Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Dinotopia Website

I'd like to take a little break from the ongoing series to announce that the Dinotopia website has been completely rebuilt from the foundation up.

The new site has much easier navigation; updated news, FAQ, and exhibition information; extensive image galleries (scroll through each gallery using arrow keys); a store that uses Paypal; and a fun trivia button on top of the "About" page.

If you keep hitting the trivia button, you get random tidbits from the Dinotopia universe.

What I like most about the new site is that I can update it. Without having any programming knowledge, I can add news headlines, trivia items, store stuff, and exhibition info. It's as easy as blogging.

The architect and builder is my son, Dan Gurney. When he’s not playing an accordion, he designs artists' websites and manages his own business start-up called Concert Window.

Here’s how he describes the thinking behind the redesign:

“In approaching the new website, I was dealing with a large property with a significant amount of information to convey. The challenge was to simplify the navigation scheme and provide a clear, uncluttered experience for the visitor, while still keeping most of the content intact. Moreover, in today's Internet, a website must be optimized for all screen sizes. I wanted the new to work equally well on a desktop, laptop, and tablet.

"So I created a dynamic site built on a Wordpress foundation, with JQuery/Ajax powering the animations between sections. That means no more reloading the entire page when switching to a new section. With such a visual property, I used a large background image to place the visitor immediately in the Dinotopia environment.

"I situated the main navigation bar on the bottom of the screen, which mimics the arrangement of a native iPad app. It's fixed so it always stays in the same location -- that makes it easier to orient yourself, no matter how far through the content you've scrolled.

"I also created a complete admin backend, so James can update the site content whenever he wants -- news, trivia, shop items, etc. It was a fun site to work on and I hope everyone enjoys it.”
Concert Window


T. Arispe said...

Wow, that's a really nice new design. Everything is really streamlined and I appreciate it being made far more tablet-friendly.

Matthew Meyer said...

Beautiful! I really like the new design. I'm really enjoying these posts where you go into the secrets of behind-the-scenes work on Dinotopia as well.