Cracking contraption! A new website for a British animation royalty
Designing and building a new Umbraco website to represent a global brand
- 1,790% IncreaseIn video plays to the end
- 86% IncreaseAverage session duration
- DoubledTraffic from social media
- 10,000+Video plays per month
- 15% increaseAverage number of sessions per user
As a globally recognised, award-winning animation studio, Aardman are known for their off-beat 'wonky' style showcased through their range of Claymation stop-motion features including Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and of course Wallace and Gromit. In 2021, true were appointed by Aardman to design and build a new corporate website, which would fulfil the needs of a B2B business whilst showcasing the fun, playful ‘wonk’. The challenge was to strike the right balance; make it easy for various stakeholders and potential clients/partners to navigate and also act as an effective lead generation tool whilst also staying true to the Aardman brand.
We worked with a vast stakeholder steering group to design a visually striking new website with clear user journeys, ensuring it was built in a digital platform that was more robust and scalable across their full digital estate of websites.
Given the enquiry-generating purpose of the website, and the fact that Aardman are an employer owned business, it was important to showcase the people behind the beloved characters. ‘Individuality’ became the guiding principle. Not only does it tell you something about the nature of working for Aardman, of the employee ownership and what it’s like to work with them, but it’s visible in everything Aardman produces. It’s what stands them apart from their competitors.
The Creative Solution
As part of the pitch process, we presented creative concepts which were praised by the team at Aardman for their strong UX understanding (based on our research) and a powerful digital articulation of the brand. The introduction of thumbprints, synonymous with Aardman’s signature Claymation style, became a signifier of the many individuals behind the scenes, each having had a hand in creating the work.
Shortening and easing journeys to allow users to make the right contact rather than a general contact was a clear decision to increase new business leads. Key pages detailing the services they provide - including character licensing, distribution and live experiences - all feature 'contact cards' which include photos, bios and contact details for the most appropriate people to contact. This is a drastic improvement on the previous site which often made it difficult to know who to contact with a specific business request.
We were sure to carefully incorporate the ‘wonk’ across the site in wobbly CTA interaction design, carousels that flick through with a comedic gloop, a playfulness that doesn’t distract the user but reveals itself continuously with each interaction.
The Business Impact
The website is built in a headless manner, meaning that content and components can be created once in their Umbraco CMS then re-used and deployed across their entire digital estate, including mobile apps and other websites, like Wallaceandgromit.com
The main benefits of choosing to invest in this digital arcitecture are that Aardman will save money, effort and time creating content for and managing disparate web platforms.
The site has been nominated for a number of awards and has recently been awarded a Webby Honoree for Corporate Communications websites, been voted site of the day by the CSS Design Awards, as well winning the public vote for best UI design, best UX design and best innovation, and received an honourable mention from Awwwards.com based on it's design, creativity, usability and content.