Digital agency The Barbarian Group have launched their new site and it sure is a triumph. Here is a site from an agency that truly understands the web and knows where it is heading. Their once beautiful database driven flash site has been replaced with one that showcases the beauty of tightly engineered HTML and CSS.
With this site they have saved the flash and graphically rich work for the portfolio and tapped into the zeitgeist of the fundamentally new ways that businesses can communicate with employees and customers through social networking, rss, blogging, mashups and content aggegation. Rich as a fruit cake and alive with dynamic content it is essentially a mega blog built onto a multi-level publishing platform.
Each employee has their own blog with posts bubbling-up to the main Barbarian Blog and the most important information presented to the Barbarian Homepage. A topical-taxonomy process aggregates content around various topics to give many different windows to content. Running alongside a fully-integrated, custom-built project management platform the site also taps into the agency’s sales, production and staging systems avoiding the need to enter the same information into multiple databases.
Despite the wealth of content the site is structured within a tight grid making it easy to read and navigate. Minimal visual clutter gives more time to scan through what’s important and less time is wasted on animation and superfluous decoration.
It’s all clever stuff and whilst it has divided the design community becoming the web equivalent of Marmite, it is a showcase that illustrates an understanding of the principle that a successful online brand experience is more about openness and transparency in your interaction with clients and less about simply a cool logo and whizzy graphics.