5 Design Secrets From The Nexus Studio
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Ticktockrobot is a creative animation production studio based in Sussex creating fully realised and original digital media.
Established in 2010 by Creative Director Simon Armstrong, the studio has experience in all sectors of the digital broadcast and media industry, collaborating with agencies and companies alike to deliver engaging, inspiring, entertaining and award winning content.
I've had the pleasure of working with Steve and his team on many projects over the years. His problem solving and approach is fantastic and he's always added so much more to our designs. The bespoke CMS he has created is clean, clear and robust - meaning that website updates are easier and swifter than we have found using other packages. On top of all that he and his team are incredibly friendly, easy to work with and highly organised. All this amounts to never needing to look for another web developer again.
Ticktockrobot supplied their own website design and we built it to their specifications, lending advice and throwing in a few suggestions along the way.
They have a range of work in several styles from their roster of illustrators and designers, so it was imprtant to showcase the visuals without any distraction from the page design. There was a lot of temptation to include animated elements, but ultimately it was decided that the work should speak for itself.
The three main areas required were a portfolio, profile pages for each director and a blog. Support for multimedia was obviously very important for an animation company.
Simon's original design for the ticktockrobot website featured a 'masonry' style grid on the homepage with a more linear, blog-like theme everywhere else. As development progressed, it soon became clear that the grid was an excellent way to showcase the work of individual artist and projects, so we employed this throughout the whole site.
We wanted to give the client complete freedom to compose each grid exactly as they wanted, so we built a bespoke extension for our CMS. This allowed images to be placed anywhere via a drag & drop interface and could be resized to any number of rows and columns. We fixed the dimensions of the grid so the boxes snapped into place and everything lined up nicely.
The pages scale proportionally down to mobile size, where they change to a single column layout and the CMS allows for different thumbnail images at this size for true mobile optimisation.
Perhaps the most enjoable part of the build was the homepage. For this, we developed a full screen slideshow with parallax movement controlled by the position of the mouse. Images are uploaded in layers and each layer moves at a different speed giving the illusion of depth.
The custom grid builder was so well received that it was employed throughout the site. Ticktockrobot have complete freedom to build any layout they like, selecting different images for desktop and mobile. We continue to work with ticktockrobot and they have plenty more ideas to expand the site in the future.