINE EXPERIENCE
Near the end of my third year at school, we were assigned a project for an actual client. I chose De Bende, a group of creatives, woodworkers and artists collaborating together to bring some cool projects to life. Their philosophy was really interesting, so naturally, I wanted to work with them. What they wanted was a way to expand their mainly offline activities to an online environment as well. I got into a team with three other students (two developers and a project leader), and together we sat down to brainstorm the whole afternoon.
After we had our first brainstorms, we presented our concept to De Bende, to see if they liked it. What we wanted to do was to create an online platform for them, on which they could publish stories, showcases and do-it-yourself articles.
Because De Bende had only really operated offline in their existence, we needed to craft a clear online identity for them. We chose a colour palette that would represent the different sections of the platform, together with a stylish iconset with thin lines, to give it that handcrafted, but neat style.
After having constructed their basic online visual identity, I started off working straight from sketch to Photoshop. Doing this allowed me to directly direct what I wanted the platform to feel and look like, based on the basic visual identity that we crafted before. I started off with the homepage, the basic starting portal for new users.
Of course, the biggest feature of the website was to be its DIY section. The challenge here was to come up with a unique way for the user to read through this content, and to allow authors of De Bende to work with video, images, text and other media.
After presenting the above designs to De Bende, they were quite enthusiastic. The only obstacle that really blocked the way for them was how they could make this profitable. That’s when we came up with the ‘Do It Together’ feature. This would allow customers to order a custom project through the website, by use of a system that would ask users questions and allow them to set dates and track their projects’ progress.
Below are some of the elements from up close, the way I like 'em.