Last year Edinburgh based artist Alastair Aitken approached me to restructure and re-design his website, as he had become tired of having a static website he felt had become uninspiring and difficult to update. Alastair was ideally looking for an exciting way to present his work and he needed something that was flexible and easy to upload fresh content into.
As an artist Alastair takes great pride in his work so when beginning the project how the work was going to be presented on mobile and desktop was the key factor to take into consideration. Alastair’s work is not just limited to one medium as his creative output encompasses a wide variety of media: Music, Photography, Shorts Film, Soundscapes and Spoken Word. For the user to gain easy access to each of these categories from anywhere in the website was a key factor.
To start with I sketched out a few ideas on how the user could navigate through pages and categories whilst keeping in mind that further content could be added to the website in the future. After the initial site map was sketched out I moved onto mocking up wireframes and drawing up the basic layout. Once the client was clear on how the users would go through the website and once he was happy with the rough layouts then I began to make more detailed mockups which would give him a better idea of what the finished product would look and feel like to the ‘end user’.
During the mockup stages I was happy with the general layout but I felt that something was missing, something was needed that unified the user experience and the work that was on the website. The eureka moment came when looking through Alastair’s photos and there I found the missing link in the form of the photo called “Quiet”. This photo is a perfect unifying theme that joins the title of the website (A Golden Thread) to all the work on embedded on the website. The “Quiet” photo uses a gold link tint that I then carried over to all the heading images throughout the website, thereby lending it’s self to the idea of a Golden Thread threading it’s way throughout the entire website.
- Clear and immediate identification regarding theme and content
- A site easily updated by the client
- Clear channels to key media categories
- A smooth colourful fullscreen navigation menu
- A clean minimal pop up gallery feature
- Featured work sliders
Alastair agrees the ‘A Golden Thread’ website is an easy to use and easy to update content management system.
I am a multimedia artist who was looking for an outside agency to reinvigorate my web presence. I designed (but didn’t build) the previous two versions of my site and was apprehensive regarding ‘trusting’ the presentation of my work to another. I know how important context is in presentation and wanted a visual representation which worked in ‘in sympathy’ with the pieces.
How Noah impressed:
- Breadth of working experience with different agencies and different media
- Honesty in reporting/appraisal of his (extensive) software skills in his CV
- Very quickly had a strong idea of the best way to present variety of media (Music, Photography, Short Film, Soundscapes, Spoken Word)
- Noah’s approach to the ‘discursive’ space was reassuring. Able to listen and adopt ideas but, equally as important, firm in explaining why he thought an idea wouldn’t work and able to explain why.
- Ability to identify ideas/themes which would bring the site together as a cohesive, visually informative platform.
- Willingness to make changes after I had changed my mind!
- The final product was as I would have ‘imagined’ before I knew what I wanted!
Alastair Aitken - Owner of A Golden Thread