The New Floate: branding, responsive design and progressive enhancement.

Floate Rebrand: Our New Website

I’m very proud to announce our launch of the new floate.com.au. We have redeveloped our brand and identity, and created an entirely new website.

The brand

We set out to create a brand which expressed our design methodology. What the brand represents is the same as the process that we used to create it:

  • iteration through exploration;
  • multiple ideas being explored concurrently;
  • problem solving to find a visual language to express the brand; and
  • interaction across all of our disciplines and knowledge.

The design

To create the site we iteratively designed and coded in parallel. After sketching some of our ideas at our Floate Playground staging server, we critically analyzed the merits and fallbacks of our user experience concepts and formed concrete ideas of how the visual design would compliment our code. We revisited this process several times – discussing what worked and what didn’t. As a result, these interaction experiments allowed us to quickly throw away weaker ideas and identify the strongest ones and develop them further.

Technologies and techniques

Responsive design

We’re now incorporating responsive design into most of our projects, and our own site is no exception. As screens and platforms diversify, we want to ensure that our site looks great no matter what device you use to view it.

For us, it is important to provide the best experience possible to our visitors, and provide our content in a format relevant to them and the device they are using. By not limiting pinching, zooming, and panning on tablets and mobile devices we do not inhibit the way visitors would normally use their devices – as these are core interaction elements for using handheld devices as web browsers.

Progressive Enhancement / Graceful Degradation

We’ve designed Floate.com.au with lots of new CSS technology to enhance the experience of the site, but not at the sacrifice of semantic markup or accesibility. Features supported by newer browsers such as transitions, animations and aesthetic options like drop-shadows help add to the site’s appearance, user delight and usability. Our executions of new technology do not obscure information, or make features like menus inaccesible for browsers that do not support these new technologies.

So if you’re wondering, will our new website look the same in Internet Explorer 8 as it does in the latest version of Google Chrome? The answer is no. But, do websites have to look exactly the same in every browser? The answer is, again, no.

Whilst many people will experience the site in its entirety, with its bells and whistles and cosmetic treats, those who do not see these will not have their browsing experience interrupted – and we are still proud of the site they are looking at, even if a few corners aren’t rounded. The only thing they’ll truly miss out on is a blinking marquee that we’ve hidden somewhere on the site. But I’m not you telling where that is.

We hope you enjoy using the new Floate.com.au.

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