Best of: Immersive Sites, the New "Principal" and Usability Findings in Scrolling

Welcome to our “Best of” Series. As part of our commitment to trusting in collaboration, thinking forward and going for the extra-ordinary, we’re always circulating ideas, discussing the latest trends and experimenting with new tools and technologies. And now, we’d like to share the fun with you! Follow this series to stay up-to-date with the articles, design trends and UX discussions that we love … and you should know about.

In each post of this series, we divide the content into categories. This post features examples of Inspiring Web Design, Interesting Reads and Impressive Projects.

INSPIRING WEB DESIGN
The New iFly KLM Digital Magazine

iFly50.com

The new KLM interactive magazine won the Developer Site of the Day on Awwwards.com. Check out the site’s beautiful use of imagery, background video and transitions.

The Law of the Jungle (Disney's New "The Jungle Book" Movie Promo Site)

The Law of the Jungle site

This is a very creative, unique and immersive site. Be sure to check out some of the 3D effects. Performance and UX (e.g. site navigability) aren’t its strongest suits, but you’ll enjoy this site if you’re game for some exploration.

The New Airforce.com

Airforce.com

This site has a bold but simple visual design that heavily leverages movement to create a dynamic experience that feels very natively digital. Especially be sure to check out their interesting approach to Filters and Search here on Careers and their innovative full screen menu (It’s essentially a reimagining of the mega-menu, but one that works on mobile.)

Dottir's Site

Dottir's website

This site uses a very unique design for a professional services website. The site uses custom cursors to help users navigate as well as a one-page site structure. Be sure to check out the latest news ticker on the side.

INTERESTING READS
Infinite Scrolling, Pagination Or “Load More” Buttons? Usability Findings in eCommerce
(Smashing Magazine)

Which is best: pagination, load more or infinite scrolling? This article takes a look into each solution and covers some of the technical challenges you encounter in selecting one of these options over another.

Content Marketers Need to Act Like Publishers
(Harvard Business Review)

This piece rings particularly true for marketers in professional services, given the intangible product being sold. Wanting to take more of a publisher’s perspective is not a new marketing concept, but executing on that desire is difficult without persistence and adherence to a new set of principles. The article stresses that understanding your audience comes first, as always, but the goal is to ideate and improve the delivery of those ideas rather than simply reacting to a need. In short: experiment, optimize process and build on existing ideas.

Preload: What Is It Good For?
(Smashing Magazine)

Preloading content on the web has been around for some time, but recent updates have tried to conquer some of its past challenges.

How Chunking Helps Content Processing
(Nielsen Norman Group)

The concept of “chunking” has been around for 60 years - it’s why we write phone numbers the way we do, and why flash cards are so useful. In theory, any good content strategy considers the attention span of readers, but we see a lot of bad examples on the web. At the very least, make sure to keep paragraphs succinct, use subheadings, bold key phrases and include bullet points when applicable. At best, ensure that any visually grouped content pieces (text, images, videos and design elements) are related to each other so that the reader naturally makes a connection.

Google has 6 new analytics apps to help marketers mine customer data for insights
(The Next Web)

Google’s Analytics 360 Suite, released in February, has made it possible to acquire even deeper analytics data and better organize it. We’re particularly excited about Optimize (though in beta), Data Studio and the new Tag Manager.

IMPRESSIVE PROJECTS
Principal's Brand Refresh

Principal Brand Refresh

An outdated brand with a very 80s corporate feel, The Principal Financial Group – now just Principal – was in need of a brand refresh. The organization also claimed that the old brand did not represent the expanded geographic reach and service capabilities that Principal is now able to offer. The new brand features:

  • A new name: Succinct and simple, they’ve now shortened “The Principal Financial Group” to “Principal.”
  • A new icon: The new style still conveys a sense of corporate responsibility, but is far more friendly. It evokes a “virtuous cycle” of hope and is now a far more readable “P.”
  • A new digital presence: A completely new website and new social media profiles in the U.S.

Arconic. Innovation, Engineered

Arconic

Facing sluggish aluminum markets amid the Chinese economic slowdown, Alcoa will focus its attention towards its core competency of bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminum smelting while Arconic will focus on innovation and multi-alloys for the aerospace and auto industries. The separation will give the two entities more latitude in the commodities markets and potentially unlock values previously unattainable to both organizations.

The specifics:

  • New name, logo and tagline were created for the spin-off, downstream, value-add division of Alcoa.
  • The organizations will split into two publicly traded entities in the second half of 2016.
  • The “A” in Arconic echos the Alcoa "A."
  • "Arc" represents continued advancement and progress.
  • "-conic" speaks to coming from an iconic organization.
  • Inspired by the Alcoa icon, the Arconic icon is a 2D rendering of a an impossible 3D shape whose footprint could be the Alcoa icon.

Want to see more of the best? Explore the past posts we've had in the series to see what you may have missed.

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Jessica DeJong Creative Director

Jessica is One North’s Creative Director, collaborating with clients to deliver interactive solutions, including creative strategy, website design concepts and brand development. In addition to bringing an artsy edge to everything she makes at One North, she also specializes in procuring the best cat GIFs to spread around the office.

  • If I were a vegetable: I would be a bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) because it’s the closest vegetable I could find to HOT SAUCE.
  • Favorite color: Maize. 2nd favorite color: Blue.
Akhilesh Pant Strategist

At the time of publishing, Akhilesh was a Strategist at One North.

Dylan Salisbury Brand Strategist

At the time of publishing, Dylan was a Brand Strategist at One North. 

Kayla Silverstein

At the time of publishing, Kayla was the Marketing Coordinator at One North.

Michael O'Laughlin Head of QA & Managed Applications

As Head of QA & Managed Applications, Michael is responsible for delivering One North digital experiences to clients and creating both web applications and custom data integration solutions. Michael’s favorite Chicago spot is at the United Center, watching the Hawks in the playoffs.

  • Favorite movie quote: “Great moments...are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game; not tonight.” - Miracle
  • What you wanted to be when you were little: A firefighter

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