I look at roughly 70-100 websites per day. It is my job to stay on top of trends and to constantly know what new and emerging technologies and techniques exist so that I can always be ahead of the game.
I am in contact with the best designers and developers around the world in order to gauge where they are headed creatively, I also produce, design and create and conceptualize websites for a living.
I am a huge fan of this medium so when I say it’s my job, I sometimes forget the fact that I would probably be doing this even if I wasn’t getting paid for it.
Grabbing my attention
Today something really caught my eye. It’s not a new technology, it’s not breakthrough technology but it is something that makes me so excited about the possibilities that I can hardly contain myself. It’s one of those sites that you see and you simply just know the impact it is going to have on an industry such as advertising.
I have been writing about the online interactive industry for quite some time now. I have been documenting the trends, the ups and downs, the ins and out and the nuances of an industry that is so new that most people don’t even know how to properly define what it is exactly. Go try and explain to your grandmother what you do…
Websites? Applications? The Internet? Animation? Video? Design? Interaction? Databases? Servers? The list can go on and on.
The interactive industry is one that involves a true convergence of ideas, design and technology. It is all based on the psychology of the user and the social and cultural impact it has on many levels. It is both entertaining and informative, engaging and interactive, immersive and mind blowing!
It is an industry that is impacting the world on par with the printing press.
I have seen some very promising sites over the years that have given me a glimpse into the future and what it has in store for us and for our children and our children’s children.
Over the years I have witnessed breakthrough designs and mind bending technology and even helped produce some it myself.
Interactive websites being woven together in pretty packages of loaders, pre-loaders, ghost loaders and video players, scrollers, buttons, banners, reflective surfaces and full screen blowouts.
Designs meant to work when resized, displayed in a number of browsers that function differently, 3 different screen resolutions both normal and stretched and designed to work on both fast and slow connections.
Our industry has matured, we have grown up, we have taken the reigns of media and we are ushering it into the future. We don’t just entertain, we educate, we inform, we market and we make differences.
Our medium is the most powerful voice known on the planet and we get to voice it in so many spectacular ways.
I took my usual daily tour of The FWA today, checked out who won site of the day, sipped my coffee, then moved over to the right and started to read the featured section.
I have said before that the featured section has always been a treasure trove for me. It has revealed some of the secrets of the industry and has been my own private scouting tool for emerging everything.
Today there was a simple single link for the new Publicis & Hal Riney website. I figured, “great another cheesy agency website, let me go see how badly it was done”.
A day to remember
After playing with it for about 3 minutes I turned around to my giant Pentagram Typography calendar, took out a black sharpie and marked this day as “special”.
Why did I do this? What moved me so much as to make me want to remember this day? I will explain.
What Publicis & Hal Riney did was that they took a huge step into the future of our industry. They displayed to the world that they not only enjoy the new medium we all live and play in but they truly believe in it. What they had done was biblical in a sense.
What I witnessed on their new site was monumental for a number of reasons.
I know, you’re probably dyeing to know what the heck it was I saw that was so different?
I am just about to get to that.
What they had given to us is a very simple execution involving a web cam and Flash. The design had mapped 4 spots on the screen in which the user can use the motion of their hands to navigate through the site. It was not the first time I had seen this, however it is the first time I had witnessed a main stream well known agency take a huge leap of faith and use this rather sci-fi technology for their public website.
It was not just the use of the technology but the speed of the setup, the fluidity of the interaction and the simplicity of the design that was used to enhance the beauty of the functionality. It was the fact that this was done on a very public and mainstream level where millions of novice users will be exposed to this technology, as well as the agencies clients who will surely want to adopt similar technologies upon seeing this.
This speaks volumes in terms of the evangelistic buy in of the interactive realm. In my mind this is a sign that Flash, interactivity, video, navigation and design have all stepped up onto the stage and were received with a standing ovation.
The time has arrived when this industry has not only matured but has taken the next step into what will be its eventual reign of all media.
I invite you to visit the site, if you don’t have a web cam then go spend the $20 bucks its costs to get one at your local office supply store. Spend time on the site, show your friends, show your grandmother, tell your boss and write it on your blog.
This site is a time machine into the near future and a glimpse into where interactivity, navigation and information is headed.
I want to personally thank the team over at Publicis & Hal Riney for taking this first step into the split sea of information and innovation. Thank you for believing in this medium and proving to us that you do so by embracing it for yourselves. Thank you for making it so clear in such a simple and creative way that everyone who visits will immediately “get it” and thank you for sharing your passion with the world!
Welcome to tomorrow.
About the Editor, Craig Elimeliah
Craig Elimeliah has taken the leap from the advertising world at Firstborn, where he has produced many award winning projects for top agencies, to the academic world where he plans on applying his experience to set a new standard in education and student experiences.